Taped to the bathroom doors in my dorm building are PSA's about drinking and alcohol. Right by the top is the statistic that 17 percent of undergraduates at our university choose not to drink. Wow, a whole entire 17 percent! What an encouraging fact to show students who don't want to drink that they are not alone! Sarcasm aside, information like this disturbed me as an incoming freshman who had no interest whatsoever (and still don't) in drinking, drugs, or the typical college party scene. If you feel the same way, that's perfectly okay. You don't have to risk your health or break the law to have a fun college experience and despite the statistics, you'll find plenty of friends who feel the same way.
Here are 11 of the many fun, safe, and legal ways to spend your free-time in college.
1. Have a movie night
Try taking a much needed break and watch your favorite movie or TV show. Pop some popcorn, grab a blanket, and finally get a chance to relax. What if you don't feel like staying in all night? Just call some friends and head to a movie theater nearby. Be sure to check with your university for discount tickets!
2. Go to Sporting Events
Nothing says school spirit like going to games and supporting your team. Colleges offer so many sports, but whether you love sports or not, attending a game is the perfect way to bond with friends and truly get the college experience.
3. Go shopping
Whether that's thrift shopping or window shopping (let's be honest, being a college student is synonymous with being broke), going to the mall or stores nearby can be a great way to hang out with friends.
4. Explore the city
Step off campus for a change and see what your city or town has to offer. It can be something as simple as a new coffeehouse or nice park. Your college might not be in the most vibrant town, but even if it feels like you're in the middle of nowhere, chances are high that you'll find something to explore nearby.
5. Go to the theater
If you ask me, there is truly nothing more fun than seeing a show. The best part is that you don't need to be in New York to do so! Many shows have national tours and some offer ticket lotteries, so even the most popular Broadway shows are not completely out of reach for college kids. Check theaters nearby to find productions that look interesting to you, and experience the magic of live theater.
College life busy, but it's important to stay healthy. Working out is a good way to relieve the stress of school. Whether you want to go to the gym to work out or just toss a ball around with friends, weekends give you plenty of time to get active.
7. Visit a Museum
They might not be open very late and aren't where most college students spend their weekend, but museums can be the perfect escape from campus. If there isn't one nearby or you want to support your peers, check out smaller exhibitions held by students at your college or community.
8. Go for a walk
Sometimes there's nothing better than getting some fresh air. Taking a walk alone is a nice opportunity to think and reflect after a long week. If it's late, though, be sure to stay safe by walking with friends in well-lit areas.
9. Attend a concert
If you love music and are looking for a good time, go to a concert nearby. Many colleges offer discount tickets, so be sure to see what is available. From sold-out pop concerts to more underground shows with local bands, surely there's something to match your taste.
10. Call friends and family
It can be hard to find time to call home with so many classes and extracurriculars. Your family misses you, though, and so do your friends back home. Spend an evening to call them and catch up. Talking with those you love is time well spent.
Last but most definitely not least, sleep. You don't need to be up until 3 am to make the most out your weekend, and you'll thank yourself the next day. College life can be crazy and stressful. Remember to take care of yourself; it's the first step in making the college experience a success.