College is fraught with opportunities to have a great time and to experience new things. Between frat parties, college bars and late-night dorm shindigs, it can also get pretty overwhelming and been-there, done-that after a while. If you look closely enough, you will find a plethora of amazing things to do that also don’t cost very much. Here are five ideas to get you started.
1) One of my favorite college memories was a bike trip I took with a friend to the river in downtown Tennessee. Looking for something different and “adventurous” to do, we decided to forego the typical college happenings and make our way past the bars we used to frequent in search of more “local” digs. Right on the river, we discovered a whole row of dive bars playing live music and musicians right outside. It was a super fun night, and I don’t even think we drank the whole time! Venturing outside the local scene is just one way to open your eyes to something new. Taking our bikes instead of a cab gave us a whole new perspective on the city that we had already spent two years of our lives in yet did not seem to know super well. Search the web for interesting performances being held, visit a museum or discover the outskirts of the town.
2) Check out what your school has to offer! I can’t tell you how many amazing speakers, musicians and artists came to our school. You’d be hard-pressed to find that repertoire of performers in any other place and for either free or little cost. Take advantage of these when you see them or look through your school paper or online calendar for what’s happening on campus.
3) Join a club or organization that interests you and has cool events. If you’re in to camping, join a wilderness or environmental club. If you’re into culture, join an Asian, African or other cultural organization – no need to be from that culture, just have an interest! Often times, these types of organizations put on great campus celebrations that include shows. You might find yourself a part of these performances which can expand your experiences greatly and maybe help you tap into a talent you never knew you had. If you don’t find one you are interested in, start one! Visit your school’s student life department, gather some friends, and recruit people with whom you can share our interest.
4) Join an intramural sports team. I was never great at tennis, but I sure wished I hadn’t let that stop me from joining an intramural team! Sports are a great way to make new friends, get in that much-needed college exercise and do something different. Intramural sports are more social by nature, so you will have plenty of unique opportunities to hang out in addition to competing.