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How To Have Fun At NAU When You’re Not 21

At Northern Arizona University, we all know what it’s like to watch movies and see TV shows about all the wild parties that are being thrown on college campuses. The booze, the romantic encounters, and all the real fantasies an underclassman would dream of. That is, if you’re looking for those kinds of experiences at NAU.

Let’s be honest here. If you’re really looking for a party (or looking for some trouble), you’ll know how to find those crowds yourself when you get on campus. But not every person on campus is looking for an actual “party,” they just want to know how to have fun while waiting for their 21 years to roll in where they can then drink, party, or do whatever they desire.

At NAU, there can be tons of things you can do with friends, your significant other, or just by yourself where it’s considered a real “party.” Partying doesn’t have to involve alcohol or blacking out to the point where you wake up and wonder what happened the night before. For the lumberjacks that just want to enjoy being away from home and on their own – this is for you, my friends.

1. GO downtown and explore.

Just a 10 to 15-minute walk from central campus, downtown is probably where all the students from NAU are on the weekends.

Go shopping with friends.

There are lots of athletic shops for you hikers and adventurers, while there’s just knick-knack stores or thrift shops for the people who just like to browse.


Get a tattoo or piercing.

Since most college students are 18 or older, there’s the option of tattoo and piercing places that are really friendly and love the business from the collegiate crowd (do this with your parent’s knowledge, of course).

Enjoy great food.

There’s also lots of places to eat! My personal favorite being Aloha Hawaiian BBQ that’s right in the middle of downtown. At night, it’s a great place to walk around and relax. The lights and the downtown atmosphere all tie together to make a great place for friends to hangout and meet new people.


2. Go explore campus at night.

Sometimes you just need a break from all the studying, and you might want to wander at 1 or 2 in the morning.

Grab a friend and go hang out by the woods by Gabaldon or in front of the Wedge!

Tip: Don’t hang out in the cemetery that’s near Target, that’s just wrong… and kind of creepy.

Watch the stars, walk around, and just enjoy the weather.

I remember doing this with a friend of mine. It was so peaceful (and kind of scary, don’t get me wrong). NAU is known for its great weather, night or day, so its understandable why lots of people go out at night to hangout. Especially those from Phoenix or Tucson, we just want to enjoy the weather while it lasts, and before we need to go back down into the pits of fire…

3. Get chicken or pizza late at night!

Get your friends and go the Wedge or the Coupe. Done. That’s probably the best party you can ask for, to be honest. We didn’t need any loud music or flashing disco lights to make our night. Hanging out in your dorm and eating, that’s the life. What my friends and I would do is just use two transfers to get a bunch of wings from the Coupe and chill in one of our dorms.

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Tip: The Coupe is open until Midnight and the Wedge is open until 2 am. They’re just calling for you to come late at night. So remember, the Wedge has pizza and the Coupe has chicken. Done and done.

4. Go watch whatever is happening in central quad.

I can’t be the only one who just sat by the trees in central quad and watched whatever shenanigans were happening. One night I just watched the Star Wars club do their light saber battles and it was really entertaining. Or, they have tight rope walking there whenever there’s nice weather. You can watch them, hang out with them, or even join them and ask if you can give it a go. There’s always something going on in central quad, so grab a friend, and go have a good time.

5. Have a sleepover!

People probably don’t consider this a party, but for my group of friends, it was. We were away from home, without a curfew, and didn’t need to ask for permission from parents. Our dorms were ours and we were able to invite people over whenever we wanted. Whether we were studying, watching movies, or just talking, it was fun for just my friends and I to be in each other’s company. You can do whatever you want in your dorm, as long as you don’t break any rules.

Tip: Try to have a sleepover in a bigger space if possible, not in those tiny rooms in Sechrist or Reilly. That’s just my advice.


Whether you want to actually party, or you want to just have fun until your glory days, you’ll have fun no matter what when you’re at NAU and you’re a lumberjack!

How do you like to have fun at NAU? Feel free to comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source:
Kailah Esona

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