You know you’re reaching the end of the semester when the word “finals” makes you shudder and you’re ingesting enough caffeine to keep a family of four awake for a week. It’s a stressful time for collegiettes, and to make matters worse, nearly everything we like to do to alleviate that stress costs money (we’re looking at you, Plum Dandy... and you, Piper). To help you avoid the added anxiety of breaking the bank, we’ve compiled a list of low-budget (or even—gasp—free) ways to indulge, take a deep breath, and hammer out those pesky term papers.
1. Manicures with Friends
We love manicures for two reasons and two reasons only: they look pretty and they feel good (who doesn’t want a hand massage?). We don’t love them for their prices, and especially not for their added tips. Save some bucks: sit in with friends, pass around the nail polish, and talk about anything other than your upcoming chem final. For some new design ideas, check out Her Campus Skidmore’s favorite DIY nail trends:
2. DIY Facial
Want to pamper yourself but also need some serious “me” time? A manicure party may not be the best scene for you, but a self-spa treatment should be the perfect fix. Find some space, take a breath, and munch on a few cucumbers while you’re at it. Here are our favorite low-budget, DIY facials.
3. Visit the Animal Shelter
There’s nothing like goofing around with a little, furry friend to brighten up your day. For those missing a pet at home or eager to find one of their own, there’s no place better than the Saratoga County Animal Shelter. Call to make a free appointment when you’re feeling down—you won’t be able to resist smiling. After all, who can say no to that face?
4. Watch ‘90s Cartoons
We all love a good movie night—popcorn, Slushies, cookie dough bites, the whole bit. But when the Regal at Wilton just isn’t doing it for you (or you’re fed up with paying $4.00 for a bottle of water), nothing beats sitting in and watching old cartoons on Netflix. Only $7.99 per month, the Netflix Instant Play subscription actually costs less than a single show at the local theater, and allows you to procrastinate for as long as your stressed-out heart desires. We highly suggest revisiting some old ‘toons (SpongeBob, Rugrats, Hey Arnold—the classics) to feel like a kid all over again.
5. Visit Saratoga Spa State Park
The best part about going to a non-city school? Nature is free! Wander around the springs, ride your bike, snap some photos of friends, or just lie out on the grass. We all need a little reminder of the greatness of Saratoga—and sunshine—when we’re locked inside library study carrels 24/7, and the fresh air will help you clear your head.
6. Bike or walk through North Woods
Too swamped with work to make it off campus to the park? Luckily for us busy collegiettes, Skidmore comes complete with its very own wilderness! Attempt to make it past Stonerhenge to get the full effect (or don’t, depending on how you like to relax). Your body will thank you for the exercise and your wallet will thank you for the rest.
7. Atrium’s single-serve cookie dough cups
We don’t even have to explain this one.
8. Play board games at Virgil’s Café
These days it feels like we’re all glued to our gadgets: our laptops to write our essays and our phones to avoid said essays. Virgil’s Café’s strict no-electronics policy will help you cut the cord for an hour or two (or even just for ten minutes, for you electro-addict collegiettes). Out of sight, out of mind—bring a book, play a board game... before you know it you’ll be in digital detox and feeling free.
It’s been a long week. Okay, so it might only be Tuesday afternoon... but it feels like forever ago that we were getting our drink and our flirt on. With all the work, we want nothing better than to kick up our heels; the last thing we need is to stress over dollars and cents. Take a chill day, a chill hour, a chill minute—whatever it takes!—and treat yourself to one of these collegiette budget-approved stress relievers.