When most people think of the phrase “date night” or even just imagine having fun with friends on the weekend, they conjure images of brunches, nights on the town or days spent shopping in Hampden. For most college students, however, this is just out of our reach for a myriad of reasons including, but not limited to, time commitment and financial cost. Spending time with friends is a welcome break from studying. But most college students don’t want to break the bank while doing so.
In the past I’ve written articles for The News-Letter about green spaces in Baltimore such as the Cylburn Arboretum, Patterson Park and other locations both near and far from campus. These are all viable options if you want to spend some time outdoors getting fresh air and are down for a bit of adventure. Unfortunately they cost a bit of money to get to. But they’re all free to check out once you get there!
The Arboretum isn’t far to bike to, but it is a far walk and isn’t easy to bus to. Without a bike, I recommend you Uber. Patterson Park, however, is easy to get to with a combination of bus routes. You can either take the Charm City Circulator to the Inner Harbor and have a nice walk through Canton and Fell’s Point on your way there, or you can hop on the CityLink Orange line for a much shorter walk. Once there, have fun exploring! The fresh air can do wonders if you’ve been stuck in the depths of Brody for too long.
If you don’t have time to go out into the city, a great alternative to going out for date night is staying in! Make some good home-cooked food (if you’re not adept in the kitchen, pasta is always a good and easy option), and have some good old face-to-face conversation.
You can also DIY a movie night experience with some help from Netflix, popcorn and (if you want to go all out) a blanket fort! Just drape some blankets over your bed or couch, fill the space with blankets, and you’ll have a nice little blanket cave that will help block out any outside light while also adding to the coziness of the experience.
For a low-cost night in with friends, think spa night! You can DIY face masks with ingredients in your kitchen like oats, honey, banana and avocado. Add in a rom-com or other movie (courtesy of our friend Netflix) and some nail polish (I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve thrown any away since seventh grade), and you’ve got a fun girls night. Add in low-cost takeout like pizza or Chinese food, or make your own to really enhance the experience.
Even though college can be really overwhelming between assignments and trying to find time to relax, there are always ways to wind down with a little creativity and good time management. All of these ideas can be thrown together or picked apart to suit your needs. Just remember to de-stress from time to time and you’ll be A-ok.