Picture this: It’s a Friday night after a long and tiring week. You and your roommates begin planning a night full of lavish food, bubbly drinks, desserts and a night on the town. You’re all getting hyped and picking out your hottest outfits — then you all begin to stop. The euphoric feelings begin to fade as you realize the most unsatisfying fact: You’re poor.
We at the Clog are very much aware of the expenses that a social life entails. And, like many of you, we don’t have the most … robust … budget — as in, we eat Top Ramen for nights on end to avoid grocery shopping with the $20 we found in our back pocket last week.
On top of that, as students at UC Berkeley, we study hours upon hours in order to retain the information we need to pass our classes. Take that and multiply it by the stress that accompanies all the added extracurriculars you take on, plus the job (or two) you have in order to pay for the insane expenses university life requires. In between all of this work, most of us just sleep or watch Netflix … until we fall asleep.
But social life is an important and wonderful part of college that should not be neglected. We can sleep when we’re old, people! So this week, we brainstormed some fun places where you can relax and enjoy yourself that will only cost you $5 or fewer. Some of these could also double as date nights that will both impress your significant other and also keep you from emptying your pockets … and suffering through another week of Top Ramen.
1. Flashback Friday movies at UA Berkeley 7 theater
As current movie prices skyrocket, take a group of friends and go see at flashback at the UA theater. It’s only $5, and you still get that classic movie-theater experience. In the past, they’ve played movies such as “Young Frankenstein,” “American Pie,” “Lost in Translation” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”!
2. Berkeley Public Library
Take a break from studying at good ol’ Main Stacks and go check out the Berkeley Public Library. Read — for fun! Remember those days? They’re still possible, if you make time for them. Plus, the public library is actually beautiful inside! And if you can’t possibly escape studying during midterm season, save yourself the trouble of having to buy a spot at Main Stacks on Craigslist and come here for some extra space.
3. Picnic and swimming at Lake Anza
This gorgeous place up near Tilden Park is worthy of your time — it’s so darn close to us. Take a little hike with a backpack full of good food, swim in this outstanding lake and jump off some of the rocks, if you’re brave enough!
4. John’s Ice Cream + a close friend
Choose someone important to you in your life and treat them to some ice cream and quality time — it’ll only cost you $2.50. Yes, sadly John’s did raise their prices from $1 to $1.25, but it’s still a hell of a lot cheaper than most ice cream shops around town. So indulge, and spread the love!
5. Cheeseboard + Indian Rock
Two Berkeley classics come together to make one great date night (or friend night). The beautiful scene of the San Francisco skyline and crisp air that Indian Rock brings will accommodate your delicious slice of Cheeseboard quite nicely. We promise. What’s better than pizza and friends?
Classes are important, but so is living your life. Take a break and get out there, without emptying your wallet. Your homework will still be there when you get back.