Dear Little Sis,
An interesting thing happens when you go to college. You suddenly have no idea what to do on the weekend. In high school it’s easy to fill up your weekend schedule, but college is a different story.
Weekends can be lonely in college, that’s a fact. I hate to say it, but it’s true. They’re especially lonely freshman year when you don’t have many friends yet. The solution to this is not hiding in your room doing work. I want to share with you some of the things I do to make my weekends a little less lonely.
1. Exercise - Go to the gym or run
When I’ve been sitting in my room for most of the day, my greatest cure is a run. Just stepping outside for a bit and getting fresh air is wonderful. Not only do you get away from the stagnant air of the dorm, but you get to see people. I almost always run into someone I know. Even though it’s just a quick conversation, it’s a friendly reminder that I have friends. Also, working out is good for you! It’s a win-win.
2. Visit a Local Coffee Shop
This is definitely my favorite thing to do on the weekends. If you’re not a coffee drinker, that’s okay. I love a good latte, but I’m also a hot tea girl. I don’t know what it is about coffee shops, but when I’m there I’m always so productive! The surroundings get my creative juices flowing and it’s so easy to get lost in the world around me. This is a great way to get out and still get work done.
I understand some weekends are busier than others and going out is just too much. However, staying in my room all weekend only leaves me feeling depressed. Going to a coffee shop or juice bar to study gets me away from the dorm and allows me to work. I guarantee half of these posts will be written in a coffee shop. Not sorry about it.
3. Try New Study Spaces on Campus
During the week I find it difficult to walk around campus searching for new places to study. Because of this, I end up always studying in the same locations. I encourage you to take the weekend to find some new spaces.
When you have a little extra time, take a walk to new buildings, even one you’ve never been in before. Look around for unique, cozy spots. These spots are usually left untouched during the week because people don’t really know about them. So when exam week rolls around and everyone flocks to the library, you’ll know how to avoid the crowd.
4. Go to the Campus Hosted Events
I’m not sure if all campuses have this, but Clemson has a club called Clemson Live that hosts fun weekend events. If your school does have this, GO TO THE EVENTS! I can’t stress this enough. This is one of the best ways to meet people. It may seem scary at first, but it’s worth it.
I’ve gone to escape rooms, played bubble soccer, watched an Avenger’s marathon, all kinds of cool things. These events are definitely underrated. If you want to have a good time on Friday and Saturday night, but don’t want to join the party crowd, this is the way to go. Plus, you usually get all kinds of free things. I went to glowga and got a free yoga mat!
5. Go to Lunch/Dinner
Clemson likes to shut down almost every dining hall on campus over the weekend. Plus, none of the campus restaurants are ever open on Saturday and Sunday. This makes getting meals seem boring and honestly it’s depressing. My best advice is to plan one meal over the weekend to eat out.
I know money can be tight in college, so don’t feel like you have to go somewhere fancy. Just go get something a little different than normal. This will give you something to look forward to, and it gets you out of the dorm!
6. Text a Friend
I only knew one girl coming to college, and we weren’t that close. I quickly did meet people through my living situation, clubs, classes, and so on. I encourage you to get the contact information for the people you meet. You never know when you may be bored and looking for a friend.
I don’t expect anyone to go out of their way and make plans with people they don’t really know. I do hope that when you want to go do something you’d consider asking a friend to join you. The awesome thing about college is it’s full of a bunch of different kinds of people. This means one friend can be your coffee chatter, another a gym buddy, don’t try and find all the things you enjoy in one person. Variety is good!
7. Play Some Games
It’s back to the old school stuff. One of my favorite things to do with my suitemates on Friday night is play games. Playing games allows us to laugh and chat while still having a good time. Sometimes all you need is company.
Competition is a strength for many of us as well. Engaging in friendly competition from time to time can be good for us. Putting your brain to use for something other than chemistry or history is so freeing, trust me!
8. Cook a Meal
Not every college student has the ability to do this, but most residential buildings do have kitchens. Just because you don’t have a kitchen in your room doesn’t mean there isn’t one in your building. Take advantage of it! Do you know how many people I’ve seen cooking in our kitchen? Pretty much none.
Plan an evening one day that you and some friends can work together and make a good meal for each other. If planning a meal is too hard, bake some cookies instead. This is one of my favorite things to do because it requires minimal supplies and basically no mess. Next time you’re at the store pick up a bag of cookies dough. I promise it will come in handy.
9. Do Some Journaling
Having a hard day? Feeling lost or lonely? JOURNAL. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. For me, I tend to journal in the form of prayer. I pour my struggles out on paper for a conversation with God. If this isn’t for you that’s okay. Just writing down how you feel will often help you work through the problem.
When I was away this summer, I struggled a lot with finding my place. I felt like going away had somehow made me into a different person. I didn’t like this version of myself, but I also didn’t know how to change that. When I started writing down the things about myself I loved and things I didn’t, I was able to see what areas of my life needed changing.
Reflection is one of the most important things to do in college. Take some time in your weekends to reflect on where you are mentally and where you want to be.
10. Don't be Afraid to Ask People to do Things
First semester I was always afraid to ask people to do things. Guys, I’m an introvert to the max so don’t use that excuse on me! I know it can seem awkward at first to meet up with new people or invite someone you don’t know that well to go out. The awkwardness will usually pass. The truth is, they’re probably just as scared to ask you. Take that first step and do what they’re afraid too. Go out and make those connections!