Turn free time into fun time

By Sarah Contreras

Student life can be hectic, especially in the first few weeks of the semester.

There are financial aid problems to straighten out, dorm room or apartment supplies to be bought and textbooks to be ordered for $8 from shady websites. It seems as though every spare minute of the day is filled, making free time a distant summer memory.

Eventually, though, there will be free time. And when it comes, you may find yourself complaining, “There is nothing to do in DeKalb.”

Au contraire!

DeKalb is full of entertainment possibilities, and finding them doesn’t even require that much effort. All you have to do is get a little adventurous (and, of course, tack this article to your wall).

If you’re into learning new things, consider stopping by the House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway, on Tuesday evenings. For $5, rookie and veteran dancers can enjoy a one-hour swing dance lesson followed by open dance hours.

Dancing not your thing? Monday evenings at the House are Open Mic nights, where DeKalb’s aspiring stars test out new songs, poetry and other talents. Show off a skill, or simply sit and watch. It definitely beats watching One Tree Hill reruns.

Talented or not, people flock to the many karaoke options in DeKalb. Enjoy multiple renditions of Katy Perry’s “Firework” at Starbusters Sports Bar and Night Club, 930 Pappas Drive, Hometown Sports Bar & Grill, 241 E. Lincoln Highway, and Otto’s Niteclub & Underground, 118 E. Lincoln Highway. Unfortunately, these venues require participants to be 21 and over.

But DeKalb is not all song-and-dance. For entertainment on the racier side, look into Rocky Horror Picture Show nights at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. The Egyptian is also home to various screenings and concerts. Look for other movie screenings on campus, hosted by the likes of Recreation Services, the NIU Film Society and other student clubs.

Don’t find yourself browsing Facebook on your free nights. Get out and get to know your hometown—you never know what new favorite thing you might stumble upon.