Meeting people and making friends can seem intimidating, especially when you’re not into the campus parties. If you don’t like the ‘scene,’ the weekends can feel lonely with few things to do besides sitting around bingeing on the same show on Netflix you’ve watched eighty-seven times. But just because you’re not a big partier doesn’t mean you’re doomed to boring weekends trapped in your dorm room! In fact, there are tons of alternatives to partying in college. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Speak Your Truth and Make New Friends
There is this expectation that all college students are supposed to want this kind of life where you’re out till four in the morning doing potentially dangerous and/or illegal activities. It’s okay not to want this. Whether you’re just not that type of person or you have deeper concerns and needs, it’s best to be honest with others so you’re not put into a position where it’s awkward or gets you in trouble.
The straight-up method is best. I don’t really like frat parties sounds way better than making tentative plans and then bailing on a friend. If you get asked why you don’t like parties, just be honest about where your boundaries are. A person who’s a good friend will understand and may even be willing to make alternative plans with you.
Participate in Campus-Sponsored Activities
What’s awesome about living on-campus is that there are always a ton of events and activities happening on weekends! And the best part of it is — most of it is free and done by midnight! You’ll even meet like-minded people with the same priorities, which can be super helpful for the future.
If your campus is lacking, talk to Student Life about a weekend series of events. Offer to host a few or throw out some suggestions. This may include an outdoor movie, tickets to see home basketball games, or trivia nights in the cafeteria.
Plan a Classier Affair
Who doesn’t love a good party (without all the extras)? If you want to have your own type of party that’s more your own pace, try going with the classy type where everyone dresses up and eats something delicious. You can host one in your dorm or you can take it out to a nice restaurant to celebrate surviving midterms.
You can even make it fun with mocktails to dress up your dinner. There are tons of great ideas on Pinterest to go with your theme. Or, if you’re out to eat, stick to water so you can spend your money on the best meal possible.
Go Outside Campus
If money is tight, you can also explore outside of campus with a friend or two without breaking your tight budget. Hit up a new, late-night movie at the theater, spend the weekend camping, or enjoy a concert. No pressure at any of these activities to party all night!
If you love dancing and aren’t afraid of spending time on the dancefloor, don’t be afraid to visit an 18+ club or bar. Order a soft drink and be confident in your choice. Don’t let anyone question you for it, either. If you’re confident, it’s unlikely anyone will pressure you to do something you don’t want to do — and if they do, they won’t be having your kind of fun, anyway. And remember: not doing the ‘norm’ should be not mean you avoid doing what you love with the people you care for!