Originally Posted: Nov 2, 2018
Last Updated: Dec 7, 2020
You’ve been working tirelessly on a paper for weeks. You’ve had endless nights of little sleep, and all you need is a night off to have fun. But what if you simply don’t have the energy to go out?
Have no fear! Here are 15 things you can do to relax and have fun in the comfort of your dorm room. Many are also activities that you can do with your roommates and friends!
1. Movie night
This might be a classic suggestion, but nevertheless a fun one! You and your friends can even vote on a movie in advance to make sure it’s something everyone likes. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy—just don’t forget to bring some popcorn!
2. Cook or bake
If you’re looking for something to do solo, this might be a great one for you. Many people find cooking to be a relaxing activity that helps relieve stress. You can buy ingredients in advance to make your favorite dish or get creative with what you already have in your dorm.
If you want to have some fun with friends, try planning a cook-off or bake-off! Split yourselves up into teams and appoint a “judge” to decide who made the best dish. You can even copy popular cooking shows by giving each team a mystery basket of ingredients that they need to use in their culinary creation.
3. Paint night
This is another activity that’s good to do alone or with friends. Buy a small canvas and some paints at your local arts and crafts store, then replicate a picture that you like (or find online), or be creative and paint your own masterpiece.
4. Play a board game
Not many people play board games anymore, and it’s a shame—they’re so much fun! You can pick a game and invite some friends to play with you. Or bring a bunch of options, buy some snacks, and have a board game party in your room.
5. Do a puzzle
If you like to keep your brain active ’round-the-clock, this is a great activity to do on a night off. Again, you can either do this alone or invite others to help you out.
6. Read a book
Chances are you haven’t had time to read books for pleasure because you’ve been busy reading materials for your classes. A night off is the perfect time to read that book you’ve been wanting to read! And with winter fast approaching, this suggestion is great for a cold night. Grab a book, make some hot chocolate, and read under your covers!
According to a 2016 study from the Mannheim Institute of Public Health, students start exercising significantly less once they start college. In truth, you probably don’t need a study to tell you that—you’ve been busier than usual, and you might not be exercising like you used to. Take your night off as an opportunity to get moving. Not only will it be good for your body, but it will also help relieve some stress!
8. Spa night
What’s nice about having a spa night is that you can plan it however you choose. You and your friends can paint each other’s nails, buy facemasks, or even make your own facials using online recipes.
9. Clothing swap
While this option takes a little more planning, the benefits are great for everyone in the long run. You can put up flyers in your dorm and invite everyone to bring their old clothes. Then set up some tables, organize the clothing as you see fit, and swap away! Everyone will leave the evening content: they’ll get rid of old clothes and get something new.
10. Make a Spotify study playlist
This is another activity you can do alone or with friends. Start a new Spotify playlist with songs you like to listen to while you work. The advantage of doing this with friends is that you’ll have more people to give suggestions! Be sure to share the playlist with everyone and encourage them to keep adding to it as the semester goes on.
Related: The Ultimate Finals Study Playlist
11. Decorate your door
Who says the floor you live on needs to look boring? You and your roommate can decorate your door to bring some color and excitement to your hallway! Decorate for an upcoming holiday or create your own theme—whatever you do is sure to be a conversation starter.
12. Make popsicles
While this might not work for every season, making popsicles is both easy and fun! The great thing is while recipes definitely exist out there, you can pretty much have all the creative reins and make them however you’d like. And while you might enjoy buying colorful pop molds, you can also just freeze your popsicles in plastic cups. So simple!
13. Do some free writing
Free writing is a great activity to reduce stress and relax. All you need is paper and pen. Set a timer for however long you want and write down whatever thoughts you have during that time. While the idea of free writing is to have no prompt and simply let your thoughts flow, if you find this difficult, you can also look up fun creative writing prompts online.
14. Call an old friend
Is there someone in your life whom you haven’t had the time to chat at length with in months? (This might even be your mom...) Use your night off to finally reconnect!
15. Get some sleep
If you haven’t been sleeping as much as you used to, then the best thing for you to do on your night off might be to get some rest. Leave your textbooks out of reach, turn off your phone, and get the sleep you’ve been craving!
No matter what you choose to do on your night off, know that taking a break is extremely important! College is a lot of work, and it’s imperative that you take time to recharge. Have fun!