So, you’re done with classes for the week and have spent the entire day studying for European History. It’s Saturday and you need something to do. The only problem is that you only have a few bucks in your wallet, since you have to pay your student loan bill on Monday. Take a look at these ideas for inexpensive, yet fun stuff to do:
1) Get some friends together for cards or board games. Show off your chess skills. Learn the in-depth strategies of Monopoly. Play poker for quarters. Or even watch the “Game Show Network”!
2) Check out local museums and attractions. Many of these provide college students with discounts or free admission. Take in some culture by yourself or with a friend.
3) Local concerts and sporting events. If you can make it to a local bar or venue, you can hear some great music at a fraction of a Rolling Stone ticket. Or even see if any tickets are available for your local sports team (the worse they are, the cheaper the ticket!) Additionally, you can try for a comedy show, improv troupe, or on-campus theatre.
4) Take a walk around town. Soak in the local sights and culture. You may discover a small shop or little-known attraction that you’re just seeing for the first time.
5) Spend the night star-gazing. On a clear night, this can keep you quite busy. Bring a book of astronomy so you can pick out all the constellations. Or just see which cartoon characters you can make out.
6) Go to the library. No, not to study. Maybe find a good book in the fiction section. Or check out the array of DVD (or VHS) rentals. Enjoy Borat by yourself or with a group of friends without unloading any cash.
7) Swap old books or magazines with friends. Grisham for Grafton. Cosmo for Self. The list is endless.
8) Go to the mall (without your wallet). Window shop for the holiday season or a friend’s birthday.
9) Lift weights or go for a run. Many colleges have an extensive array of cardio and weight lifting equipment.
10) Go bowling or roller skating. No, they’re not just for kids!
11) Invite some musical friends over (guitarists or singers) for an impromptu dorm performance. Offer some Moonwalking lessons in exchange for power chord tips!
As exciting as it is to figure out how you are going to pay for your college education, you might as well have some fun while you’re there. And doing so without spending serious cash makes it that much more enjoyable. Particularly, if you have friends in a similar financial situation. So go through the above list, enjoy yourself, and come up with some of your own ideas!
Christopher S. Penn is the producer and creator of the Financial Aid Podcast, a daily free Internet radio show about making college affordable, as well as Chief Technology Officer of the Student Loan Network This organization offers private student loans and Parent PLUS Loans for college students, both undergraduate and graduate. His work has been featured in several books, newspapers, and conferences.