6 Unconventional Weekday Campus Activities

Feeling like there is nothing to do on a Thursday night? Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper into your college community in order to find events to fill in the boring days of the week.

Here are some events that I’ve experienced around my college town that can open of your options!


I know, at least where I reside, there are a plethora of options when it comes to concerts and shows around the town. Sometimes put on by the universities and others just around the venues in the town, there is a wide variety of options for students to attend.

I have personally seen Matt & Kim, Super Mash Bros, T Pain, Grizzly Bear, and a handful of other local and semi-well known bands.

In most towns there are at least a couple of venues that you can find shows going on during most of the week. If you like their Facebook pages, it can help you keep up-to-date on upcoming bands coming through the town. Also, if you have cool enough friends, they can keep you in the know.


Iowa City is full of great writers and literature, making it a hotspot for authors to stop and share their material. There are a couple of places downtown that have readings. Readings are a time for authors to read their works to an audience. It usually is in a small, intimate setting and gives people the opportunity to hear a little about the author’s thoughts and hear how they intended it to be read.

This is a great way to find new and upcoming writers that you probably wouldn’t hear about through the mainstream media. I personally had the experience to hear Madeline McDonnell read out of her new novella. I had previously read her in my review writing class making the experience a lot more personal and exciting. Just get out there and consume new literature!


Universities tend to encourage famous professors and other well-known, well-respected people. This gives a more academic side to the events that students can attend. Most of the time it features people in the science and math fields giving students a different and deeper meaning coming straight from the professionals.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and science communicator, came to University of Iowa and gave a lecture to students and community members. Now, this isn’t only for those who are into the science community, lectures can be informational to anyone that is willing to take the time to listen. This kind of opportunity is hard to come by unless you are in a college town.

Dancing Nights

Looking for something to do on a Thursday night? Check out your local town to see if there are any public spaces that have waltzing, ballroom dancing, or other dancing opportunities. Sometimes it is only an open night where specific music is played giving participates the opportunity to dance the night away with people who love it as much as they do. Other times there are actual opportunities to learn a new dance that could come in handy for future outings on the town. So grab a friend and get down.


During the beginning and end of the year, 5Ks and 10Ks being to pop out of the woodwork. Most of the time the money that you pay up front for registration goes towards some sort of good cause in the community. They are a great way to get yourself motivated and out running during the nice weather.

Get a group of your friends together and all go running together. Training in a group of people can help you keep your running habits up and help the moral at an all time high. Make sure to sign up in plenty of time to let yourself train an adequate amount so you don’t get any running related injuries.

Sporting Events

Many college towns are all about sporting events! Depending on the season there can be anything from football, rowing, tennis, fencing, ultimate Frisbee, and so many more. There are the obvious sports that many of the student population will attend, but there are plenty of other options that can give you a new look into the less popular sports.

Write down all of the different sporting events around campus and keep track of when they start. Try to make it a goal to go to as many random and different sporting events as you can. Maybe you’ll find a new sport that interests you and you’ll want to try out the next time around!

Being in a college town can open you up to so many different opportunities that might not be presented in other social settings. Go out there and get involved in the community.

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Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas is a freshman at University of Iowa studying Journalism and Nonfiction Creative Writing. She plans to one day be able to get paid to travel around the world writing about her adventures. The day you can find her travel book on the shelves of bookstores will be the day she has finally reached her life goal. When she is not pursuing her dreams of travel writing, she is either at the University's radio station or on her computer wasting time on Tumblr and Netflix.