College is like a never-ending struggle between wanting to go out and have adventures but having no money to pay for any of them. And during the fall, it feels like everything is happening while you’re broke from your Big/Little Reveal. Well, the best thing about fall is that there’s a lot of things happening that are actually pretty cheap, if not free. Yes, really. A lot of the times it’s the kind of thing you don’t really think to do, but college is about expanding your horizons and experiencing as much as you can.
1. Pumpkin patch. The best field trip from elementary school really never gets old, and who doesn’t love throwing on their favorite sweater and picking out a pumpkin? You don’t even have to buy a pumpkin, because let’s be real, what the heck are you, a college student, gonna do with a pumpkin? But if you do have the cash to spare, get your girls together and use all that leftover paint from Big/Little and have a pumpkin painting party. It’s fun, cheap, and totally guaranteed to get likes from your mom and her friends on Facebook.
2. Corn maze. Yeah, something that was totally fun as a kid is still fun as a pseudo-adult. How many times a day do you think to yourself, “I don’t wanna be an adult”? Kick up your heels, be a kid for a day, and get lost in a corn maze with your friends. They’re usually free, and if not free, they’re pretty cheap. Not only that, but they’re almost always on the same site as a pumpkin patch. What a day, am I right?
3. Farmer’s market. If there’s a farmer’s market in your college town, or one nearby, it’s such a fun atmosphere. Vendors are usually local farmers (duh) and craftsmen who get together and sell their fresh and handmade goods. It’s super cute. You don’t have to buy anything, but if you wanna be healthy, you can pick up some locally grown fruits and veggies to balance out all those PSL’s.
4. Hiking. If you live in a good area for it, going for a hike is the perfect way to spend a Saturday. Not only is it good for you, but a day surrounded by the pretty red and orange trees and fresh air is the best way to de-stress after midterms. Plus, hiking is something everyone can do regardless of how athletic you are. If you’re up for taking it a step further, fall is a great time to go camping. Nature is super neat, y’all.
5. Stargazing. Okay, it sounds so cheesy, but the weather is too good at night in the fall to not be outside. Plus when the skies are clear, you can see the stars and pretend you know which one is the big dipper. Not only that, but you could have a bonfire with your friends and make s’mores, which is super cheap and delicious. Get out your favorite blankets, your cutest beanies, and your favorite long sleeve tees and get to roasting!
6. Local events you usually wouldn’t go to. Depending on where you live, fall is typically what I like to call Random Event Season, meaning there’s these huge celebrations of all kinds for the seemingly most random things. Craft fairs, local film festivals, photography conventions, even speakers at your university. You know, stuff you usually wouldn’t go to because it’s stuff you’re not particularly into. But if it’s free, why not go? You never know what might be the most interesting and fun event of your life. That poetry reading might actually be one of the coolest things you ever hear, believe it or not. College is a time for experiencing all kinds of new things, so don’t be the kid who claims he hates carrots even though he’s never tried them. If it’s the weirdest thing you ever do, you get a funny story out of it.
7. Philanthropy events. A lot of the times these do cost money, but it goes to a good cause. Skip a burrito bowl at Chipotle and get your friends together to give back to the community. Fall is the time when a lot of outdoor community service events happen. If you’re the sporty type, sign up for a 5k. If you’re a hands-on kinda person, go help clean up local parks. Maybe go to one of those percent nights at a local restaurant to support your fellow Greek organizations. It’s always good to give back. And if you really are completely broke and can’t do something that costs, there’s plenty of volunteering you can do in your sorority/fraternity and beyond. After all, a big part of Greek life is philanthropy.
8. Watch party. All of your favorite Halloween movies come on in the fall, and if you’re the world’s biggest Hocus Pocus or Harry Potter fan, get together with your friends, make some cutesy Halloween snacks, and have a movie night. Or if you’re a big fan of your school’s football team (which obviously you are), and can’t go to the away games, get together at someone’s apartment or house and have a little tailgate of your own where everyone brings food and drinks. Watch parties are the best, and if your team doesn’t win, you can eat your feelings afterward with others. It’s a win-win.
9. Mini road trip. If you live close to a bigger city, or just a cute town to explore, get everyone in the car and get away for the day. Even if it’s not the most exciting place to visit, it’s always fun to go explore a new place with your favorite people. Maybe you live close to a big city and you never actually get to go, or maybe you live near cozy little towns with tons of character. Either way, it’s fun to go to a new place.
10. Grab a good book and get outside. If you’re a hammocking fan, grab a blanket, a book, and a couple good trees. If not, set out a picnic blanket and get comfy. So many college kids say all the time that they actually really like to read, but never have time. Hit up your local library and grab that interesting book you tell people you’ve read but never actually did (we’ve all done it) or the latest book-turned-movie that you’d love to read before you see it. Or, if all else fails, grab your comfort books like the first Harry Potter (aww, nostalgia) and enjoy.
11. Just get outside. Really, the weather is too awesome and the leaves are too pretty to sit inside. Whatever it is you like to do, running, walking, drawing, photography, or just spending time with good company, get outside and do it. Before you know it, it’ll be too cold to walk to class without losing feeling in your toes.
Happy fall, y’all!!