Trop talks tips and tricks for maintaining a social life while on a budget

contributed by Linh Cao

Fan Wu, a junior human resource management major from China and Ruifeng Wang, an assistant coordinator of special international initiatives, participated in the prom themed Starry Night on April 11. Tickets cost $5, and included food, dancing and games — a past example of a great local event to help keep students socially active while also being kind to their wallets. 

Lilly Barnett

Staff Writer

Being a college student, we all understand how difficult it can be to maintain a social life while keeping to a budget. To help out all the college students entering summer break, I have compiled a few tips on how you can have a better social life —and the best part is, it’s free! 

Tip 1: Find Local Events. 

Troy has local events almost every weekend which are normally held on the Downtown Square.  The events range from a screening of “Hocus Pocus” during Halloween to a Mardi Gras celebration during the season. These are just a couple of events, but by going online, you can search when the next event will be. 

Coming up, Troy is hosting its first Pride Festival for the LGBTQ community. It is the last weekend in April and will be held on the Bibb Grave’s quad. It’s free for everyone and includes free food and live entertainment!

Tip 2: Seek Out No-Admission Nature. 

For all the nature lovers, get a friend or bring your pet and go find a nature trail to explore. For no cost whatsoever, you and your friends can find a place in nature where you feel comfortable and just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

You can do fun activities such as hiking, climbing trees, meditating, taking pictures and picnicking. The best part about nature is there is no limit to what you can and cannot do. 

You want to scream at the top of your lungs? Go for it. Would you prefer to sit peacefully and meditate, blocking out every thought except for the one you are in? It is your choice; the possibilities are endless. 

A couple of places to visit in Troy are the arboretum or the nature trail beside the outdoor amphitheater and the Terracotta Warriors. 

Tip 3: Play video or board games.

Do you like to play video or board games? If so, get your friends together for a tournament of sorts. 

This can be a fun way to get everyone involved and social. Whether you like video games or board games, it works for either. 

If you decide against playing a tournament, 1-on-1 competitions between two friends are fun, as well.  You could even make game night a weekly event.

Tip 4: Create something. 

Feeling crafty? Make something, anything.

It’s spring time, which means you can start growing a garden. Watch your satisfaction grow as the flowers do.  You will never feel more appreciation and gratification than when you help a plant grow – trust me, it’s humbling. 

If gardening is not your thing, there are so many other creative outlets you can take if you want to be crafty. 

If you don’t really feel like doing something alone, call up some friends and have a paint party. Buy some cheap canvases and paint – which you can get from Dollar General – and get creative with your friends. 

Let your ideas bounce off one another, and you will be surprised at what you can come up with. 

Tip 5: Give Back to the Community.

Volunteering can be a great way to build your college resume, but more importantly, it builds character. Volunteering can be done alone or with a group – either way, you will come out feeling good that you helped someone or something that needed it.

For example, the Head Start program of Troy for preschoolers is looking for volunteers all the time to help with things such as reading to the children or helping them clean the lunchroom after they’ve had lunch. 

If this isn’t what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other volunteer opportunities in Troy, such as the Pike County Animal Shelter. 

Whether you get a group of friends together for a game night or start to grow your own garden, the possibilities are endless for cheap (if not free) things to do in your spare time. So grab a buddy, find a trail or some canvases, and have yourself a budget-friendly good time!

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