5 Things ALA Students Say

ALA is a great place where you get to have sometimes fun, sometimes infuriating new experiences. No matter how you feel about the things you go through at ALA, there’s no denying that they can be very unique to say the least. Here are 5 things almost every student at ALA says in some version or another, at some point.
1. “Um…I know the change is R50 and you can give me a note but can I please have some R2 coins?”
ALA is great, because you can wash your clothes for free! Zero monies required! WoopWoop! But wait! What do you do with your wet clothes? Hang them outside maybe…but the line is so far away and it’s raining, so then what? Well, you’ll have to use one of the dryers, and that requires (look, a stray rhyme!)…that requires R2 coins. And because of this, asking for them at shops has become part of your life. And you wonder where the money goes don’cha? Well it’s used to buy iron #145 for your hall for one thing, as well as other things in the dorms. So chin up! It doesn’t matter if cashiers stare. Get them coins!

2. “It’s chips for lunch….RUN!” Everyone on Earth appreciates a good chip. This may not be a fact but from the food committee board, many people at ALA apparently do. The unfortunate thing is that we don’t get them very often here, and when we do, if you do not break into a cool, composed, inconspicuous sprint, you’re not going to get any. I have personally had the person in front of me on the line get the last chip. True disappointment is real. So run, chip-lovers, run.

Does this one need too much explaining? It’s happened to everyone. You’re having a nice conversation on facebook or skype with friends back home, laughing at your own witty messages and you fail to realize that, Heavens! It’s almost midnight! And with midnight does the Internet stop working. So you have to bring your chat to an abrupt, frantic end, to get those words out before the clock strikes 12. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes its Cinderella all over again.

4. *Running out of the dorms* “ouch!”
You know when you haven’t had wave your hand over the sensor to leave the dorms for two weeks? It’s nice because you can just push the door and zoom through it. What isn’t as nice is when suddenly the door is locked again without you knowing and you end up crashing into it. Even worse is when you know subconsciously, but it’s just been so long since it worked that you still crash into it. Yeah…Hopefully no one saw you, but if they did, they probably smiled, because they know the feel.

5. “Can we not carry the food past that large crowd? Please?”
There’s a lot of sharing at ALA, be it books, clothes or food. Especially food. Picture this; you ordered pizza. You’ve been dreaming about how you’re going to snuggle up with your food and laptop and watch that new episode of that awesome series. You walk happily to the dorms, and suddenly, you have the attention of 10 people. They’re your friends and they’re hungry. Long story short, you walk to your room with enough pizza to get you through the theme song of your show only. Vaguely familiar? It’s okay…it’s all part of being a community, and sometimes you’re one of the hungry friends. It’s the circle of life (at ALA.)

These are just 5 things ALA students say but we know there are many more. Have fun discovering them.

Things To Do Before You Graduate

It’s about that time of the year where graduation is so far but yet so near. You feel like you have all the time in the world today, and tomorrow you’re feeling like the walls are closing in and time is running out. To be on the safe side be in control of this time and do stuff! Count down and be ready and have a list of things to do. Here’s something to start you off:

Pull an all-nighter:

Hang with friends and throw in some movies, games or social networking. High school is an ideal time to do this, because you don’t have too many responsibilities, yet you’re old enough to keep your eyes open all night long.

Stop caring about what other people think:

You’ll be significantly more comfortable in your own skin and enjoy the here and now.

Clean up your Facebook:

After graduation, you want to start off fresh. Go through all those “friends” and remove the ones that are more like an I-was-in-your-first-year-bio-class acquaintance. You’ll be stepping out into the more professional world, so do what you can to remove unseemly posts and revise your privacy settings.

 Talk to someone you’ve never talked to before:

Once you’re in high school, the cliques tend to become set in stone, but break out of your ordinary routine by expanding your network. New friends are found in the most unlikely places.

Go on a road trip:

Hit the road with your best buds and enjoy the journey as the big, wide world flies past your car window.

 Learn to cook, clean and do laundry:

Once you head to college or get a place of your own, these household chores will become survival skills you need for living away from home.

Get your driver’s license:

Getting your license will push you toward that independence and self-sufficiency you’re yearning for. Also, it’s much more convenient to learn and practice driving when you’re at home rather than at college.

Volunteer ALA style:

It helps you get involved with your community and grow as a person. There is such a wide range of possibilities that there will be an opportunity for any passion you have. You’ll meet interesting people and also feel great about making a difference.

Men’s Style Trends at ALA

ALA like any other is a place filled with trends. We examine the top men’s fashion trends we see at ALA nowadays.

Continue reading “Men’s Style Trends at ALA”

Disney Songs That Explain the Process of Procrastination

1. Starting the Paper

Song: “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You”– Mulan Continue reading “Disney Songs That Explain the Process of Procrastination”

10 Reasons Why EL is Good For You

EL is our best and worst subject but no matter what we say about it we cannot deny that it teaches us valuable skills. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why EL is Good For You”

Winter Fashion: How to Beat the Cold In Style

Disclaimer: It rarely snows in Johannesburg but given this year’s temperatures, we might just see snow.

It is that time of the year again, when the shorts and sandals retreat into your closet and the scarves come out.  Here are some of the wardrobe staples to have in your closet this winter.

  1. Jeans and leggings

Jeans, especially skinny jeans are really versatile. Heading outdoors? Wear a pair of warm knobbly socks over black jeans and a finish with a pair of boots. Are the temperatures almost zero? Wear warm leggings under your jeans to keep you extra warm what with the insulation by trapping air between the two fabrics. #geek moment #physics in action

Borrow a leaf from Miranda Kerr who rocks jeans and thigh high boots below:


2.  Sweaters

These are great for keeping out the cold (duh), but most importantly, they come in a variety of sizes, colours, shapes and cuts as you can see below: You can dress these up or down, have them as the main focus of your outfit or even layer them underneath a warm coat.


3.  Coats

The coat is a key winter staple. It can streamline the silhouette, making you look longer and leaner, provided the cut is right for you. The coat works well on both girls and guys as below:

coats men coats

4.  Scarves

I left the best for last intentionally.  Dressing in the winter can be rather boring and monotonous, especially since most pen ople abandon all colour during this season. Scarves keep you warm and have the added benefit of spicing up your outfit. Look for thick scarves in all colours and patterns to be the perfect end to your winter wardrobe.


Finally, whenever you are in need of inspiration, look no further than Google. Pinterest will never fail you.


Around The World In 80 Days

Disclaimer: This title was borrowed from Jules Verne’s book by the same name

One thing I can say I have learnt at ALA is the art of appreciating other cultures, AKA, diversity. I have always wanted to travel the world and see how beautiful the sunsets in Australia are, see actual penguins at the Cape, attend a luau in Hawaii or cross the Sahara on a camel. (Can anyone say YOLO?)

Travelling is a wonderful option especially for those taking a gap year. Although ALA is a melting pot of cultures, somehow I think that having injera in Ethiopia would be a far cry from having injera in South Africa. But I digress.

However interesting the idea of travel sounds, it can be a challenge both financially and logistically.

So here are a few of my tips on planning an awesome trip, on a student budget.

1.       Do a budget

This will largely determine the nature of you trip. Need I say more?

2.       Plan, Plan, Plan

Think about accommodation, transport and other overhead costs. Backpackers are great places to stay, especially if you are visiting for a short period of time. Also, how easily can you move around the area? Do you need to pay for this? How safe is the area you are staying in? All these will ensure a hassle-free trip. Alternatively, you could just board a bus/train/plane with no luggage and no accommodation plans. Plan or no plan it all comes to the same thing no?

3.       Visa

Ah the almighty visa. The bane of my existence. If you do not hold the kind of passport that enables you to simply board a plane and be welcomed with open arms at your destination, you will need to obtain a visa. This can be difficult. Especially if your passport is green or powder blue.

One way around this is to visit countries near your own country or research countries that you can travel to without visas.

Or you could simply fall back on domestic tourism and in case of ALA students, go to Cape Town.

4.       Culture and norms

It is important to understand the people you will be interacting with. The parallels between cultures are fascinating. What may be commonplace to you may be completely unacceptable somewhere else. Google is your friend.

Finally, sit back relax and enjoy your journey to another little world within earth. Chronicle your travels. You never know what amazing things may come  out of it.

5 Ways To Love Winter

There are a few simple things you can do to keep warm in winter, which don’t involve cranking up the heater and worrying about the air drying up. Here are a few tips which should help stave off the cold.

1.  Layer up

Although you might think that big winter jumpers are the way to go, wearing layers of thin clothes will keep you warmer as they trap body heat.

2.  Eat well and drink warm

While having a hot tea or coffee may make you feel warmer, it’s more to do with the caffeine. That is because caffeine increases blood flow to the skin. You may feel warmer as a result, but your body is actually losing heat. Try sticking to decaffeinated or herbal hot drinks instead.

Eating regular meals will also help keep you warm. Healthy hearty foods such as soup and stews are great for warming you up. Try to include carbohydrates in your dishes too. Porridge and soup are great winter-warmers. We hope Sodexo takes note

3.  Get moving

Working out in the cold may be the last thing you feel like doing this winter but it has the opposite effect too. As well as giving you a rush of endorphins which boosts mood, exercise will get the blood pumping around your body and, vitally, heat up your skin.

4.  Stay Social

With chilly, longer nights in winter, you might feel like hibernating and staying in your room rather than catching up with friends, but research shows the later might help with the warm and fuzzies. Scientists from the University of Toronto discovered social exclusion makes you feel colder than if you were socialising and spending time with people, which warms you up.

Try to keep an active social life this winter to help keep the cold at bay and boost your mood.

5.  Snuggle up

Save on the school’s electricity bills this winter and get cosy with warm blankets instead. While sleeping, ensure you stay toasty by wearing pyjamas and bed socks to keep your feet from getting cold overnight.

Stay in one position and drift off.