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Keeping Busy and Entertained, Cheaply
As you settle in to uni life and find yourself balancing lectures, study sessions, socialising and, well, life, it’s not always easy to see how you could possibly require any further entertainment in your waking hours. Once you get used to how life works at university and things become a little more routine, spare time will emerge and you’ll be looking for things to do, see and enjoy when not slaving over an essay or assignment. Of course, as with anything that requires any monetary spend, Student Discount Squirrel can help you tackle this topic for cheaper with the best student discounts; and here, we explain how.
Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
As with anything in life, university goes through busy periods and quieter ones, but when things do get hectic, it’s important to look after yourself and take some time away from a purely work focus to give yourself some breathing space. This involves a degree of self-care and wellness checks, but also in taking time out and doing other things to re-focus your mind, find inspiration and change your perspectives.
Where you can, plan out and schedule the time not spent in lectures or classes to keep yourself on track and give yourself a varied week of activities. This can be done on an online calendar, or if you’re more of a visual planner, in a physical diary or calendar. Get creative and you’ll be able to visualise things to look forward to even in times when it seems all work, work, work, stress, stress, stress!
If you do find yourself with a whole day ahead of you, planning something different makes for a great experience and new memories for all involved. OK, so expensive theme parks and designer shopping malls may be out of the question on a student shoestring, but there’s lots of things that can be done without breaking the bank.
Wowcher is a voucher site that updates daily with new offers for a variety of experiences, classes, restaurants and retailers locally across different regions of the UK. Discounts can be anything right up to 70-80% off as businesses trial new products and look to attract people to repeat buy. It’s worth checking in on Wowcher at least weekly to see what activities they have on offer.
A whole host of websites offer free cinema tickets for advance screenings if viewers fill out a survey afterward on what they thought of the film. Google ‘free cinema tickets’ for your city and sign up to receive freebies by email.
Lots of sporting activities can be tried for free through ‘taster sessions’, both at on-campus sport facilities and publicly-accessible ones. Have a quick check online for climbing walls, trampoline parks, fitness classes and unusual sports such as dry skiing and pickleball.
Any grassy area anyway can make the ideal site for a group meeting and impromptu picnic and an American-style ‘potluck’ event where everyone brings a random dish is a brilliant way to get others involved and start conversations.
Whatever you decide you’d like to do on a day out or day trip, check first for discounts and offers. Student discounts aren’t as common amongst attractions as they are retailers, but there’s still bargains to be had – you’ve just gotta look for, and sometimes ask for, them!
As the purse strings tighten and you settle more into the routine of uni, you’ll soon find that nights in can be just as fun as nights out – and considerably easier to rope people into because, hey, you’re all skint! Why not try…
Themed Night In Party. Pick a colour, and all only eat, drink and wear that colour. Bonus points if you can find something to watch that ties in with the theme too!
Netflix Club or Student Prime. Get a group together to watch a series and do it every or every other week. Supermarket popcorn makes for a cheap and easy snack, and all you need is cushions, blankets and a screen.
Come Student Dine With Me. You’ve seen the TV show, now make it a reality. Take it in turns to create a three-course feast and rate each other on your efforts. There’s no need to pay for taxis home and you’ll get fed all week!
Game Night. Grab your best (OK, probably only) board games or pick some up from a local charity shop. This is no holds barred and fully competitive! And for those techies – check out Zavvi for gaming options, and also Game.
Most nights out at uni seem be dictated by simply ‘what everyone else is doing’ but there are ways to work it all out a little cheaper.
Stick to Student Nights! Most bars and clubs do student nights and they tend to include discounted or free entry and discounted drinks deals. Stick to cheap deals and if you need transport home, stick to ride shares with friends or public transport. Check out our student night out guide.
Can the Kebabs. If you’re guilty of having a great night out but then splashing the cash on greasy food after, cut it out! Make sure you’ve got oven chips or kebab meat in halls and get creative with a group snack later. It’ll be healthier for your body and your bank balance.
Look for Birthday Deals. Someone in your group of friends celebrating a birthday? Bars and clubs often do cheaper deals and even freebies for those who can prove it’s their birthday (or reasonably close enough to it to celebrate). A little research online can save you a lot of money – and guarantee you a free table booking, too.
There’s always something going on at uni and it can be a really sociable experience. If all else fails, head to the SU and ask about societies and clubs in interests you hold. You’ll meet loads of like-minded people. But don’t forget too to take some time for you and enjoy some nights in with an early bedtime… your grades, and your health will thank you for it!
Summary – Student Entertainment
There we have it, we’ve come to the end of our guide for entertaining students. We’ve shown you some great ideas for days out, nights in and nights out too. Plus if there were any ways for getting discounts or using voucher codes then we’ve suggested those too.
Now there’s no excuse to be entertained in your student down time while keeping to your budget.