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Jan 08 2017
by Anna DiGiacomo

12 Free Winter Activities on College Campus

By Anna DiGiacomo - Jan 08 2017

With its freezing temperatures and short hours of daylight, winter can quickly have you reminiscing about those warm summer nights. However, winter doesn't have to be a dead period forcing you to spend your evenings in the dorm. Just like every other season, winter offers some unique activities you can't do any other time of the year. Below are some of the few ways you can get the most out of this season on a college budget.

1. Build a snowman.

A self-explanatory winter activity, building a snowman can certainly waste a few hours depending on your dedication. However, try mixing it up from the usual three-balled snowman. Show off your school spirit and sculpt your college mascot in the snow or host a competition to see who can build the tallest snowman. Traditions don’t always have to be boring.

2. Create the best hot drink.

Using whatever you have available in your dorm or what you can sneak back from the dining hall, see what delicious drinks you can make. Perhaps crushing those leftover candy canes to make peppermint hot chocolate or mixing honey with warm milk. You never know if you don't try. Just remember, the difference between science and goofing around is writing it down.

3. Go sledding.

Surely this one is a bit self-explanatory and snow is obviously needed for this activity. However, if you find yourself unprepared and sled-less come the snows of winter, don’t be afraid to get creative. Cardboard boxes or even mattresses can make great last minute sleds.

4. Winter picnics.

I was introduced to this strange tradition by a friend I met on campus. While I was admittedly skeptical at first, the experience was astonishingly enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a free afternoon. Just pick a beautiful day, pack a few snacks and be sure to to bundle up. You and your friends are almost guaranteed to have the whole yard for yourselves to goof off and enjoy each other’s company.

5. Plan a road trip.

Meeting new people and discovering new places — traveling is one of life’s greatest experiences. Whether you're planning a quick trip to the beach or a trek across the country, there’s nothing wrong with looking to the future. Even if you’re sure you’ll never be able to do it, don’t be afraid to dream big. Planning a trip can be a great way to waste a few hours and learn more about the people around you.

6. Host a movie night.

With the cold weather firmly settling in, there’s nothing better than a warm and cozy night in with your friends. Make some hot chocolate, bake some cookies and just relax to a good movie. College is stressful, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.

7. Go hiking.

Winter hiking offers some unique advantages in comparison to hiking in the summer. For starters, one certainly won’t have to worry about fighting the heat! However, more importantly, winter hiking can allow you some unique views never available during the summer.

8. Start a Polar Plunge.

Every campus is different, so this won’t be an option for everyone. However, if you have access to a body of water and won’t get in trouble, try doing a polar plunge with a group of friends. Not only is jumping in frigid water surprisingly refreshing, it’s also a great way to make some lasting memories. Just be sure to get it on film for posterity's sake!

10. Start a snowball fight.

Gather some willing participants and find the busiest section of campus, then let the mayhem commence. See just how many people you drag into the fight and let out some stress between classes.

11. Make paper snowflakes.

Put a college twist on this childish activity — use old homework assignments and colored flyers instead of blank paper. Not only will you get the therapeutic relief of cutting up your homework, you can also create some cute dorms decorations. Find some easy designs here.

12. Go star gazing.

With it's crisp and clear skies, winter is the best time to go stargazing. Even without the use of a telescope, you can spot some amazing things in the sky. From constellations to planets and even the occasional shooting star, you never know what you're going to get.

In short, don't write winter off as a lost cause. There are many cool things to do in order to stave off the dorm fever. Try one of these 12 activities and don't forget to stay warm!

Lead Image Credit: Peter Miller via Flickr Creative Commons

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Anna DiGiacomo - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anna is a freshman Strategic Communications major at UNC Chapel Hill. She played varsity soccer in high school and besieged the student body with libertarianism. She now spends her time annoying her roommate, catching Bruce Springsteen concerts and getting lost while pretending to camp. Follow her on Instagram @digiacomoa

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