I realize that at the moment, it’s not possible to do many of these things with our friends as we did six months ago, but this mini-guide will be here for when things are normal again and it should give us some things to look forward to when these things are possible. Being in college brings a lot of freedom, and a lot of time to spend with friends. Sometimes you’re itching to do something new with your group, so this little guide should give you a few ideas to make the time with people you care about even better.
We’ll start with on-campus events. This one is the most obvious. Students receive a calendar each month over email and physically under our dorm room doors with all of the upcoming activities on it. As one could imagine, These are the easiest things to do with your friends. Most of the events are on campus, and they’re free. Some of the most popular ones are Bingo and Quizzo nights. These two can appeal to just about anyone looking for something to do, with prizes given out to the winners. In addition to these, there’s a multitude of other events during each month, and at least a couple of them will probably pique your interest.
Moving onto the second most obvious thing to do with friends- attending athletic events. I personally like going to the home lacrosse games the most. I’ve also been to basketball and volleyball games on campus. These are always made better when surrounded by friends, or even when you have friends in the game!
Now we get to the “not as blatantly obvious” ones. First up, we have a trip to the movies. This one’s definitely not happening due to COVID, but in normal times, this is a great trip with friends. My friends and I went to see The Grinch (the new one) when it first came out our freshmen year at a movie theater right on Lancaster Ave, not far from Cabrini.
Indoor Movie Night
If nothing in theaters captures your attention, you could always create a movie theater in your dorm. Invite your friends over, make some microwaveable popcorn, and put on a movie from Hulu, Netflix, or Disney+. Me and my friends did this while watching Step Brothers last year.
I love ice skating, even if I might fall occasionally. This is a great winter activity, especially if you go to the outdoor Blue Cross Riverrink in Philly. Closer to Cabrini, there’s also the Skatium in Havertown and the Springfield Ice Skating Rink in Springfield. You’ll have to call ahead or check their website to see what times open skating to the public is available.
Being right near the second largest mall in America has its perks. If you’re a bit of a shopper, take a trip with friends to the mall and wander around for a few hours. I’ve been to Dick’s Sporting Goods in the mall with some guys from the golf team and just spent the entire time in the golf section. There’s bound to be a store or restaurant that catches your eye.
Going out to dinner with my friends is one of my favorite activities. Two great things rolled into one- food and friends. As for where to eat, I’ll just give a few of my personal suggestions, separated by what kind of environment you’re looking for.
Starting with well-known chain restaurants (This is the category I use the most. Cheaper food and it tastes good):
Their food has never disappointed me. There are two in King of Prussia, one being in the mall.
Same deal as Chick-fil-A, except even closer to campus. There’s one right on E Lancaster Ave.
Any other fast-food chain in this area you could want (McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.)
Moving onto nicer restaurants a little farther from campus:
A nice Italian restaurant in Newtown Square. Also a great place for a date.
- Not Your Average Joe’s
An American restaurant in Ardmore. The downtown area of Ardmore that NYAJ’s is located in is a great place to walk around and browse the many shops after dinner.
- Anthony’s Restaurant
Another nice Italian Restaurant, with one location in Drexel Hill and one in Broomall at Paxon Hollow Country Club. The Broomall location has an outdoor seating area overlooking the 18th green of the golf course.
And finally, some other options that you may not know about:
- Campus Corner
Located in Villanova. Pizza, hoagies, cheesesteaks, and they’re open late to deliver to hungry college students.
- Insomnia Cookies
They make some really good cookies. Located in Bryn Mawr. Also, open really late and has a delivery option.
- Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar
Located in Springfield. There are definitely other hibachi restaurants around, but this is easily my favorite. Great for bringing a group.
There’s plenty of good restaurants around; these were just some of my picks that I’ve been to and enjoyed.
Like I said in the beginning, COVID-19 is sort of stopping us from doing many of these things right now, but I’m excited when I can do them again. Let this strange time be a lesson to us all: never take for granted the time that we have. When these activities can happen again, let’s all enjoy them a little more, and celebrate with the people that can feel as close as family-our friends.