One student’s all-purpose guide to staying in

By Shelby Parker Features Editor Friday nights are popular for going out on the town. But, with hectic work schedules and long days, sometimes you just need a night in. Being more of a homebody myself, I tend to opt for quieter evenings. If it has been one of those exhausting weeks, and you just don’t feel like getting dressed up or going out to dinner, make dinner yourself and invite some of your closest friends. It’s perfect during midterms or final exams, or even if you’re trying to save money. Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring, and doesn’t have to be spent alone. These are just a few ways that you can spend the evening, but surely you can get creative and come up with something, if nothing else seems appealing. Game Night Call me old-fashioned, but I love games. There’s nothing better than getting a group of your closest friends (or family) while screaming “Yahtzee” at one another. You can’t go wrong with a classic board games, such as Clue or Monopoly. If you’re into more modern games, try something like Quelf, acting out stunts and crawling under tables or Cards Against Humanity for something more outrageous. If that’s not you’re style, make your own trivia night – like the episode of “Friends” where Monica and Rachel lose the apartment to Joey and Chandler. Get Crafty With so many DIY blogs and websites like Pinterest, there’s no excuse for not getting in touch with your crafty side. If you’re like me, you’re constantly creating boards on Pinterest or thinking of a million different ideas you’d like to try. But, life gets in the way and you never do them. Set aside a Friday night and start some of those projects you’ve been wanting to. If you don’t want to do it by your lonesome, invite your guys and gals over to experiment together. A couple of my favorite sites that include DIY projects, crafts and lifestyle tips are: and A Night in the Kitchen It’s so easy to grab a large pizza or zap popcorn in the microwave. But, there is nothing more rewarding than baking a dessert or fixing a dish from scratch on your own. I personally love making desserts, especially around the holidays, as it gives me a chance to be festive and creative. Pinterest is filled with random recipes and over the years, I’ve tried a few. Cheesecakes in mason jars are a personal favorite of mine. Binge-watching Apparently binge-watching is the new “thing” that everyone does. Thanks to Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus or On Demand, it gives you a chance to start a new series that you might not have otherwise had time for. My friends and I used to get together and we’d introduce each other to new shows. One night was “Dexter,” the next was “One Tree Hill” and another, it was “The Walking Dead.” We were already spending time with one another, so why not try something that your friends are into? On the other hand, if everyone else is busy or you’re bored out of your mind, pick a show you’ve always been curious about and see what it has to offer. Over the summer, I started catching up on “New Girl,” and it was a great decision. Watch a Bad Movie on Netflix If you’re just looking for a one-time thing, watch a really cheesy movie on Netflix. It doesn’t take up quite as much time as adding your own commentary. Isn’t that usually more entertaining anyway? While it’s great to have simple nights, like some of the suggested ideas, always remember to not get too comfortable doing the same thing week after week. Sometimes it’s great to get out and explore the city, meet new people and try new things. That’s what college is about.