Nine ways to have fun at uni for free

If you're looking for ways to chill on the cheap, read on

There’s nothing better than waking up to a day free of lectures. You have no commitments, no imminent deadlines… and no money. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun – you might just have to get a bit creative…

1. Join a gym… or two

Some gyms offer free taster sessions, so you can take advantage of all the flashy equipment and try out a couple of classes completely free. Whether it’s Zumba, yoga, martial arts or spinning, you can spend a morning getting fit and healthy. You’ve totally earned that Oreo…

2. Throw a Come Dine With Me dinner party

We all love bingeing on Come Dine With Me on a Sunday afternoon, so why not team up with your flatmates and take it in turns to host your own dinner parties? If you make a mean paella or learnt to make the perfect Thai green curry in Bangkok during your gap year, now’s your chance to show it off. For an even better challenge, do the entire thing using only the food you already have in the flat.

3. Try a choir

Maybe the last time you sang was in school assembly, mouthing along to dreary songs specifically chosen to bore everyone to sleep. Adult choirs are totally different: you can choose from genres such as gospel, rock and soul, and belt out some of your favourite tunes. You’ll have to pay to join in every week, but most will offer the first session free. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover you’re the next Beyoncé.

4. Participate in jailbreak

Jailbreak is a charity event which sees students get sponsored to try to get as far away from uni as possible in 36 hours without spending any money. The potential is endless – will you blag a trip to the sunny south of France, or will you only manage to hitchhike 30 miles down the road? You get to raise funds for charity and have an amazing adventure with your mates, so everyone wins.

5. Watch some student theatre/comedy

Get yourself down to your uni’s drama department to find out when rehearsals for their next big performance are taking place. Student stand-up comedy nights can be hit and miss, but sometimes it’s so terrible it’s funny in its own way, so go in with a bunch of mates and an open mind. Equally, you could sit in on a dress rehearsal for the big annual Shakespeare production, and it won’t cost you a thing.

6. Go wild camping

Can’t afford a big holiday this year? No problem – gather some of your uni friends and take yourselves off for a wild camping trip. Geography students are useful people to know here – they’ll probably have a tent and camping equipment from one of their field trips, so grab your rucksacks, fill them with cheap penne and noodles and take yourselves off for a night or two in nature. Just don’t forget your wellies.

7. Go see a guest lecturer

Some unis can score some seriously famous guest lecturers. Famous alumni often pop back to speak to current students, so keep an eye out for mentions of any big names coming to present on their specialist subjects. Well-known journalists, sportspeople, authors, scientists and actors have presented at UK universities, so this could be your chance to do some celeb spotting on campus.

8. Have a clothes swap night

It’s so easy to blow a massive chunk of your student loan on clothes, but just before you hit the checkout button on that £236.81 basket, why not organise a clothes swap? Tell everyone to bring a bag of their unwanted clothes, and let everyone have a rummage. It helps you declutter, and you might be able to nab that flatmate’s top you’ve had your eye on since Freshers Week.

9. Have a get together at home

If all else fails, you can always have a night in at your flat. When funds are tight, everyone will thank you.. Recycle your most out-there outfit from Freshers Week (or make it a toga party and wrap up in a sheet), crack out your favourite Spotify playlist and maybe get competitive with your favourite board game.

What are you favourite free things to do? Got any activity recommendations? 

Read more about Freshers Week on The Student Room

Seven clever tricks to save you money in Freshers Week

Huge fibs everyone believes about Freshers

Eight ways to make money at uni

Everything you need to know about being a fresher