It’s sometimes shocking to learn how infrequently some college students get off campus. Once classes begin, many students find themselves hitting the town much less than they would have expected in high school. It is all too normal for weeks or even months to go by without the thought of leaving campus crossing a student’s mind.
This is very unfortunate. Many colleges are located in cities with a nearly unlimited supply of potential activities. Those located more rurally may have fewer amenities, but often still provide hiking, camping and a wealth of other outdoor adventures to plan into a free weekend.
When you arrive at college, make sure you look beyond campus for fun opportunities! Here are three ideas to get you thinking.
1. Visit Downtown Restaurants
There are few better ways of bringing a group of college friends together than food. Plan a trip downtown on a weeknight to give your friends an opportunity to relax and forget about classes for a while.
Taking a trip to an off campus restaurant is more memorable than an on-campus location. For starters, most of your friends will have already visited these close-to-dorm restaurants, meaning that a trip here won’t represent a new experience.
Bringing your friends to a restaurant further away from campus ensures that almost nobody will have visited the location. Because of this, the night will be more memorable and unique. To increase the uniqueness of this experience further, bring your friends to an ethnic restaurant serving food nobody is used to.
2. Use Friday Evenings Well
In college, most everyone has plans Friday night. Friday evenings, however, (between the hours of 5:00PM and 9:00PM) are usually empty on most everyone’s schedule. Taking advantage of this opening, you have a perfect opportunity to bring your friends on an evening excursion.
Comedy shows can be a great option. Your friends will thank you for the hilarious evening, and most are finished before 10:00PM. Seeing a new movie is another option! There is a wealth of activities available to your and your friends on Friday before the regular nighttime party scene kicks off.
3. Take Advantage of Public Events
Sports games and festivals are two of the most exciting ways to bring friends together off campus.
Sports games are always an option if you are located in a big city. They’re adrenaline rushed and a great way to let off steam after (sometimes during!) a busy week. Remember that your college team’s home games aren’t the only ones out there. You can rep your city as well!
Festivals are a relaxing way to spend a few hours or even an entire day. Usually located in a large park or one of the main blocks in your city (or maybe a little down the highway if your college is rural), festivals can show you a personality of your community you never knew existed!