Yes, there are ways to have a blast in college without being a part of the bar scene.
I know, I know – college and bars seem to go hand in hand. But trust me, there’s a whole world out there that doesn’t involve sticky floors, deafening music, and nasty hangovers.
So, let’s dive in and explore how you can enjoy your college years without bar FOMO! You can enjoy your college experience even if you’re not a fan of the bar scene.
1. Embrace the Great Outdoors
First off, Embrace the Great Outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to attend college in a town with plenty of natural beauty, take advantage of it!
Go hiking, camping, or just take a leisurely stroll through a park. Nature has a way of soothing the soul. Spending time outdoors can help you feel more connected with friends, away from the distractions of screens and social media.
2. Host Themed Nights
Next up, host themed nights. Why not invite your friends over for a movie marathon or a game night? You could even make it a weekly event, with rotating themes like “Bad TV Show Night” or “Retro Game Night.”
These gatherings are a fantastic way to bond with your friends, without the pressure (and cost) of a night out on the town.
3. Explore Your City’s Cultural Scene
No matter where your college is located, there’s bound to be a wealth of cultural activities to enjoy. Museums, art galleries, theaters, and live music venues often host events that cater to a wide range of interests.
Keep an eye out for free or discounted events for students, and make a point of trying something new – you might just discover a passion you never knew you had.
4. Channel Your Inner Athlete
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, attending college games boosts school spirit. You might make new friends who share your love for sports.
And if you’re more of a doer than a watcher, consider joining an intramural sports team or taking up a new hobby like yoga, rock climbing, or dance.
5. Seek Out Alternative Nightlife
If you crave an exciting night out but want to skip typical college bars, try more relaxed venues. Look for trivia nights or open mic events at bars and restaurants, offering laid-back atmospheres.
Alternatively, find a chill bar for conversations without shouting over music.
6. Don’t forget to get involved on campus
Colleges and universities are teeming with clubs and organizations catering to a wide range of interests. From student government to community service, there’s something for everyone.
Joining a club or organization is a fantastic way to make new friends and create lasting memories, while also building your resume.
7. Try Adopting a DIY Mentality
Sometimes, the most memorable and meaningful experiences are the ones you create yourself. Have you ever thought about learning to prune street trees, removing graffiti with a borrowed pressure washer, or volunteering at a local shelter on the weekends?
These unconventional activities can make a lasting impact on your community and provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
8. You can Learn from the Masters
If you’re a bookworm, film buff, or music enthusiast, consider dedicating some time to studying the works of your favorite authors, directors, or musicians. Organize a book club, film discussion group, or album listening party, and share your insights and opinions with your friends.
Intellectual pursuits can be incredibly rewarding, and who knows – you might just inspire someone else to discover a new favorite artist or author.
9. Connecting with the Elderly
Befriending an elderly townie might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of college fun, but hear me out. These wise souls have a wealth of life experience and stories to share, and they’d probably love to have a young, fresh perspective in their lives.
Spend an afternoon chatting over a cup of tea, and you might be surprised at the lessons you learn and the connections you make.
10. Pre-Game at Home
If you occasionally enjoy going to bars but don’t want to spend a fortune or get too caught up in the chaos, consider pre-gaming at home with friends.
By having a few drinks and enjoying some good conversation before you head out, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also feel more at ease once you arrive at the bar. And who knows, you might even make some new friends in the process!
11. Make Friends Before Hitting the Bars
If the idea of going to a bar alone makes you uncomfortable, try making friends with others who frequent the same spots. Start by striking up conversations at school or in other social settings, and then suggest meeting up at a bar for a casual get-together. This way, you’ll have a built-in group of friends to hang out with, making the bar scene less intimidating and more enjoyable.
What do you think?
There’s no shortage of ways to have fun in college without relying on the bar scene. What are your favorite alternatives to the bar scene? Have you tried any of the ideas mentioned above, or do you have a unique suggestion of your own?
Drop a comment below and let’s get a conversation going. After all, we’re all in this college adventure together, so let’s help each other make the most of it, one unforgettable, non-bar-related memory at a time!