A student guide to partying, ‘Texan’ style

Morgan O'Hanlon

After a week’s worth of hard work on the 40 Acres, it’s tempting just to kick back and turn over into the weekend with a bout of Netflix-binging. But for those UT students craving something a bit more active, here’s a road map to some of the best places to get your party on this semester:


Located just north of campus at the corner of 29th and Fruth Street, this hipster hangout is famous for much more than coffee. Home to a large patio and a ballroom, the venue hosts regular poetry slams, trivia nights and an expansive variety of themed shows and events. Whether you’re there earlier in the day to hunker down on some homework, or later in the evening to enjoy a craft beer and live music, Spiderhouse never disappoints. Pro-tip: There’s an elusive kitty-cat that hangs out in the cafe. Try your best to befriend it!

21st Street Co-Op

If the Greek life really isn’t your scene, the 21st Street Co-Op also throws parties that are more relaxed and communal. It’s recommended to BYOB, but the drinks are sometimes free. Everyone hangs around the courtyard, which is decorated in lights, jamming out to live music from various indie bands. There are comfortable couches to lounge around, and a large portion of people look like they just stepped out of “Dazed and Confused.” There’s definitely a funky vibe to dig about that place.

Frat Parties (If you’re a woman, or if you’re a dude with some extra cash)

University of Texas fraternity parties are just like the ones in the movies — well, almost. Maybe the antics imagined in films like Seth Rogen’s “Neighbors” are a tad exaggerated, but students who want to party like McConaughey should head west. Longhorn Greek life dominates West Campus on the weekends, and between the massive ragers and smaller-scale kickbacks, there is always something for everyone — that is, of course, if you can get in.

Austin Swing Syndicate at The Texas Federation of Womens’ Clubs 

For all you cougar hunters out there, the Swing Dance Syndicate is a great place to pick up some Agneses and Arnolds on a Thursday night. For those of you who are more interested in people your own age, the venue also hosts a Collegiate Shag Class and Uptempo Dancing lesson on the fourth Thursday of every month. No matter what week of the month you choose to go, the event always provides high-quality lessons at an affordable price. Make sure to bring your swingiest clothes and dancing shoes!

Your own damn apartment

If West Campus or 6th street aren’t satisfying your party needs, throw your own shindig at your apartment. Even if you don’t have your own place, 81 percent of UT students live off-campus, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a friend who does. Despite what most might think, throwing a party doesn’t need to be expensive or a hassle.  All you need are some cheap streamers or DIY decorations, drinks (have your friends BYOB if they can since they’re already freeloading off your space), good friends and good vibes. Most importantly: Make sure you have the loudest speaker you can find to blast some groovy tunes and dance the night away.