With school back in full swing, it’s important to balance midnight study sessions, a jampacked class schedule, and late-night laundry runs with stress-busting extracurricular activities. Keeping your stress on a low simmer ensures you’ll think clearly and avoid making poor decisions that can negatively impact your life inside and outside of school.
Here are some ways to spend your weekend downtime that won’t cost you a dime:
1. Take a walk
Not only is leaving your dorm room for a long, relaxing walk a good way to clear your mind, but the Mayo Clinic touts other benefits: walking helps you maintain a healthy weight, strengthens your bones, lifts your mood, and improves your balance and coordination. Don’t worry about the destination, just get outside and explore your campus’ surroundings. Maybe you’ll even discover a new coffee shop or takeout place you didn’t know about before. And if you want to get your heart rate up, opt for a brisker pace, or slip on some sneakers and go for a run!
What’s not to like about volunteering? Sure, you don’t get paid, but consider this: volunteer work looks great on a resume, plus you get the rush of endorphins that come from doing something good for someone else. Check out Charity Village for volunteer listings in your area or visit your campus job centre. See if your local animal shelter needs people to walk dogs, offer to sort cans at a food bank, or look into helping out with an upcoming campus event.
3. Check out some free programs
No one understands that students are cash-strapped better than campus staff. Chances are, your school offers a bevvy of free programs and activities—you only need to ask! From fitness classes at your campus athletic centre to a full calendar of events, you’ll probably have so many options that your weekend calendar will fill up fast.
4. Get involved in a campus group
Whatever your interests, there’s probably a campus group for them. You’ll find a fun way to spend the time for the weekend and since they’re usually free, they won’t ravage your wallet. Check your school’s website for a list of campus groups you can join or talk to the students’ association. And if you can’t find a campus group you want to join, start one!
5. Read a book (not a textbook!)
You may think reading is the last thing you want to do after a week of cramming for the big test, but we’re talking about reading a book you actually want to read. Your library card is your friend, so use it to check out books that are relevant to your interests. Download a new series onto your e-reader, or indulge in some mental junk food with a trashy paperback. We won’t judge.
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