Everyone posts Instagram pictures a couple months leading up to the start of school with a caption saying "can't wait to be in *insert college town name here*. You go along with it right? Maybe you even try to sound like a local and call your town a cutesy nickname or you start a countdown on your phone. Ok, that's all fun and cool, but could you tell me where the grocery store is? The best place for tacos? Free parking?
It's ok, I didn't know either.
It's important to explore your college town because it's where you will probably spend a lot of your down time. Whenever you need to relieve some stress, chances are you'll want to get off campus and grab a treat with friends or do some fun activity. One of my favorite places that I've discovered whilst being away at college is the farmer's market here in town. I love going on Saturday mornings to get fresh flowers (and pet the dogs from the animal shelter). I went last weekend (and today which you saw if you follow me on Instagram), so I'm throwing in some pictures and outfit details because #bloggerprobs.
dress - Forever 21 (similar)
crossbody - Toryburch (newer style here)
rainboots - Joules rainboots (if you're a Hunter fan, these are for you)
Ok enough chit-chat...
3 easy steps to getting to know your college town:
If you have a car, a bike, two legs, or a buss pass, get lost. Drive down a road whenever you question "I wonder what's down here". Bike a little bit further to see what lies ahead. You never know what you might find.
Ask anyone you meet for recommendations
I got this idea from my boyfriend, Cameron. The first week or so, Cam would ask waiters at restaurants, "What's cool to do around here?" On most occasions, waiters are locals or they've at least been in town a year or so and can tell you some fun things to do or see. After that, I started asking my RA's whenever I saw them in the hallway. I'll never forget it was my RA that told me the best thrift shops and spots to hike! So don't be afraid to ask people, it's very helpful.
I found myself sitting around thinking "I wonder if they have a *insert store or restaurant name here*". I remember the night that my parents left, I felt like I needed to keep busy in order to avoid any panic attacks of being so far away from home. I had recently gotten into taking barre classes, so I googled to see if there were any studios in my area. I found one that I LOVE now, and I go almost every weekend during the school year. Another example would be just last night I was craving my favorite black bean burger from Smashburger and Cam found one in a town about 25 minutes away -worth the drive!
This may sound like a no-brainer, but often times when someone suggests a cool restaurant, we reply with, "oh, that sounds good!" and never end up going. If your RA tells you a great place to go thrift shopping, make plans with your friends to go later that day or very soon. I know some situations feel awkward because you may not even know how to get to the place, but put in the effort and you'll get so much back. I love being a sophomore this year mainly because I know a great cafe if I'm in need of a cup of coffee or the best deal on Mexican food. Just get out and explore!
I hope your first week of classes went well. (If you start next week, good luck!)