Five dollars or less
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve fallen into a routine. I start my week early Monday morning, and I can’t wait for the clock to strike 5 o’clock on Thursday. I send out the texts to ask people what they are doing and I get a response of “we’re having a pregame for our friend’s birthday” or “going to bars, meet up l8tr?”
But I’ve gotten fed up with how complacent I have been in what I do with my spare time. I wanted something different, so I made a change this weekend. I started a detox of my monotonous nightlife of drinking and bars. I wanted to do activities that cost five dollars or less. Here is what I found.
It all started Friday evening when I went to Carter’s Mountain. I had visited in the past to see the music that they have on Thursday nights, but believe it or not, I had actually never gone apple picking in the orchards. On the trek up the mountain we talked about our weeks, our girl issues and our hopes and dreams — none of us have jobs yet or know what we are doing post graduation. I picked apples. I laughed a lot. I ate way too much. I knew that I wanted to do it all again.
As we were on our way home, I remembered that my friend had a performance with her dance team, Mahogany. In all my time here at U.Va., I had never gone to a show, and I knew that I was in for a treat.
It was more than I could have ever asked for. The pure talent on the stage amazed me, and this was all coming from my fellow classmates. What made it even better were all the parents in the crowd — it was parents’ weekend, who knew? — who were rocking out to the likes of Nelly and Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion?). It definitely was worth the five bucks.
The following afternoon, I went to the Whethermen show, which was free — who doesn’t like free stuff? — and couldn’t stop laughing for the entire hour. I went to the Tomtoberfest on the Corner, which had some pretty awesome local bands that I immediately Googled when I got home.
Saturday night I went to Apocalypse Brown, which was this year’s incarnation of Brown College’s annual haunted house. It was five bucks, and all the profits raised went to a homeless shelter. I have a heart of a lion, so I wasn’t scared, but the five girls who were screaming behind me and holding on to me for dear life were. It was scary fun, and I’m sad I only got to experience it once during my time at the University.
Even though these were a lot of firsts for me, and these events did cross off a lot of lines on the list of things to do before you graduate, my advice to all you underclassmen out there is to not wait until your time is up to start experiencing something new. We are so lucky to go to a school that has such a vibrant and diverse culture of student groups that put on awesome events. Don’t let them pass you by because of that “once in a lifetime frat party” or new episode of Breaking Bad — just TiVo it!
Now, this isn’t a public service announcement for sobriety, but take your hall mates, your girlfriend, that random guy you met on the Lawn, and try something new because it never hurts to do something different. You might like it.
Al’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. He can be reached at email@example.com.