Making new friends at school is great, but keeping in touch with those friends from home can be even better. Inviting them to visit you at your college is a great way to catch up, spend some time together and have fun. Whether your school is twenty minutes from home or three hours away, here are ten things to do with your friends when they come visit your college.
1. Take a walking tour of campus
When your friend first arrives on campus, giving him or her a walking tour is a great idea. It gives you a chance to show off your school, spend some quality time together and, depending on the season, spend some time outdoors and away from your dorm room.
“When I had my friend from Ohio come visit me in Orlando, I gave her a tour of my campus so she could get a taste of my life at UCF,” says Megan Scavo, a sophomore at the University of Central Florida.
Not only can you give your friend a taste of your life at university, it’s also a great time to tell all your crazy college stories!
2. Go out to dinner
Is there a local dive everyone in town eats at? A famous pizza place everyone on campus loves? Make sure you take your friend! “My friend really enjoyed eating at all the hotspots my college town has to offer,” Megan says. “We had a blast.”
This will be even better if you go to school in a different part of the country than where you’re from. Forget chain restaurants, take them for a taste of the local cuisine.
3. Have a meal at the (good) dining hall
Eating out is expensive, so make sure you plan at least a couple of meals at your campus’s best dining hall—it’s bound to have at least one. Take advantage of those meal swipes!
4. See the sights
Do you go to school in Florida? Take your friends to the beach nearby (just make sure you tell your friends to bring their suits). New York City? Take a ride to the top of the Empire State Building or visit Times Square. “The first thing I did was take my friend to the beach in Orlando,” says Megan.
Go see that part of town you’ve never been to before. Find a few places on Google Maps that look interesting like a park, a museum or a shopping center and go check it out! Just make sure you stay safe. If you’re a new student or you haven’t been in town for a while, campus police or upperclassmen will probably be able to tell you places to stay away from.
Is it the beginning of the semester? Here are seven fall activities that will get you and your friend off campus!
5. Attend a local sporting event
If it’s football season, taking a friend to a game is one of the best ways to let him or her experience your college’s atmosphere. “When a couple of my friends visited Iowa State, I took them to a football game,” says Chelsea Jackson, a student at the University of Iowa. “We lost terribly, but it was a great time.”
This is a great option if you’re having multiple friends with you, because it’s cheap and keeps you busy for a few hours of the afternoon. Go team!
6. Take advantage of on-campus events
On-campus events are great because they’re close by and usually free. Is there a movie showing going on? A comedian? Hypnotist? Take your friend with you! This can be a really fun way to spend the afternoon or evening without breaking the bank.
7. Go to a party
Are there any frat parties going on when your friend is going to be on campus? Figure out if there’s a theme, pick something cute to wear and have fun! Just watch out for the jungle juice.
8. Plan a night with your college friends
It might feel weird for your two words to collide, but do introduce your friend to the people that you’ve met at school. Who knows, they might hit it off and you’ll have even more fun.
9. Spend the day in
Put on your sweats, get some junk food from the local convenience store and spend the day in. Watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see, have a Netflix marathon, catch up on everything that’s been going on back home. There’s not much that is better than having a lazy day with your BFF.
10. Go on a club crawl
If you’re over 21, this can turn into a bar crawl, too, but make sure you leave your car in the driveway and catch a Lyft or an Uber instead. Take your friend to all the hot spots and have fun! Look at the bar/club schedules, too, and see if there’s live music or a karaoke night for even more fun.
And, of course, the most important thing to do is make sure you plan a weekend that both of you will enjoy. Ask your friend if there’s anything specific she wants to do and let her know what you’re planning. Have fun!