“What are you doing this weekend?” is often the go-to question when you run out of things to say to someone. More often than not, you’ll be met with an “I don’t know” or “probably going to sleep.” While rest and relaxation are paramount in college and should be given adequate devotion, you must also remember why you chose Tampa as the place to spend four years of your life. As a staff, we’ve been consistently noticing complaints on Facebook, YikYak, Twitter and other social media outlets, clamoring that there aren’t enough activities for students to do on weekends.
All around you is a vibrant city full of culture and excitement just waiting to be discovered. It’s not wrong to pick SoHo as your prime Friday spot, but think about switching up your routine every now and then. Everyone knows Ybor City is home to the busiest club venues in Tampa, but it’s also a hub for swing dancing, thrift shops and professional improv comedy. Skip Club Prana for a night and take your friends to a historic Argentinian restaurant like El Puerto, situated on a backstreet just five minutes away. The $20 you were going to spend getting into the club will cover an entree and Sangria, and the quaint atmosphere will be far more conducive for conversation than a room filled with giant speakers. Again, going to a club or bar is a perfectly viable option. But breaking the norm is a way to keep you feeling refreshed and adventurous.
Money is often a limitation for many people, as any potential spending money is funnelled into textbooks, haircuts, groceries and other living expenses. Both UT and the city of Tampa offer a steady stream of completely free activities, and often end up more entertaining than a paid experience. Student Productions shows classic movies every Friday, Curtis Hixon park is booked to the brim with free concerts, and all sporting events are of no cost to students.
Also keep in mind that this is Florida, and while it is hot, it is also equally as beautiful. Save for gas expenses, both Clearwater and St. Pete Beach are free, 30 minute drives away. Don’t have a car? Campus Recreation is now offering weekend kayaking, hiking and other various nature exploration trips. If what you’re looking for doesn’t exist, don’t be afraid to start it. If your idea of a swell Friday night is playing capture the flag in Plant Park, find ten people and start up the “CTF Club.” We guarantee you aren’t the only one.
Point is, there’s an incredible amount of uncharted territory waiting to be discovered. If you don’t have anything better to do, go discover it!
It’s impossible to cover every aspect of Tampa, but breaking the norm and trying new places reminds you that Tampa is more than UT Campus, Kennedy Boulevard and South Howard Avenue.
Your time at the University of Tampa will go by fast, so don’t waste it.