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“I’m Not Drinking Tonight”

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

There are hundreds of reasons one might not drink, especially as a young college student. Even though I’m now 21, drinking isn’t my favorite thing to do on the weekends. My friends and I have found plenty of ways to enjoy Boston’s nightlife that don’t involve drinking, which can often seem like an impossible task.

Here are some ways to enjoy your night in the city without alcohol!

Go see a movie

Boston is littered with cinemas – for more timely releases, I recommend the AMC Theater by the Boston Common or up by North Station. If you’re into niche pieces, the Coolidge Corner Theater has some great options.

If you’re looking for more of a nostalgia factor, the joy that watching kids’ movies as an adult can bring you is highly underrated. My roommate and I have rediscovered our love for Kung Fu Panda and often talk about how hard we laughed during Madame Web. So give films like these a chance too! If nothing else, movie theaters are a great place to spend time with friends.

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Felicity Warner / HCM
Check out a dessert spot in the North End

Between Mike’s Pastry, Modern Pastry, Bovas, Caffé Vittoria, and more, the sweet treat possibilities in the North End are endless. At the earliest, these bakeries close at 10 PM, so if you leave campus by 9 PM at the latest, you’ll still have plenty of time to pick up some dessert. You could even turn it into a competition… which North End spot has the best cannoli? Or my personal favorite, where can you get the ideal slice of ricotta pie? So far, Bovas has my vote, but feel free to prove me wrong!

Take advantage of student discounts at museums

The list of museums that offer student discounts or free admission is not limited to the following five locations, but here are some of my favorites:

Boston Symphony Orchestra: $30 college card that allows you free tickets after the one-time purchase, $10 rush tickets (available to anyone), and $25 tickets to people under 40 for select performances.

Boston Ballet: $20 cash-only tickets two hours before the show.

Institute of Contemporary Art: Free admission to students.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Free admission to students.

Museum of Fine Arts: Free admission to students.

Walk in unfamiliar areas of the city

One of my favorite things about Boston is its diverse architecture and visible history. Exploring the diverse neighborhoods that the city has to offer reveals so much of its beauty. Whether you’re into posing in front of vibrant backgrounds, scoping out new food spots, or just exploring for exploring’s sake, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into new neighborhoods is a great use of time! 

I recommend the South End. Often confused with Southie, the South End offers a lot of antique charm, through its boutiques, eclectic restaurants, and photogenic brownstones. It is often overlooked by nearby neighborhoods such as Back Bay or Seaport, so you can count on it being quieter than highly trafficked destinations.

Show your school spirit at a sports game

Speaking like a true terrier… I love going to sporting events. Do I always know what’s going on? Definitely not. But will I ride for my team like my life depends on it? Absolutely! Sports games are the most fun when your school has a strong program, such as the BU Men’s Hockey team, but don’t let that deter you from enjoying the atmosphere of a field or court. Remember, we only get free/included admission to games for four years of our lives, so take advantage of it and make the trip to Agganis Arena or Case Gym for peak entertainment.

Hockey action shots
Photo by Gracie Davenport

I hope my list of alcohol-free suggestions helps you and your friends change up your weekend schedule by including slightly healthier, more affordable alternatives.

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Sydney Tullai is one of the Her Campus Boston University Chapter’s media directors. She elected to fulfill this role out of her desire to explore social media as a public relations tactic and embellish her organizational and scheduling skills. Before Boston University, Sydney attended a small private school in southern Maine. In the area, she also works as a restaurant hostess, which has given her a lot of experience working directly with the public and a team of employees. Alongside her hosting position, in the summer of 2023, Sydney served as a pitch writer for Saxbys. The East Coast-based coffee chain initially recruited her to assist in developing a social media influencer strategy. She now begins her third year at Boston University, where she is majoring in Public Relations in the school’s College of Communication. When not studying or working, Sydney enjoys nights in with family, friends, and her black labrador retriever, James. Although she is a self-proclaimed homebody, she is easily excited about seeing a drag show or hearing one of her favorite musical artists live. (especially Ariana Grande) She also has become fond of video games, exploring new places (such as Boston), and hunting out unique second-hand apparel. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sydneytullai