How to Use Your Spare Time in College

By Bailey Linton on December 7, 2018

Your last class has ended for the day, and you give a long, drawn out sigh as you begin to relax into an evening filled with … what? You rack your brain for ideas. Surely, you didn't forget to make plans, right? Tonight would stink if I have to spend it watching Netflix alone again, you think to yourself. What are you going to do with your free time?

It can be a surprisingly tough question to answer.

While you could decide by putting choices into a hat and picking one at random, I'd argue that there are more proactive ways to go about your decision. College life is rigorous, but it also comes with stretches of downtime, so it is no wonder that we sometimes need creative ways to spend it. At Cornerstone, there are tons of ways to make the most of your free time—and enjoy it—so that homework does not get you down.

Get Involved

In my opinion, the absolute best thing that you can do with your free time is to get involved with your community. That can take many different forms, such as joining a sports team (or even an intermural team), connecting with a club or participating in student government. As someone who has participated in each of these activities at least once, I have to say that any and all of them are absolutely worth your time. You'll get the opportunity to meet people that care about the same things that you do and participate in the community Cornerstone does so well at cultivating. I am a bit partial to joining a club, but as the president of the Board Gamers Club here at CU, I would be.

There is most likely a club here on campus that would fit your interests and needs. In addition, if you are feeling a bit more charitable with your free time, there are student organizations on campus that are dedicated to improving campus life, as well as the city of Grand Rapids as a whole!

Explore the City

Cornerstone is located in Grand Rapids, which is a city booming with cultural appreciation. You have a restaurant for every type of food you could think of around here! My personal favorite is a very nice seafood place downtown named Leo's (although attending regularly on a college student's budget is not recommended).

Everything in the downtown area of Grand Rapids is within walking distance of each other, giving you the ability to experience culture on a different level. It also makes it easier to catch events, which are almost always happening around town. Take ArtPrize for example, an event that turns the entire town into one big art show that you can take your friends around to view for FREE. There's also events like Winter Jam that brings Christians together for a huge music and sermon conference.

You can experience events more at the Van Andel Arena, DeVos Performance Hall and the Grand Rapids Civic Theater, where you have an awesome opportunity to see concerts, shows and Broadway tours (and there are often student discounts if you ask)! There is so much to do and experience in Grand Rapids—make sure you use a bit of that free time to see the sights!

Rest

This may be the most boring use of your free time you could think of, but it is honestly one of the most important. The college life is fast-paced and busy. If you let it, it can beat you down and leave you begging for a break.

I have needed sleep so badly that I felt guilty, but I filled my free time with friends and other activities and didn't get the rest I so desperately needed.

It's okay to take a little bit of time to yourself to power down and give your brain a break, catch up on some sleep you missed or do a devotional to re-center your mind on the important things in life that God has blessed you with.

Make the most of your time

College can be among the best years of your life. Yes, you'll remember moments from the classroom, but more often than not, these memories will be made from the friendships forged here on campus.

Make sure to take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Still, when the time comes to make a midnight run to Meijer for chicken tenders with friends, don't be afraid to answer the call.

Categories: First-Year Checklists, Student Perspectives