Updated December 1, 2022 · 2 Min Read

College is expensive enough, even without factoring in entertainment. When you do have time in your busy schedule, here are five free ways to have fun. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Free College Fun

  • Support Your Local Public Library
  • Intramural Sports
  • Let's All Go to the Movies
  • Geocaching
  • Donate Your Time

While attending college, most students operate on limited funds, which means that finding free entertainment is a bonus. That entertainment serves a variety of functions, including socialization and stress relief from the rigors of the scholastic routine. Studies have shown that social activities and non-scholarly pastimes are actually vital to student success, so many university student groups offer plenty of fun for free. But there are a number of other organizations or pastimes that provide these unexpected yet welcome outlets for budget-conscious scholars. In the article below, we've compiled five of the best free ways to have fun in college, so you never need to worry about spending a dime.

1. Support Your Local Public Library

Whether you're living on campus or rooming off the university property, most towns have a main public library. This should be considered an additional bonus to your campus library, since it's likely to offer different books and other amenities. While reading for pleasure provides a host of benefits, you needn't believe that this is all a library can do for you. It's a great place to spend an afternoon—whether the weather is hot, cold, rainy or boring. Here, you can browse the internet, check out a book or three, check out a movie, and even take home a video game if it's available. Plus, unlike the local bookshop, you don't need to pay to play.

2. Intramural Sports

Most people enjoy getting together to play on a pleasant afternoon, and it's a good thing, too. The "Freshman 10" often becomes more along the lines of 50 pounds. Sudden changes in diet and level of activity during the first year away at college are directly correlated to excessive weight gain and an overall decline in physical health. To combat this, informal organizations of team sports—from football or soccer to ultimate Frisbee—have formed, usually led or sponsored by student organizations. There are no fees, no uniforms, and people participate at will, bound only by the informal social contracts of expectation.

3. Let's All Go to the Movies

It's true that the price of a movie ticket these days is rather steep, never mind the cost of snacks. In recognition of this, many universities will host movie nights. While the titles may not be the latest, they're often geared to be current crowd pleasers. As well, most city governments will grant permits for or sponsor movies in large, urban parks during the more pleasant seasons of the year. These are usually free and you bring your own snacks and seating to the show. Not only are these free movies great fun in and of themselves, but they also offer you a way to meet people in your community. That is an often-overlooked need for many students—a sense of belonging.

4. Geocaching

Yes, this activity is free. But that's only the most apparent benefit. It also provides a host of opportunities to meet new people, solidify bonds with friends during an excursion, and familiarize yourself with unknown territory. What you may find is that you also discover new things about a known area and about yourself during these exciting and physically rigorous outings. Talk about unexpected treasures!

5. Donate Your Time

Alright, who accidentally put this CV builder entry on the Free Fun list? No one, because working with local charitable endeavor can be awesome fun. Did you know that the human brain rewards the act of giving with a lovely dose of dopamine? That's right. Our bodies are designed to encourage generosity, and when you give your time to charity—environmental clean up initiatives, food or clothing drives or Habitat for Humanity—you're giving something more valuable than money. You will make new connections, both with other members of the charitable group and with communities in need, which is never a bad thing. Plus, you're doing your part to help others—and that is always a good thing.

College can be intensely stressful. Most students are often operating on a shoestring budget, because they have to prioritize studies and class time over paid time on the clock, which becomes a stressor in and of itself. However, there are a multitude of free ways to have fun in college, many of which are highly publicized by student organizations and university publications.


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