Being broke on and off campus sucks! Unlike some of us who find it easier to ask our parents for cash when we're in their presence, a fifteen-mile gap can make all the difference in sending mom an SOS text asking for forty bucks and secretly hoping she sends that plus interest or sucking it up because college equals independence, right?
If you're like me, you've learned the subtle art of saving. I can't tell you how many times I've played "This or That", Groceries or bottomless mimosas? Clean clothes or dinner and a movie? Some things just take more precedence. Spending a "measly" twelve bucks on a movie may sound trivial but not when you've got only twenty dollars to your name until the end of the month, Issa big risk.
As a firm believer in self-care and balance, I too understand the importance of an outlet. There's nothing worse than studying weeks for a test, to then realize that you and all you're bottled up anxiety have to occupy the same space because you're broke af! There are a few things to do under ten bucks, student discounts always come in handy, but what if you've exhausted these options?
Here are 5 FREE fun things you can do this fall that'll ensure a good time and save you every itty bitty penny in the process!
1. Karaoke anyone?
Who doesn't love a good karaoke session? I mean, it's practically sound therapy! One minute you’re sitting in your room wondering what is life and the next, you're living your best life singing "I'm Every Woman", by Chaka Khan with a group of girlfriends. Karaoke has become so popular that even bars and clubs charge upward twenty bucks to attend themed karaoke nights, but why pay when you've got access to YouTube, your bestie has portable speakers and someone's brought a friend who's got a case of PBR. Sounds like the start to a great night!
2. Host a College Edition Chopped Competition
I can't be the only Generation Z'r who's turned on an episode of Chopped once or twice, maybe three times or more and thought this show is insane! Who knew something so tasty could come from a can of tuna, a can of soup, and strawberries? When it comes to food in college, the struggle is real. If not the pricey meal plans, scavenging for food is your next best option. Here's an idea— Gather a few friends together and make it a dinner challenge! Send out a list of things to bring, pick your chefs (preferably ones who know their way around a kitchen), put together secret baskets made from everyone's findings and let the competition begin. A cup of chicken ramen, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, and a turkey Lunchable sound like a challenge to me. For more inspiration, click here!
3. Did someone say bonfire?!
When I think fall, I think warm and toasty, super cozy, burning wood and fresh air. There's nothing better than the sound of fire crackling and the solitude of good company. If the area permits, a good ole fashion bonfire is just the thing you'll need. Grab that box of graham crackers your nana sent you in a care package, that Hershey bar you've been saving for a rainy day, tell a few friends to pull up with marshmallows and a match, and your roommate to invite that one guy you like who plays the guitar. Be sure to check with your local park or beach for fire safety rules and curfews.
4. Do something artsy!
There are plenty of free events going on and around campus: poetry slams, open mic nights, and art walks hosted by students and orgs alike. These events tend to be free and shockingly worthwhile. If your university lacks flare, host your own similar events! It often takes a simple okay from campus admin and a few talented poets, painters and, musicians who're looking to showcase their skills. For a more intimate setting, throw a paint party, art professors tend to be generous and loan art supplies.
5. When in doubt PARTY it out!
Sometimes you just want to socialize with loud music like everybody else. You've got a few options- If you're lucky to attend school in a remote city that's known for its nightlife, you're in a pretty good space to get in the club free before eleven or hit up the nearest house party around campus but if you're feeling extra confident, throw a house party of your own! If you've reached your second or third year, by now you're probably living off campus or have friends who do. The oldest trick in the book involves a mass text invite, a little social media buzz, and a firmly noted BYOE (bring your own everything). All you need is a habitable space and really good music! The great thing about college is that it's a breeding ground for artistically inclined millennials- Finding a DJ to spin for free is a piece of cake. Worst case scenario, only a few people show and it becomes a kickback. Best case scenario, word spreads fast and you've got enough people to charge a five dollar cover at the door. Turns out you just made a quick buck without laying a hand on your itty bitty piggy bank.
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Want to hear more from Dey?
Dey Stegall is a noted creative machine and writer covering everything from what to listen to, to what to do. When she’s not writing, she’s crashing concerts, developing content, and living her best life! Find her on Twitter or Instagram.
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