I have no money. I don’t save well, and I online shop more than I should. It didn’t take long for me to realize that if I needed to be entertained during the semester, it would have to be essentially free. I had $6 for most of the semester, which I managed to save for a long time, and I am very proud of that fact. I subsisted on care packages and free pizza at university events. It wasn’t healthy. Here’s a few things you can do around campus that shouldn’t cost much more than $20.
Everything is better when it’s free.
1. Go to sporting events on and around campus.
Every single sporting event at the University of Toledo is completely 100% free. We’ve got free football, free basketball, free soccer at Scott Park, free volleyball, and free baseball. Just show your Rocket card, and you will get into every sporting event. A complete list of the 2017-2018 school year sporting events is found here
2. Go to the Toledo Museum of Art.
Admission to the Toledo Museum of Art is always free. Located about 3 miles from campus, it’s a great place to go work on becoming more cultured. Events at the museum aren’t free, but if you are in the Honors LLC, there is a free trip to the symphony, which includes a free trip to the museum. Parking costs $7, so take your squad and you can all pitch in for parking. And is there any better place to take artsy pictures for Instagram than at an art museum? So get cultured and fill the gram with pictures of you and your aesthetically pleasing squad.
3. Go to Rockstar Karaoke Bar and Pizzeria.
Want to sing? Want to watch other people sing? Want to finally form a girl band and hit the stage after eating $5 pizza? Go to Rockstar and live up the life you’ve wanted since Hannah Montana was on TV. You can have the best of both worlds, a regular college student and a one hit wonder. Getting in is free, but alcohol (Please drink responsibly. 21 and older.) and food is reasonably priced. If you follow Rockstar, they often advertise events where the food and drink is at a discounted price.
4. Go to the Toledo Botanical Garden.
The Toledo Botanical Garden is about three miles from the University of Toledo, and admission is always free. It’s a beautiful place for a run or walk, or to take arsty pictures for Instagram. It’s a great place to get some fresh air and to escape the stress of college.
5. Join a University of Toledo Student Organization.
Joining a student organization ensures that there’s almost always something to do. I joined the Hall Council for my dorm through RSA and got to host a Halloween walk for kids around Toledo, and even got to do zumba under black lights in the middle of the night. Plus most events are free, and some organizations, such as RSA, don’t have dues. Just do a bit of research and see if there’s an organization that piques your interest.
6. Go to the townhouses or the Barn.
If you are into the party scene, the parties at the townhouses or the Barn is a great place to get a little bit wild. Just make sure that there aren’t any socials going on or ur gonna have to wait until they open them to get in. Make sure to take a friend and go enjoy a few frat parties while you’re at college.
7. Enjoy some much needed R&R.
College is stressful, so if you have time to spare, never neglect a little bit of R&R. Take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, binge watch all of HIMYM before they take it off Netflix (It is possible to watch nine seasons of a show in just over 2 weeks). It’s absolutely free, and absolutely necessary.
8. Dance in the dorm room.
One rainy night, my roommate and I decided not to destroy my shoes and stay in. We hooked up my computer to the TV, played flashing lights and music and danced in the dorm room. It was easily the best thing that we did the entire first semester. Just be mindful of quiet hours and your neighbors to make sure you don’t get a noise complaint.
9. Explore campus and share it with your closest friends and family.
If your family is like mine, they haven’t really seen the campus aside from a few tours. Being from Indiana, my family doesn’t often drive the four hours to come get to know the campus like a student does. Show them the little hidden parts of the campus, and your favorite part of campus.
$5 and Under
For the people who have spare change in the cup holders of their cars.
1. Go to Chasers. *18 and older*
Chasers is a club, that charges a $5 cover charge. You can go dance and party. Must be 18 or older to get in. Must be 21 or older to be served alcohol. Must go to have a good time.
2. Go to Bubble Tea.
While not my cup of tea (pun intended), Bubble Tea offers a lot of drinks for under $5. Located by the Barnes and Nobles, it’s just a walk through campus to get your Bubble Tea fix. Personally, I am a fan of the giant panda on the wall, and how easy it is to take a group there to hang out Rainbow bubbles come recommended by my very trusted roomie.
3. Go to 5 Below.
The store explains itself. Plus you have no idea what you will find and decide that you need, such as my trusty wireless headphones that I got for just $5. It’s about 4.5 miles from campus, and if you take a group, it makes it a good time.
4. Go to the Dollar Tree.
Slightly better than 5 Below because it’s more in my price range, hit up the Dollar Tree for gag gifts or trinkets to decorate the dorm. Or if you have a kitchen, consider the Dollar Tree for silverware, cups or plates to stock the kitchen. You never know what you can find. Special bonus:nail polish for your R&R.
For people who save a little.
1. Go to Oasis.
Oasis has everything, so there’s food for everyone. Everyone in the squad will have something to eat and you can all go out to dinner. Just across the street from Barnes and Nobles, it remains within close range of the dorms. Just be sure not to get hit by a car crossing the street. They also deliver.
2. Hit up the restaurants around Barnes and Nobles.
There’s a Taco Bell, an Arby’s, a few pizza places, a Starbucks inside, a Jimmy Johns, and plenty of food for late night cravings, or middle of the afternoon snacks. Many spots around Barnes and Nobles take Rocket Cards, so if you’re short on cash, you can still eat, even if the dining halls are closed.
3. Go to Walmart or Target with your friends.
While technically going to Walmart and Target is free and a good way to waste time, it is unlikely that you can go without buying something. You almost always remember that you need something, and leave with more than free stuff. Plus I’m a sucker for a deal, so anything on sale or on clearance always gets my attention. Hopefully some people have more will power than I do and can resist buying things in the group trip to the store.
4. Hit up a restaurant on Central and Secor.
This includes Piada, Wing Stop, Macs and Melts, Fuzzy’s Tacos, Barry Bagels, Costco (where the amount of samples is a meal), Taco Bell, and others. Most restaurants take Rocket Cards, and it’s about a mile from campus to get all of this food. This is what we call sit down fast food, higher quality than dining hall food.
5. Order a pizza and have a movie night in the dorm.
There’s nothing wrong with settling in for a movie instead of going out and partying on a Friday night. I’m always a fan of blankets and pajamas instead of makeup and going out. Order a pizza and settle in for the night. Also a good tip for colder weather when no one really wants to go outside. Split the cost of a pizza with a couple people and watch a movie.
For the people who haven’t spent money in a month. Or who recently had a birthday and got a card from an elderly relative.
1. Go to the Franklin Park Mall.
Complete with way more stores than my mall has at home, it’s a great place to waste a couple hours, especially if you’re in search of clothes you don’t need and probably shouldn’t buy because they will likely end up on “the chair” like most of your other clothing. Bring a group and get food court food and go to stores you don’t need to go into, and try on clothes that you would never wear out in public. It’s a great place to go to put off studying or relive the easier time of high school homework. Or to buy last minute presents for your family or roommate. You don’t even have to spend any money which is why it’s a great University of Toledo thing to do.
2. Go to the movies.
Price of ticket is obviously dependent on the movie, but it’s a great escape for 1-3 hours. Lots of great movies came out in 2017, and I’m sure there will be some worth watching in 2018. And when Incredibles 2 comes out, I will be one of the adults taking over the theater from the five year olds who want to watch the movie too. We’ve waited too long.
3. Go to Imagination Station.
Be a little kid again. Do it. Don’t question it. And if someone questions you, it’s science, and science is school, so it’s schoolwork.
More money than I think I ever had this semester.
1. Go to a Mud Hens game.
When the Mud Hens are in season go to a game. Tickets are fairly cheap and it gets you out of the dorm. Go see the city. Just make sure you have a ride before you buy your tickets. If you are in the honors LLC, there’s a free trip that includes transportation and food.
2. Go to the Toledo Zoo.
This is probably the priciest thing on the list, but the Toledo Zoo is one of the best zoos in the nation. I mean they have hippos, sloths, bears, sloth bears, wolves, and everything you could ever want. I personally am more excited about this zoo than most of the children at the zoo. I love it. It’s great. Just remember sunscreen and a map. And bring a friend. You can do plenty of things at University of Toledo.
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Indianapolis | Cubs fan | Love to read and run and watch videos of animals on Instagram | addicted to coffee and Reeses cups | always in need of a cat nap | happy and healthy |