College is a lovely time in a person’s life. Setting loans in the back of your mind, you happily make a few bucks flipping burgers while trying your best to pass every class. Somewhere in there, you have to have a social life. That can be hard when you’re barely scraping by living paycheck to paycheck. Even if you’re depriving yourself of a social life, you are bound to meet up with someone who sparks your interests at work or in class. Don’t let your budget woes prevent you from asking the cutie out. Try these cheap dates on for size.
Ideas for Dates on a College Budget
The Freshman Date
You could both be freshmen or you may find yourself interested in a freshman. If you have a large campus, the perfect cheap date is to offer them a tour. The college staff can only show them so much, but a student who knows his or her way around will be able to add more detail and context. If you are both freshman, explore the campus together. Have fun discovering all the best study spots and hidden cafes while you flirt to your heart’s content.
There may be some cost involved if you stop by one of those lovely cafes and pick up a bite to eat, but that can’t cost you more than five or 10 dollars. If it cost more, don’t buy it. Most colleges have cute little stores or cafes tucked in the library or student union.
Every college has something interesting to discover. At the University of Iowa, one of the main buildings is home to a state history exhibit and a giant sloth. That’s certainly something to see when you stumble upon it.
Walking around campus can also be a great time to share your dreams and plans for college and beyond. Whether you are doing to showing or are both exploring something new, you’ll never run out of something to talk about.
Events are all over campus. Some are fun showings of movies or documentaries; others are cultural or club events. Assuming you have had at least one conversation with your date, you can probably think of a few things they may enjoy. Earn some extra brownie points by inviting the person you are interested in to something you’ve heard them talk about before. Most events don’t cost anything to attend.
Maybe something that specific isn’t happening anytime soon and you don’t want to miss your chance. Pick an event neither of you know anything about that is happening soon. It may sound ridiculous, but you can talk about the craziness together. Who knows, you may even discover a new passion together. Some college events even offer free food. Don’t miss out!
This is not a crazy idea. Colleges are full of fun volunteer opportunities. It’s pretty hard not to care about someone who shows such passion for the animals at the animal shelter or the starving children of the world. Find something to get involved in, if you aren’t already. Discover something new together. Just like attending an event, you may volunteer for something completely out of the norm and laugh about it later with your date or you may find a new passion together.
There’s no cost here, unless you’re volunteering your money to the organization as well. Depending on the volunteer opportunity, you may help out some people in your community or make posters and fundraise for people far away from you. Either way, you are sure to come off as a wonderful person. People rarely imagine selfish or self-absorbed people as volunteers.
The Lazy Date
What is it? Are you too busy, sleepy, hungry and stressed for any of the above options to work for you? Well, even for you, there is a solution. Invite the cutie over to your place to hang out. Normally this is a horrible idea for a first date because it’s not in public. For all they know, you might be a serial killer.
If you live in a dorm with roommates, inviting your crush over can be the perfect money saving date. There are people in all the other dorms. Your roommate(s) may even be home to hang as well. It’s very important that people be around on the first date even if they don’t participate.
There is the problem of what to do in your dorm or apartment. Be creative. If you have a video games system, think about popping in a game. Everyone loves Mario Kart. You may even be able to interest the cutie in a combat game like Soul of Calibur. Don’t have any awesome two player games? Head to your college library. Many libraries have started offering video games for check out. No money there.
If you want to get your roommates involved, find an awesome board game to play. Seriously, don’t doubt the fun you can have. I once stayed up until 3am playing Apples to Apples with friends and the man who I have been dating now for 3 years. That was the night we discovered each other!
Remember to have fun on whatever date you choose. College campuses offer so much. You really have no excuse for not asking the cutie out. Just ask already!
Written by: Tonya Vrba
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