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How to Have Fun in College if You Don't Like Partying

Because a basement filled with sweaty people and loud music is not for everyone. If going out to parties or bars is not your thing, here's how to still have fun.

Tyler the Creator Edit with a yellow background and Tyler wearing GOLF hat.
Photo: Pinterest

When people bring up college, it's always the crazy partying that comes to mind. Doesn't matter what the source is–movies, books, even TV ads seem to want to convince you that the only way to take advantage of these four years is to go out every single night.

As an introverted college grad, I'm here to tell you that's not the case. However, before we dive into all the things you can do to make the most of college, I want to say you should at least go to a few parties. Believe me, I know firsthand the anxiety that kicks in a few hours before you're going out and then the one when you're in the actual house, bar, or club. But there were nights I decided to go out that were memorable, fun, and where I met a lot of people.

The secret is to go with people you feel comfortable with. But that's another article. For now, here are weekend plans for you and your friends that do not include frat parties:

Local Festivals, Fairs, and Concerts

Carnival or festival food stand selling cotton candy, caramel apples, and snow cones.
Photo: Unsplash

These are the best by far. Events, fairs, festivals and other happenings in your college town are just as fun as a bar. A tip to find these in advance is to check for seasonal or holiday-related events. If you're in New York City, there are plenty of these happening all year round.

If you're a foodie, you gotta go to Smorgasburg when it hits Queens or Brooklyn. If Halloween is your thing, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, and other scary stuff like haunted houses are just a train ride away. The ultimate event to go to are concerts. Not only for introverts, live concerts are the most fun part of a night out and they do not exhaust your social battery as much as a party would.

Weekend Road Trips

Two guy friends are standing in front of a mountain wearing hiking gear and smiling at the camera
Photo: Unsplash

Before you come at me, I know road trips are expensive, but I do believe that every year you should try to do at least one trip with your friend group. For the ultimate road trip (without breaking the bank) you need a person to drive, a friend who's willing to ask a relative for their vacation home, and lots of snacks and canned food from the dollar store.

When it comes to a destination, you can always stay within three hours of your college two to minimize the cost. Maybe there's a cheap Airbnb you can split between 6 of your friends in a quaint town or trendy city. Or a beach town where there are old houses lined up by the beach for handsome discounts during the off season. The good thing about road trips is that they can be planned well in advance to get the best rates. Besides, you can always invite friends of friends who could own a car or a house, or simply add to the whole trip vibe.

Movie Theaters & Post-Movie Bites

A movie theater filled with people watching a film.
Photo: Unsplash

Movie nights are a fun plan that everyone is always down for. I recommend movie theaters rather than doing at your dorm because you get the experience of going somewhere. Opt for discount Tuesdays or jump on an unlimited movie theater subscription to save money. Decide on a night where you've nothing going on and make it a weekly thing. A post-class movie theater is a perfect way to unwind from school stress midweek.

For this, we all need a cinephile friend. I'm not going to lie, that term sounds awful, but basically it's someone who's obsessed with movies. The reason you need this person is because they'll lead the post-movie conversation at Taco Bell, or McDonald's right after. Fast food or diners post-movies are a must.

Party Roller Skating or Bowling

Girl wearing roller skates and a shirt that says feel good on it is at a vintage roller skating rink.
Photo: Unsplash

Party bowling or roller skating consists on these typical activities but with a party feel to it. There are bowling alleys where you bowl in the dark with neon lights and Miley Cyrus playing on the background. Another fun alternative is a retro roller skating night. These are perfect activities if you hate parties but love music and dancing. No one's really watching you and you can dance the night away.


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