How Texenza Coffee saved my summer

Ryan Lester

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Money was tight for me this summer. Armed with only my savings and a 12 hour-a-week on-campus job, I fought in vain to find another source of income to get me through my first summer on my own. Thankfully, there was a company that inadvertently understood my plight: Texenza Coffee.

At the end of last semester, I was one of the many students who converted their unused meal-plan credits into a Texenza gift card. I figured that, since I was going to be on campus a couple of days a week for my on-campus job, I could use the gift card—instead of my desperately needed earnings—once the meal plan expired on June 30.

It seems that the administration didn’t take a liking to this rationale, as Meadow’s Coffeehouse was completely emptied and vacated only a few weeks after the meal plan expired. While it is unclear whether last year’s meal-plan policy changes played a role in Texenza’s contract termination, my personal opinion is that it had everything to do with it. I have Texenza to thank for saving my summer.

Coffee shops are a great place to get work done, whether it is hopelessly filling out job applications, blogging or staving off cabin fever. However, an afternoon at any coffee shop becomes a luxury when money is tight, as that blended drink amounts to one less gallon of gas.

Enter Texenza. My gift card was good at all of their locations, the closest one to me being their Tarrytown location. Thus I became a regular, going three or four times a week instead of sitting unproductively in my room. It gave me a place to research my post-college plans, keep up with my music blog and use the Internet—all without having to pay a dime out of my own pocket. I could also occasionally stop to have lunch or stock my fridge. I saved at least $200—money that went towards rent and the ever-increasing costs of living in Austin—and bought peace of mind by not having to worry about fitting coffee shop visits into my budget.

While the new coffee shop on campus is nice (though not necessarily affordable), I will always have a place in my heart for Texenza, which gave me the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of coffee shops despite a summer filled with personal financial scares. Thank you, Texenza. Your noble act of defiance saved me from overdrawing my account, and for that I am eternally grateful.