Worst decision ever,” senior Rob Turner said.
“Best decision ever,” rebuked his former roommate Daniel Kopacko.
Ironically, the exact issue that separates these two former roommates is initially what brought them together: spending the summer in Dallas.
It’s easy to understand how two people with almost the exact same experience can feel so differently. The excitement of a summer away from home comes with a few roadblocks, despite making money and hanging out with friends, while experiencing all the freedom of adulthood. Dealing with heat, boredom and responsibilities can put a damper on the better parts of a summer in Dallas. In the summer of 2014, Kopacko and Turner both decided to stay in Dallas before having jobs.
“Make sure you have a job before the summer starts if you are staying,” Turner warns. “Campus is dead.”
Though they started working about a month into break, their temporary lack of income forced them to think of creative ways to beat the heat and the hunger.
Kopacko recommends buying a gallon of water to hydrate throughout the day.
“You will sleep way better,” Kopacko said.
And try to avoid paying for food entirely.
“The Cap Bar is open during summer. I never bought groceries,” Kopacko said. “I just waited until two, then come to [the] Cap Bar and got free pastries. They get the same amount year-round so there is (sic) always leftovers.”
Turner had a few tips of his own.
“If you’re living on a budget keep your windows and doors closed during day and open at night,” Turner advised. “Stay on campus indoors during the day. If you’re from the north, don’t take a job where you’re outside all day: heat stroke. I had job going door to door; it was way too hot.”
Turner explained that in his two-bedroom apartment there were five or six boys total.
“Four of us had the same job who blew us off for a month at beginning of summer,” Turner said. “We lived on beans, shredded cheese and eggs.”
And unless you have an internship, Turner recommends going home for the free room and board and a break from school and friends.
Kapacko, who has very few work opportunities near his house, has no regrets about the past two summers he has spent at the University of Dallas.
Hank Walter, whose hometown in California is similar to Kopacko’s, feels the same way.
“After spending two summers in Dallas, I would strongly recommend [to] all UD students to spend at least one summer in Dallas,” Walter said. “I think it’s really important, especially for those of us who come from out of state, to explore the environment that surrounds us.”
Walter took advantage of much that Dallas and UD have to offer during his summers here.
“Dallas is big on block parties,” Walter said, as he listed events like the Arts District Block Party and the Bishop Arts District’s Bastille Day party.
He also recommends The Fraternal Order of Eagles by White Rock Lake, where there is a great pool with a bar serving relatively cheap drinks.
Walter remembers a particularly fun Independence Day celebration two years ago.
“On the 4th of July on the summer before my junior year, [the Campus Safety Office] unlocked the doors to the Tower for us, and we were able to walk up and see all the fireworks going off all over the city,” Walter said. “That was definitely one memorable event of that summer.”
Despite the extreme heat, spending the summer in Dallas provides the chance to practice living on your own in the comfort of UD’s shadow.
“Spending a summer in Dallas, without the ‘distractions’ of school that often prevents (sic) us from exploring during the school year, is when you have the opportunity to really orient yourself,” Walter said. “Dallas, and all of Texas for that matter, are such cool places, and it’s a real shame if you spend four years in a place without ever really getting to know it.”