5 Best Dorm Dates

One of the main things that I’ve learned over my time in Ithaca is that it rains a lot. And even though we were all told this by our tour guides and our high school counselors, you don’t really realize how much precipitation truly comes from the Ithaca skies until it’s falling on your head.

Now, as Cornellians we have certainly learned how to power through this- who hasn’t walked through snow blowing sideways in your face to get to Collegetown? But sometimes all you want to do when the freezing rain is blowing at twenty miles an hour outside is curl up in your dorm room without leaving for days. In the interest of avoiding a monotonous night of watching Glee reruns on Hulu, however, I present to you: The Top 5 Best Dorm Dates!

1. Make a Fort 
What child didn’t love taking all of their sheets and pillows and making a private fort to play in? I don’t know about you, but my parents always made me disassemble this sort of thing before I got a chance to do anything super exciting. But as you may have noticed, being in college gives you the freedom to make exciting, adult decisions- like propping your mattress against the wall and hanging your sheets from the ceiling. Besides, there’s nothing like reverting to childhood to make you laugh, and a date with lots of laughter is, in my humble opinion, the best sort of date. So grab your spare sheets and get to work. And when you’re done, the greatest thing about having a private fort to play in is, ahem, having a private fort to ‘play’ in. Wink wink nudge nudge.

2. A Night of Total Blackout
No, I don’t mean the sort of total blackout where you wake up on a strange porch the next morning. (Actually blacking out isn’t the classiest collegiette™ move on dates.) I’m talking every single source of light completely extinguished sort of blackout. This trend in restaurants started in Zurich in the 90’s, and has begun to catch on in the rest of the world. So recreate it in your dorm room! Turn off all the lights, stuff towels in the cracks in your door and, if necessary, blindfold each other. Set up an easy to eat meal ahead of time and then shut all the lights off. This will heighten your other senses and add a sense of excitement to the evening. (Just please, try not to hurt yourselves.)

3. Host a Private Beach Party
Like I said before, Ithaca’s weather is pretty terrible. So what better way to remember that brighter weather is to come than by throwing a beach party for you and that special someone? Throw on a bathing suit and a cute cover-up, pop in a fun beach-themed movie (I personally recommend ‘Finding Nemo’), spread a beach towel on your bed and sip smoothies while you fantasize about what the sun looks like. It’s a simple date, but has just enough uniqueness and whimsy to make it a fun change from the average movie night. Besides, who doesn’t love smoothies? Or, you know, bathing suits.

4. Have a Game Night
This is a fun night in for either a pair or a larger group. Games bring out the competitive side in all of us, and there’s nothing better than having your adrenaline pumping over an exciting game of Scrabble with your significant other cheering you along. One of the greatest things about games is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re more into words (Scrabble), strategy (Risk), or bluffing your way to the top (mafia or poker) you’re practically guaranteed to have a game that you enjoy. Check out www.bicyclecards.com for a list of card games and rules if you want to try something new.

5. Make Like a Restaurant
This date takes a little more planning, but is definitely worth it in the end. It’s too cold/expensive/wet to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner- so bring the restaurant to you! Either cook ahead of time or have your date help cook, then sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Even if your dorm kitchen is tiny, that’s no excuse for not cooking SOMETHING- there are tons of great websites out there with recipes designed to be cooked in a dorm kitchen. You can even dress up for this date, if you’re feeling adventurous- and depending on how willing your roommate is (or how many cookies from your next care package you promise her) you can even get her to play waitress for you.

So the next time the weather is terrible, don’t despair. A little creativity in a dorm room can go a long way!


Amanda is a senior at Cornell University, where she studies Communication and Theatre. She just got back from a semester in London, where she studied theatre to her heart's content and was able to eat all sorts of wonderful food (her other major love- besides writing, of course!) Guilty pleasures include watching the Bachelorette alone on the couch. Regular pleasures include Her Campus, theatre, reading and obsessing over food blogs, and geeking out (see: Harry Potter.)