You’ve likely heard the saying, “Only boring people get bored.” I always hated this saying because obviously I’ve been bored, and I never wanted to think of myself as boring. I think sometimes we simply lack inspiration. It is extremely common to find yourself in this position when attending SUNY Oneonta. The feeling is all the more daunting if you are from New York City or even its suburbs. I’m rounding up my fourth and final year here, and I do think over the years I learned how to cure the boredom. So, I have gathered some inspiration to pass onto to my fellow students.
- Take a hike in Wilber Park!
I did not know about this park until my senior year. It is located next to the Oneonta Middle School and High School.
The OPT bus stops right in front of the school, and to enter all you have to do is walk down the hill toward the school. You’ll
reach a bridge looking over a little stream (it’s great for pictures!). Cross the bridge and you’ll enter the park and eventually
make your way to a sign with all the trails you can hike. Of course, you can always go on Oneonta’s hikes to Strawberry Fields or Table Rock (which I plan to do before I graduate), but Wilber Park is another great alternative that is often overlooked. Just don’t get lost in the trails (we almost did)!
- Attend a street fair.
When weather permits, it is not uncommon to find a street fair happening on Oneonta’s Main Street. You’ll have to be on the lookout for one, but they do happen. My friends and I accidentally stumbled into one, one day when we had to go to Main Street. It’s a nice way to get out of the house and do some shopping and support local businesses.
- Take a drive to Wilber Lake!
I am sad to say I only discovered this lake my senior year. It is so close to campus, not far from College Camp. The only
downside is it is not accessible by bus. But if you or a friend has a car (or taxi fare), a trip to Wilber Lake is worth it for the view.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering, ”What can I do when it’s cold, though (because it’s
always so cold)?!” Well, I have a few suggestions which have served me well.
- Support local artists and musicians!
There’s so much culture to immerse yourself in Oneonta. You’d be surprised how much of it there is, for a small town.
But we’re not just a small town, we are a college town! There are shows at the Black Oak located downtown nearly every week, featuring student performers. The cool thing about this opportunity is though it is a bar, those that are under 21 can
enter on certain nights, with a small admissions fee of $5 and a photo ID, to support student acts. Beyond the Black Oak
Tavern, there is a music scene in Oneonta. One could argue it could be bigger, but it does exist. It’s not hard to find
out about house shows via social media or flyers hanging around campus, and their entrance fees likely don’t exceed $5, if that. While I love music, maybe art is more your speed. You don’t even have to leave campus to access art galleries. Right now, there are two art galleries located in Fine Arts. One features glass artists, and the other one features a student exhibit entitled In The Middle Of Nowhere by Dustin Bartlett, showcasing vibrant oil pastel pieces. Prior to this exhibit, there was a really interesting black and white photography exhibit entitled Oogie Boogie by Molly Jean Feulner. It’s always changing, but there’s always something to see. Attend the plays the Theater Department puts on, especially the student run
ones. Attend dance shows put on by Xclusive Dance Crew and TERPS Dance Company. See a step show from the Divine leaders Step Team or an acapella performance by Pitch Slapped. The talent within our own student body is endless; support it!
- Go thrift shopping!
You don’t have to be in NYC to find some cool vintage clothes. There are a few thrift shops downtown such as Shakedown Street. You can easily kill some time perusing through the racks in these shops. My friend found a really cool 80s puff jacket with neon colors and I found a really cute pair of red velvet overalls at the Salvation Army (p.s sadly, I didn’t try
them on, and I’m too tall for them but it was a cool find! And they only cost me $4)
- Check out the bookstore downtown.
If you’re a reader, this place will be a nice little haven. But, even if you’re not that big on reading, The Green Toad Bookstore, offers a lot of different knickknacks, pins, candles, soap, etc. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, it’s a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon (it doesn’t hurt that it is attached to Latte Lounge if you want to pop in for coffee
- Go to more slept-on eateries!
We constantly hear about the Tino’s or Sal’s debate when maybe we should be saying, “Neither.” Try Nina’s
pizzeria located on the corner of Main Street a few doors down from Sal’s. We also usually hear murmurs of Latte Lounge (I’ve already referenced it myself) but there are other coffee spots in Oneonta such as Capresso located on Main Street. They also have Jamaican food on Friday nights!
- Check out the record store on Main.
I still have yet to go in, but I will make it there before I graduate. This may only appeal to music lovers with record players, but, if you fall in that category, it couldn’t hurt to see what the shop has to offer.
- Go to a sports game.
I have only gone to a game (or maybe two), but I do think it is important to experience it at least once throughout your college career. It’s a good way to get out of your dorm and take part in some school spirit. And maybe if you’re feeling daring, catch a Hartwick football game when they’re playing, if you want a football game experience.
- See a planetarium show.
I was required to go for an Astronomy course, but I
had always wanted to go but never made the time. If you have a chance, it is a
relaxing, almost trippy way to spend some time. Sometimes they even play music
during their showings.
- Attend an ISO Night on campus.
They usually happen on Fridays. Learn about a different culture & get free food from the culture ISO is presenting!
- Join a club.
It’s cliché, but it is foolproof. It’s all about your interests and finding what’s right for you. But, once you do, it can shape a big part of your college experience. You make memories with people you never would have met otherwise and fill your days with meaningful contributions to your campus (and in some cases bolster your resume!)
- Don’t always pass up events on Campus Connection (Corq).
I’ve been attending a number of events in my last year at Oneonta for LEAD credit, and I’m realizing there are quite a few great guest speakers and performers coming to Oneonta such as Theo E.J. Wilson who came to speak about his experience as a black man going undercover in the alt-right and the professional step team, Step Afrika!, who have come to campus on multiple occasions to bring their rhythm and entertainment. Take advantage of it all while you can – while it is free
(although it isn’t really since you are paying for it in your student fees… so make good use of it!)
- And lastly, consider doing service!
This semester I am required to do service learning for a couple of classes, and I’m just realizing now that I would have liked to have participated in this from the start. If you’re interested in helping the community, the CSRC office has more information about how to find out about volunteer opportunities.