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For those cold, rainy nights

Mary Claire O'Donnell | Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let’s just get this complaint out of the way: South Bend weather is terrible. But complaining is too easy. We chose to come here, so let’s make the best of what South Bend has given us, whether or not we want it.

It’s often hard to motivate yourself to get off the couch during these bleak winter months of snow, sleet, rain and hail, even on a Friday or Saturday night. My advice: give in to that urge to stay inside. Invite your friends over from down the hall, the dorm next door or those brave souls willing to drive to your off-campus house and hunker down for some good old-fashioned bonding. Below is a list of ideas for fun activities.

Play a board game

Remember those game nights you used to have with your family when you were a kid? And how fun they were? Recreate that with your friends. Let your competitive side come out during a game of Monopoly. Let your sense of humor emerge in Apples to Apples. You’ll not only laugh off some stress from the busy week of work you just put yourself through, but you’ll also learn a thing or two about your friends and how their minds work.

My suggestions: Say Anything or Scattergories

Watch a movie

I know, it’s simple and you probably didn’t need my advice for this suggestion, but sometimes the best solution is so simple you can’t see it right in front of you. On cold or dreary nights, it’s always fun to snuggle under a pile of blankets on your couch or futon and enjoy a good movie, whether an action flick or romantic comedy. Ask friends to bring over their favorites or head to RedBox for something new. If you’ve got your eye on a cute friend of a friend, be sure they get the invite and the seat on the couch next to you. And for good measure, pick a scary movie.

My suggestions: “Lord of the Rings” trilogy or “10 Things I Hate About You”


If it’s cold outside, why not make something hot and delicious to warm yourself up? Nothing lifts spirits better on an ugly day than a freshly baked cookie or brownie. Take advantage of the dorm kitchens or the one in your apartment and discover a friend’s hidden talent for decorating cupcakes. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out a new recipe online and make something like banana chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

My suggestions: chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal scotchies (see the back of bags of Nestlé® semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, respectively)


Okay, so this is more a solitary activity and some may entirely skip this section, calling it lame or saying they do enough reading for class. But do you ever have the desire to read something you’re not going to get graded on? Something you can just enjoy? I know I still have a book on my bedside table that I desperately want to finish but never seem to have the time to. One chilly day, set aside an hour or two for yourself to just curl up on the couch with hot chocolate and a good book before your friends come over. Ask your pals or the librarians for suggestions, or reread an old favorite. But just give your mind a rest from that Orgo textbook you’ve been poring over for the past two weeks.

My suggestions: “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins or “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell