17 Things to Do on a College Campus When You're Bored

A Lazy Afternoon Can Quickly Turn Into a Fun, Productive Few Hours

college students working out in gym

Cultura Exclusive / Matt Lincoln / Getty Images

When you thought of what college would be like, you probably didn't think about it being boring. Despite all the activity that takes place on a college campus, there can be times when things do get a wee bit slow. So what can you do to help pass the time?

1. Walk to a New Part of Campus

If you need something to do, one of the best ways to find something exciting is to step outside and see what's going on. Put on a pair of comfy shoes, grab your phone, and head outside to explore a part of campus you've never visited before. You just might stumble across a few friends playing rugby, a cool new part of campus where you can study, or an art exhibit that piques your interest.

2. Head to the Gym

Don't feel like working out? Hitting the gym might be just the pick-me-up you need to get some energy, refocus your priorities, and pass some time. Plus, you'll get exercise and the health benefits to boot.

3. Join or Start a Pick-up Game

If things are a little slow on campus, chances are you aren't the only one looking for something to do. Head to the gym, see who else is hanging out, and start a pick-up game. You'll burn calories, meet some new people, get some exercise, and pass the time—while possibly earning bragging rights.

4. Read Something for Fun

It may sound crazy given how much reading you do in college anyway, but think about it: When was the last time you read a gossip magazine just for fun? Or caught up on the latest news about your favorite sports team? Head to the bookstore or a local supermarket and, for a few bucks, treat yourself to some fun, easy reading that doesn't require you to take notes.

5. Do Homework in a New Location

Consider this, would you rather work on your homework when you're bored or when there are tons of fun, exciting things going on that you don't want to miss? Finding a new study location can also help make doing your homework feel less tedious. A new environment can do wonders for your focus, outlook, and productivity.

6. Hang out in Your Residence Hall Lobby

Your residence hall common area might seem like a place that you just pass through on the way to and from your room every day. If you time it right, you can head down, enjoy the extra space, perhaps watch a game on the TV, and meet some new people or hang out with ones you already know. It can be a nice way to do something new in a place that already feels familiar.

7. Watch a Game in Person

If you're bored on campus, see if there's a game scheduled. Choose a sport you haven't seen in person before. Watching rugby, soccer, softball, lacrosse, or water polo can be a great way to spend an afternoon.

8. Watch a Game on TV or the Internet

So, things on campus are a little slow and boring. Grab some friends, head to the dining hall, pick up some snacks and drinks, and watch the game on TV or on the computer in your room. It might not be as exciting as watching the game in person, but it can be a great way to pass the time—especially if the weather outside is far from ideal.

9. Go to an Event You've Never Attended 

The chances of absolutely nothing happening on your campus at any given point in time are pretty slim. The problem might be, however, that the things that are going on just aren't on your radar. Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and attend an event that you've never gone to before.

10. Go to a Cultural Event off Campus

Can't find anything to do on campus? Check out the local entertainment listings of what's happening off campus. A poetry slam, art fair, music festival, or some other event can be just what you need to turn a boring day into a memorable one and get familiar with your new city at the same time.

11. Go to a Museum off Campus

You're in college because you enjoy learning new things and living an intellectual life. Take that smarty-pants brain of yours and go learn something new at a museum exhibit in town. Viewing something new and exciting from a certain time period, artist, photographer, or sculptor can be a great learning experience. If you're lucky, you can even use what you learned as bonus points in an upcoming class assignment.

12. Call and Catch up With a High School Friend

Things can get so busy in college that it can be difficult to keep in touch with your high school or hometown friends. When was the last time you had a nice, long phone call with a friend you knew before you left for college? If you have some free time and are a little bored, use the break to your advantage and catch up with an old friend.

13. Hang out in the Campus Coffee Shop

The campus coffee shop offers far more than just your favorite kind of coffee. It can be a good place to get some work done, surf the Internet, people watch, or otherwise just hang out. And if you're bored, it can be a great place to get a change of scenery without spending too much money.

14. Grab Some Friends and Head to a Movie off Campus 

If you use your student discount, you can catch a new movie, have some social time, get off campus, and mentally check out from the stress of college life for a few hours—all at a discounted price.

15. Grab Some Friends and Watch a Movie Online 

If the weather is bad but you need something to do, grab some friends and stream a movie in someone's room. Even if it's a horrible movie, you and your friends will have something to laugh about.

16. Do Something Creative 

For students lucky enough to have a creative streak, the time to relax and make something just for fun is rare. Turn a boring afternoon into one of those moments when you can let your creativity flow without having to worry about your upcoming assignment.

17. Crank up the Music and Organize Your Life

Use a free (read: boring) afternoon to do all the things you don't want to do but actually need to get done. Do your laundry, clean up your room, organize your paperwork, make sure your calendar/time management system is up to date, and generally get your to-do list done. Cranking up the music (or watching a movie) can help make the tasks go faster. The way you'll feel when everything is done will be well worth it.