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25 Inexpensive (or Free) Ways to Cure Summer Boredom


Back when the spring semester was coming to an end and the stress of finals overtook our lives, all we did was anticipate the freedom of summer. Now that summer has finally arrived and we have all gotten over the initial shock of no longer having due dates and homework, things can sometimes get… kind of boring.

Being college students, most of us don’t have lots of money to spend on eating out every day, vacationing every other week, or shopping every chance we get; so those forms of summer entertainment aren’t always accessible to us. Don’t worry, though: there are lots of fun things to do that don’t involve spending money! I’ve come up with a list of 25 fun and cheap ways to beat summer boredom.

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1. Go to the bookstore. You don’t even have to buy anything. Just grab a coffee, sit in the comfy chairs, enjoy the A/C, and read any book or magazine that you’d like.

2. Make a spa in your own home. Glamour has some great DIY spa tricks to make you relaxed and rejuvenated without paying hundreds of dollars. Also, check out our list of at-home beauty treatments you can do with items from your kitchen!

3. Watch your favorite childhood movies. It’s interesting to compare your current interpretation of the movie to the way you thought of it when you were younger, and you can pick up all the jokes that went over your head as a kid.

4. Talk to an elderly person. Older people are so very wise, and they have many interesting stories to tell if you ask. Most of them love sharing their experiences with the younger generation, and you get to learn about a different time period from someone who actually lived through it.

Thrift Store
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5. Shop at a thrift store. Although some people do this regularly, many people have never experienced thrift store shopping. Give yourself a $10 limit and see what great outfit you can come up with.

6. Get in shape with a friend. It’s been proven that most people are more likely to stick to an exercise plan if they have a friend with them, so start exercising with your bff! Even if you just walk and talk to your friend for a half hour every day, you can burn lots of calories while you enjoy the summer sun.

7. Plan a vacation. Even if you have no money, it’s still really fun to plan an exciting trip. Whether you’re planning a lavish trip to Paris (for the future, when you’re loaded), or a simple weekend trip that might actually happen in the near future, either way it will give you something fun to do.

8. Have a slumber party. Invite your best friends to sleep over at your house, middle school style. You can watch movies, gossip, and eat all the junk food that your hearts desire.

9. Get a jump start on your future career. You can do this by doing research online, applying for future internships, or even shadowing a person who works in the field you plan to work in. It’s a great way to make your summer work for you.

10. Teach yourself to cook. Look up recipes online or watch a cooking channel on television. If you learn to cook, you can satisfy your taste buds without having to spend loads of money on eating out.

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11. Start keeping a journal. You can write whatever you’d like in it, from what you do each day, or how you feel about certain things. Many years from now, you can read it and remember your college years.

12. Cool off with water. Go swimming in a pool or the ocean, have a water balloon fight, or play in a fountain. Beat the summer heat with any water that you can find, just be sure to protect yourself from the sun when spending time outdoors!

13. Catch up with old friends. Call some of your high school friends, or anyone that you miss, and plan to meet up with each other. It’s always nice to see someone that you haven’t seen in years and will help keep the friendship strong.


14. Pretend you are a tourist in your own hometown. Every city and almost every town has something that people go there to visit, yet most of the locals never do those things. They are usually inexpensive or even free, and you can find out about them on your city or state’s website. Bonus points if you rock a fanny pack or have people take photos of you and your friends throwing up the peace sign at every attraction.

15. Enter to win contests online. There are so many free giveaways these days that it’s almost impossible to keep up with; meaning there are TONS of chances for you to win something. Check out – they list hundreds of online giveaways going on at any given moment. If there’s something you really want to win, you can also just google it, and chances are there’s a contest you can enter. Even though your chances of winning are slim, if you enter enough contests, you’re bound to win something.

16. Get dressed up and have a photoshoot with your friends. Pretend you’re Vogue models and dress in outrageous outfits while striking your best “fierce” poses. You don’t have to show the pictures to anyone if you don’t want to, but you’ll make memories that will last for years to come.

17. Go Geochaching. If you haven’t heard of Geocaching, it’s basically a treasure hunt using GPS. You go to the website and enter your zip code to find little treasures that people have hidden in the area. Once you locate their treasure, you replace it with a new teasure and write about your experience on the website. It’s a really neat thing to do.

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18. Go stargazing. It helps if you have a telescope or binoculars, but those aren’t necessary. Look online for maps of the stars, then see if you can find them in the clear night sky. You can do this alone, with friends, or even with a date!

19. Teach yourself about a different culture. Read books or research online about different countries and cultures. You may not get to take your dream vacation right now, but you can learn about the places you’d love to travel to and be more prepared for when you actually get to travel there.

20. Make art. Paint a picture, make pottery, sketch fashion designs, do DIY projects, or even color in a coloring book. Let your creativity run wild by being artistic.

21. Visit a museum. They are usually inexpensive and surprisingly entertaining. I personally love visiting science museums, but art and history museums are fun as well.

22. Go to local music shows. Help to keep your city’s music scene alive by attending concerts put on by local musicians. Local music shows are usually less than $10 to attend, and your money goes to supporting the bands from your hometown.

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23. Treat yourself to dessert. Go to your favorite restaurant and just order something decadent from the dessert menu. You’ll get a delicious treat without having to pay for a whole meal.

24. Read blogs. You could start by reading all 1000+ articles written by us here at College Fashion, or check out our list of 20 Must- Bookmark Fashion Blogs. Many College Fashion readers link their personal blogs in the comments section, so you can check those out as well!

25. Be on the lookout for discounts. Many businesses offer discounts to students, regular customers, and loyal customers. You can find out about these discounts by checking the website, Facebook page, or Twitter page of your favorite restaurants and stores. That way, you can still shop, eat out, and indulge this summer, while still saving enough money to afford books next semester.

What do you think?

What are your favorite activities for summer fun on a budget? Do you think these ideas will cure your boredom? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Posted on on June 18, 2010 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , ,

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38 Responses to “25 Inexpensive (or Free) Ways to Cure Summer Boredom”

  1. 1
    June 18th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Hahaha! I’m already into the blogging and I also started my own blog… I think I’m gonna try the art an the journal things… I’m not into the tourism with a 40-some °C sun out there :S

  2. 2
    June 18th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    This list is great! I love the idea of being a tourist in your own town. I live in Southern California and I haven’t been to half the places people go to when they’re vacationing here!

  3. 3
    June 18th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    This is such a great list! I was just looking at Tucson (my home city) the other day, noticing how sunny and beautiful it was, really appreciating the mountains I usually take for granted, and I had a thought kinda along the same lines as the tourist in your own town idea. It’s really cool to see it here, and I think it’s a really good idea!

  4. 4
    June 18th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    phew, thanks! this is EXACTLY what i’ve needed. i’ve been a little bored at home for a while this summer, and when i looked up ideas of what to do online, most of them were directed towards younger kids instead of someone at a college age. this helps a lot!

  5. 5
    June 18th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Wow thats a lot of stuff haha :)
    great list, blogging has definitely been my summer boredom cure so far.

  6. 6
    June 18th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    This is a great article!
    i especially liked the idea of pretending to be a tourist in your own town… i’ve lived their for a whle now but there’s still so much i haven’T seen!

  7. 7
    June 18th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Wonderful list! Definitely some fun things to do on there I wouldn’t have thought of. Gives me that lovely summer feeling!

  8. 8
    June 18th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Thrifting is so much fun! Especially when you find little thrift shops, they have really weird and awesome stuff.

  9. 9
    June 18th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Great list :)

  10. 10
    June 18th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Wow. I can’t believe people actually get bored during the summer. It’s the best time of the year! Now you can finally just hang with your friends, get a nice tan and read all those books you didn’t have time to read before. I love summer :) Wish it could stay like that FOREVER.

  11. 11
    June 18th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I actually did do some of the tourist attractions this summer in my hometown to see what they were like. Touring the state capitol in California is the most boring thing ever, my stomach actually started to hurt towards the end of our tour because of how boring it was.

  12. 12
    June 18th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    thank you!!!
    I needed ideas since I’m all by myself this summer (all my friends are on vacation). I also enjoy going to the library and getting new books and movies and going to the gym or just out for a run at the park for those of you that are bored this summer like me :)

  13. 13
    June 18th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    thrift store shopping has become my summer hobby. i found a vintage chanel purse today at my local unique. i swear i love thrift shopping lol.

  14. 14
    June 18th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    This is such a great list. Sometimes I get so bored in summertime. I think i’m gonna try the journal. I used to have one but sometimes forgot about it for a verry long time. LOL! :-)

  15. 15
    June 18th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    i think number 9 is a must do for me!

    i’m also spending my summer restoring an antique trunk

  16. 16
    June 18th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I already pretend I’m a tourist when I go out in Manhattan because there is always some other place to explore. I like to try different resturaunts go to musumes and the zoo. Comedy club jazz is on my list oh and catch some baseball gms

  17. 17
    June 18th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Fantastic list! I actually went to the book store today and reread old childhood stories to my foreign boyfriend who has never heard of them (it was a lot more fun that it sounds!).

    Sadly a lot of my favorite childhood movies are on VHS :( but i did find few of them on youtube.

  18. 18
    June 18th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    awe I love this! :) so many fun ideas! geocaching sounds like so much fun!! i really want to go camping this summer & do all kinds of fun wisconsin things since i’m here for the next couple months in the midwest!

  19. 19
    June 19th, 2010 at 1:34 am

    KAHLY 17 and 18 seem pretty tight. Your an amazing writer!

  20. 20
    June 19th, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I wish I had time to be bored! ;)

    Great list!

  21. 21
    June 19th, 2010 at 10:53 am

    ahhh i absolutely love this :]]]
    i’ve just moved out of my university house and already i’m dreading the long summer without my university friends!!
    i’ll definitely be trying some of these out :]]]]



  22. 22
    June 19th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Love this list! I’m going to try to do as many as I can, but especially 5, 10, 14, and 15!

  23. 23
    June 19th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I LOVE doing photoshoots with friends. It’s great to just be ridiculous and we bond way more than if we were just vegetables in front of the Tv.

    Plus it’s a great way to come up with new camera angles and expand my photography skills.

    Just don’t go too far. One of our photoshoots ended up being borderline risque (no clothing was removed, it just felt very inappropriate) and I definitely regret being a part of that.

  24. 24
    June 19th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Hey! We have an idea to do during the summer! How to decorate sandals for almost nothing!

  25. 25
    June 19th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I LOVE THIS! thanks!!

  26. 26
    June 20th, 2010 at 6:24 am

    this is a great list. its perfect for the summer. wow ur so awesome :D

  27. 27
    June 20th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    i LOVE your list! i always tend to get bored during the summer, and it’s great to look at a list of things i’ve never thought of! thank you so much! :D

  28. 28
    June 21st, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Along the same lines as stargazing, my friends and I always get a kick out of “star tipping.” Google it to learn how to play – you’ll have a lot of fun!

  29. 29
    June 21st, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Also, filling out those scholarship applications during the summer. Free and will actually earn you money.

  30. 30
    June 21st, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Great ideas, Calli! I would’ve never thought to go to museums or pretend to be a tourist!

  31. 31
    June 22nd, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    another good one would be learn a language; also it s useful if ur behind in say french/ spanish at school xx great ideas

  32. 32
    June 22nd, 2010 at 4:17 pm


  33. 33
    June 23rd, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Calli you’re amazing!

  34. 34
    June 25th, 2010 at 5:32 am

    1. Go to the bookstore. You don’t even have to buy anything. Just grab a coffee, sit in the comfy chairs, enjoy the A/C, and read any book or magazine that you’d like.

    Don’t do this. The staff will hate you if you grab something, sit down, and start reading. Go to the library if you’re not going to buy anything.

  35. 35
    September 17th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    bored asf rn in class

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