It didn't take me a long time in college to realize that partying was not my cup of tea. When I was a freshman, I went to a few parties, and maybe one or two more after that. I didn't like fraternity parties, house parties, or any party.
I was a homebody, and I continue to be a homebody to this day. If you also don't like partying, that's okay! There are so many things to do in college that don't require you to get dressed up or submit yourself to be grinded on by strangers in a dark room for hours. Today on the blog I am sharing 31 things to do in college besides partying!
1. Go To The Movies
The movies were my jam in college! I went to the movies so much at one point that the Cinemark $5 drink and popcorn bucket seemed like a worthy investment for me. I've done double features, I have done late night 12 AM movies releases, and I have matinee'd with the best of them! Movies are always a great idea, especially if you can find a movie theater with pretty cheap tickets. If you want inexpensive tickets, you should probably stay away from big movie theater chains.
2. Try A New Restaurant
Ya girl loves to eat! One of my favorite things to do when I was in college was to try out all the fun local restaurants in my area. There was a fun local restaurant that only served lunch that I liked to go to, a restaurant with the best cheese dip in the world that sometimes I just got cheese dip from, and my go-to Chinese restaurants that delivered–of course. Don't get stuck in your ways; your town has SO MUCH to offer you. Check out those new restaurants, eat at random food carts, and just branch out of your food comfort zone!
3. Hang Out At The Library
I know, I know, that may seem boring af, but if you have a group of friends even a library hang out can be fun. Get together a few classmates, get a study room, and hang in the library for a bit. Obviously, you should be working on school work, quizzing each other, and studying–but make a thing of it! Get some pizza and drinks (if your library allows this) and make it a study night.
4. Cheer On A Sports Team On Campus
More than likely your college has a ton of sports happening, and it's not just basketball and football. Check your college's sports website and see what other teams they have. I liked the few volleyball games I got to catch as it was such a fast-paced sport.
Not only are there college level sports teams that you can watch, but there are also intramural level sports teams. A lot of dorms, greeks, and others get together to form intramural teams throughout the year. If you are short on college sports, you could always join or watch those types of events.
5. Check Out What Your Campus Theater Group Is Up To
Campus theater groups are fantastic. You probably won't be seeing a version of Hamilton anytime soon, but there are tons of other plays that are pretty cool. My first introduction to my alma mater's campus theater group was when I saw a production of Mr. Marmalade. It was such a fun night for my roommate and me, and it didn't cost us a single penny!
6. Go To A Concert
Concerts are my jam! See if your college has any musicians coming to town (even if they are small.) If they don't have any shows on campus, look to the surrounding city, or cities nearby your college town. I lived in Conway, AR for college and it was quite close to Little Rock, AR so I saw a concert or two there.
Concerts don't always have to be performed by prominent musicians. A show from the local orchestra can be fun as well.
7. Do A Crafting Project
I am a huge fan of crafting to pass some time and have some fun. Invite some besties over to make a Michaels or Hobby Lobby run and get to painting. If I had a bit of money, I also liked going to my town's local paint bar for a fun time with friends. It was fun to get to hang out, shop a little, and paint a cute picture. Paint bars can be kind of expensive, but it's a great experience if you don't feel like buying a million craft supplies you will never use again.
8. Cook With Your Friends Or Roommates
Cooking can be such a great bonding experience. Find a good recipe online, buy the ingredients, and invite your friends over to cook and eat a meal. Everyone can pitch in, have a good time, and eat great food.
9. Play All The Board Games
I love love love board games. I grew up in a family of board game lovers, and I get a new board game for Christmas every year. I'm going to link some of my favorites. Pick a fun game and play it with your friends and roommates.
10. Get Your Nails Done
Sometimes you just need a total treat yourself day. Go to the local nail shop and get a cute set of acrylics or even just some polish on your regular nails. Don't forget to get yourself a sparkly accent nail, for the ‘Gram, of course.
Related Reading: 10 Beautiful Nail Colors That Are Perfect For Cool Weather
11. Go Shopping At The Mall
I L-O-V-E going shopping. Sometimes I just go to window shop, but sometimes I go to spend some money. If you have one nearby, an outlet mall is even better (I can do some damage at an Old Navy Outlet.) Shop the clearance rack of any store to stretch your budget so you can spend a longer time at the mall.
Related Reading: 18 Places To Get Amazing Plus Size Clothes
12. Go Swimming
Some of my favorite college nights happened in the inside of a swimming pool. I am not a huge swimmer, but I like to float around and just be inside the water, especially on a hot southern summer day. If you have a swimming pool at your apartment complex (which a lot do) or you have a swimming pool on campus, spend some time there!
13. Get A Massage
I know, I know, a massage sounds expensive AF, but it doesn't have to be. Groupon is a GREAT place to go to for saving big time on experiences like massages. So, if you want to take an afternoon to treat yourself to a massage, check out Groupon to see what deals and steals they have for your college town.
14. Work Out At The Gym
Workouts can be a fun way to spend your evening, especially if you attend a workout class like Zumba! Your campus gym has SO many resources that will help you be a healthy person, and waste some time in the process!
15. Volunteer With A Local Charity
Your local college community needs you! Chances are there are plenty of charities that are local to your college town that need some volunteers to help out. You can give as much or as little time as you would like to these local charities. Spend some time with them, and you will be amazed at how great you feel afterward!
Related Reading: The Happy Guide To Making Your Donations Go Further
16. Drive Around Town With Nowhere To Go
One of my favorite things to do in college was taking small road trips around town and to neighboring cities. My friends and I didn't always have a particular place to go, but it was fun to sit in the car, talk, and listen to our favorite songs. Obviously, you want to be careful about gas if you decide to do this, but it's a fun way to spend some time together in a small group setting.
17. Hike Your Nearest Mountain
I also liked to take some trips to a nearby town to my school where Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas was. We'd walk around, sometimes we'd go to some of the easy trails, and sometimes we'd go to the medium ones. You don't have to hike at a mountain necessarily. Sometimes, you can just drive your car to the top. It just depends on what you want to do. Either way, the views at the top of a mountain are freaking beautiful!
18. Netflix Until It Asks “Are You Still Watching?”
I am all for a good Netflix binge session. Lately, I have been obsessing over Mindhunter, Chris Rock's latest special (I am a comedy fiend), and Dirty Money (if you like documentaries.) I am thinking of watching Black Mirror finally. Everyone loves it, but I just couldn't make it past the first episode. I know it's supposed to get better and better after that though and I am tired of being the only one who hasn't seen the series.
Related Reading: 10 Shows To Binge Watch This Summer
19. Fro-Yo Or Ice Cream Until You Just Can't Anymore
If your college town is like mine was, there are plenty of places to get some tasty fro-yo. Ice cream shops are acceptable too, in my opinion, maybe even better than getting fro-yo honestly. Get some ice cream and/or frozen yogurt and thank me later.
20. Play Video Games With Friends
I never played a ton of video games (with friends at least), but it's always nice to chill with friends and have some friendly competition. Or you could both play The Sims 4 in the same room, either one works.
21. Join A Bible Study Group
If you are deeply religious (or even somewhat religious), you can always join a bible study or church group. Universities likely have a lot to join, and you can check out as many as you want until you find one that resonates with you. Bible study groups are great, especially if you can find a small group because you truly get to know a group of people and that relationship extends outside the study group. You may even be able to make some lifelong friends and meet people you wouldn't have met otherwise.
22. Get A Part-Time Job
If you want to take up some time and make some extra money in the process, a part-time job is great to have in college! Obviously, this can be a disaster if you end up taking a lot of your free-time away, but if you find the right job, this can be a great way to waste some time while getting work experience in college. You will also likely meet some interesting people at work, and maybe even a good friend or two!
23. Get Your Adult Coloring On
When I am stressed out, I like to color in a coloring book. There are many excellent adult coloring books out there that you can easily purchase along with some color pencils. These two items make for some very fun weeknights or weekends.
24. Plan In Your Favorite Planner
Y'all know I am a huge fan of my Erin Condren planner. I have worked with them in the past on a few social media posts and a blog post, and I can't get enough of my planner. If you get really into planning it can become a super intense thing. A lot of people buy tons of sticker packs for their planner and get invested in decorating it beautifully. A well planned and styled planner can make all the difference in your week.
25. Clean Your Room
Your room likely needs a bit of a deep clean. If you are up to it, take some time to clean everything up and get rid of some clutter. Your room (and roommate, if you have one) will thank you for this one.
26. Read A Good Book/Listen To An Audiobook
Sometimes I can just get carried away with a good book. I am trying to read 24 books this year (I've read three so far) so this is one of my favorite activities when I have some downtime. I need to make a post soon with some of my audiobook suggestions!
27. Start A Blog Or YouTube Channel
No joke, I started this blog from my dorm room! When I was a freshman in college, someone did something annoying in the communal kitchen that I wanted to complain about, so I wrote a post on Tumblr. My blog has changed a lot since then (the name, where it's hosted, the quality of my posts, etc.) but it still started from my dorm. Starting a blog can have a ginormous impact on the trajectory of your life (and so can starting a YouTube channel) so take the leap and get creating. Also, send me an email if you need any encouragement via my contact page.
28. Study For Your Classes
Yep, one of the easiest things you can do besides partying in college is studying. Who would have thought? Now, I am not an advocate of studying 24/7, but if you are bored, crack open a book for one of your classes!
29. Create An Etsy or E-Commerce Shop
So many genius ideas are started in college! Specifically, many business ideas are started, and yours could be the next big hit. You can go the easy route and start on Etsy first, or you can make your own shop on a place like Shopify. I would suggest starting with Etsy, though, because it's simple to get started with, and there are fewer upfront costs to it.
30. Go To A Bookstore Or Library
I love getting my books from Amazon, but sometimes I just like to feel, touch, and read the covers of books first. I find that I am a lot less picky when I go to bookstores. Sometimes the books I get are flops, but sometimes I can find some gems I wouldn't have picked up on Amazon because I was able to flip through the book more in person
31. Call Your Friends & Family Back Home
Let's get straight to it. Your mom, dad, siblings, and friends miss you a lot. You should probably call them right now.
And hours later, we have finally finished listing all 31 things you can do in college besides party. I hope this list is helpful for you when you are bored, and you don't know what to do. Explore your college town, get stuff done, or even stay in and read a book. You don't have to be grinded on to have a good time in college, trust me!