Make your own fun


It’s hard to pass up on something fun. Whether it’s your friend’s house party or THE BEST concert, everything has some kind of cost, and sometimes you can afford it but you really shouldn’t spend the money at this time. Yes, it feels terrible. You feel like you’re missing out on some amazing memories, but don’t dwell on it.


It can even feel embarrassing to tell your friends that you can’t afford it, but don’t sweat it. Real friends don’t give you a hard time over your finances. Don’t ever let anyone ever badger you when you say you need to save, because they simply don’t have your best interests in mind.


Being broke doesn’t mean you don’t get to have fun though! There are plenty of ways you can make memories and have a movie-like university experience on a dime. All you need to do is get a little creative.


  1. Start a club. Maybe it’s an official Feds-approved club (you can apply to make a club about anything!) or it’s really just you and your friends having a good time together. In my first year I made a group of friends in residence and we called ourselves the Waterloo Midnight Basketball Club because we’d borrow a basketball from the V1 front desk and have a pick-up game late into the night. Find some activity that you and your friends enjoy and start your own club. It’s as easy as making a Facebook group and keeping score.

  2. Take advantage of community services. The Turnkey Desk has all kinds of items you can borrow, from magazines to board games—but don’t forget about the city services. The public library and recreation centers have plenty of free events. Uptown Waterloo has all kinds of street festivals from Summer Lights to NightShift, plus smaller events like free skating or a food truck day. Looking for something to do on the weekend? Just check the City of Waterloo website for a list of services and events.

  3. Try out your friends’ hobbies. Spend time with your friends and broaden your horizons by trying out one of their hobbies. Maybe you have a friend who is really into crocheting or Dungeons and Dragons. Ask them to run a little workshop and teach you how. Plus, you can ask them if you can borrow any necessary equipment (remember: no shame in asking!) before you go invest in a hobby that you don’t stick with. Having a hobby in common with your friends often makes it easier to stick with it too!

  4. Celebrate all the holidays. People love holidays — they’re a reminder to celebrate life and they break up the monotony. What makes them fun is celebrating what matters to you in your own way. Maybe it’s International Women’s Day, or May the Fourth, or Festivus. Whatever lights your fire. I’ve been celebrating Galentine’s Day for two years now (Thank you Parks and Recreation), and it’s a wonderful excuse to get together with my lady friends. Whether it’s made of Eggo waffles and hand-whipped cream or going out to brunch downtown, what matters is being together. And food. Turn it into a potluck if you can. Nothing is better than lying on the ground in the starfish position with your friends after eating delicious food in the comforts of your own home.

  5. Stay in. More house parties and fewer club or bars. Indulge in a lazy habit or two. Put on the good ‘ol sweats and Netflix. Invite your friends over to binge watch the new season of House of Cards with you. Play League of Legends. Thankfully the internet has become a one-stop shop for entertainment.

  6. Learn how to amuse yourself all on your own. Say you can’t really afford internet or a phone, what do you do for fun? What did you used to do when you were six years old? Seriously, somehow children can manage to keep themselves entertained for hours. Most adults can’t spend three minutes without a phone before running out of ideas. Use your imagination. People watch. Daydream. Create something. Talk to yourself (just not in public because it’s not socially acceptable yet). After all, only boring people get bored. Keep saving those pennies and working hard, someday you’ll get to place where you can get that nice thing you want and it will all be worth.



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