We live under the general cliché of "the poor college student:" up to our eyebrows in debt and eating Ramen noodles every night. While this poverty is a bit of an exaggeration, it still behooves students to save as much money as possible. With the help of three college students, I compiled a list of free activities to look for while in college.
1. Start with your dorm.
Living in a dorm is an easy way to locate free activities. Dorm boards or resident hall advisors (R.A's) hold free events to help students meet.
Though Ohio University student Charlotte Thyne now lives off campus, she remembers the events her hall counsel put on.
"The dorms put on events occasionally. We had movie nights, free tie-dying days and root beer pong tournaments."
Northern Kentucky University student Christine Menchen also recalls attending a few dorm events.
"We got to join intramural sports and had movie nights and ice cream socials. Also, sand volleyball was a big thing that all the dorms would do," Menchen said.
Not only are the majority of dorm events free, but they are also great ways to make memories and bond with your fellow dorm mates. This happened to Mason Baumgartner of Boyce College.
"There was a late-night game of capture the flag we did with our sister hall on campus. It was great," recalled Baumgartner.
2. Look around campus.
You do not have to live on campus to find something free to do. Campuses also hold free events for all students. Check out the free sporting events offered on your campus.
"Basketball, football and volleyball games are free at OU," commented Thyne.
Sporting events not free? Try the student union.
"They put on events like mini circuses at the student center," said Thyne.
"There are concerts and art shows at NKU. At the beginning of the year we hold a lot of fun activities like dueling pianists, and hypnotists," said Menchen.
Baumgartner suggested trying to find free activities in your campus recreation center.
At Boyce "the recreation center provides a variety of activities, such as a game room with a Wii and a carpet ball table, a pool with a hot tub, a basketball court, an open gym and a racquetball area," said Baumgartner.
In addition to events at the student center, look for unique opportunities offered by your campus.
"Each student gets a scholarship for a free conference on campus. There are normally around three or four conferences a semester," said Baumgartner.
Watch for emails or advertisements around campus to find these free events.
3. Explore your college town.
If you want to get away from campus for some fun, explore your community for some free events. Festivals seem to be common among college communities.
"We can go to the farmer's market or jazz clubs and various concerts and festivals," said Menchen of NKU.
You can also join in on some races or food-related events.
"We recently had Derby Week here in Louisville. It started with Thunder over Louisville, a large fireworks display, and ended a week later with the derby races. The rest of the week was crammed full of city-wide events like marathons and food wagon gatherings," contributed Baumgartner.
Thyne said Athens sometimes has "free bowling nights for students."
Pay attention to your college town; I guarantee something free will be happening.
4. Get Creative.
Though it may take some research on your part, there is always something free to do.
Did you know you can check out movies from your local library? All it takes is a free library card!
Have you checked your apartment complex? Like the dorms, some complexes offer free events to residents -- my own complex recently had a free wine tasting.
Whether you go out on the town or stay in with some free movies, you'll be saving money and having fun simultaneously.