At this point in the year, we’re all getting a bit stir-crazy. It’s cold outside, we can’t gather in large groups, classes are back in session, and it just feels like there’s nothing to do. We’re stuck in a strange limbo, with the end of the pandemic in sight but still so far out of reach, and everyone is getting sick of simply waiting for things to get better. I, for one, am tired of waiting; I want to enjoy the present, and luckily all that takes is a little creativity. I’ve gathered a list of some cheap, safe, non-virtual (because let’s face it, we’re also sick of Zoom) activities that will hopefully save you and your bubble from yet another boring night of watching Netflix in your dorm.
Where there’s a hill, there’s a way! Sleds are usually pretty cheap to buy, but you could also substitute a lunch tray or the lid of a bin and still pick up quite a bit of speed.
Sometimes it seems hard to play a game when you can only hang out with two to three other people, but there are actually a lot of good small-group games out there. Look up some new card games (Idiot and Nertz are personal favorites), or invest in a new game you’ve always wanted to try. Story games like Gloom work really well for two or three players and you can play for hours on end.
Two classic winter activities that are often overlooked, skiing and tubing are cheaper than you would expect, and a great way to get off campus without putting yourself in danger by spending time indoors. Outdoor ice skating is another great option!
Picking up a new hobby is always easier when you have people to do it with you. Find a cute Pinterest DIY, or try your hand at a new skill like painting or crocheting.
Visiting local shops/antique stores
Small businesses are still struggling, so shopping small is a great way to help out the community and fill your time. Obviously, keep an eye on the Covid numbers in your area, and avoid crowded indoor spaces. We always make a point to double-mask and carry hand sanitizer for extra security. Otherwise, simply window shopping can be a great way to pass time!
Exploring buildings on campus
Even if you’re a senior, it’s likely that there are still some buildings you haven’t spent much time in. Bring your friends to your favorite hiding spots or try to find some new ones! There’s always something interesting in a college building.
We’ve been living in sweatpants and t-shirts for almost a whole year; stop looking for a reason to dress nice, and just do it! Do each other’s hair and makeup, try on new outfits, and just have fun with it.
Go for a walk
Walking is a great way to spend time with people who aren’t necessarily in your bubble. Find a forest preserve or neat walking path to explore or simply wander campus at night for a change of scenery (just stay safe!).
Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination. If you have nowhere to go, just put on some good music and go for a drive around town. It’s weirdly cathartic, and you might get some interesting conversations out of it.
If you have a kitchen, plan a fancy or difficult meal that you can all work on together. If you live in a dorm, there are plenty of no-cook, dorm-friendly recipes you could try. Our favorites are ice cream casserole and easy sour cream chip dip.