UCL Accommodation


The best 3 student activities that don't involve partying

15 October 2021

As a student in London, there are plenty of budget-friendly activities which don’t involve partying. To help you decide which are worth going to, UCL student Tomi Haffeti gives her top 3 suggestions

Front of a Cinema in London, lit up in pink.

University social life can often feel like it is centered around one thing: partying. With partying comes the added pressure to drink, dance and stay up late. 

However, there are a number of activities happening around UCL, and more importantly, in London, which do not involve going to a party but are equally or arguably more fun. 

1. Head to the cinema

Going to the cinema with a group of friends can be an easy way to relax while also feeling social. 

The BFI Southbank and Barbican cinema have loyalty schemes for under-25s which means that you can get tickets to blockbusters and classics for only £3 or £5. 

There are multiple films showing every day, and both cinemas are within 30 minutes walking distance to UCL, or an even shorter tube or bus ride. 

If you wanted to make this into a night-time social event, both venues have amazing restaurant bars within the building, so that you can meet up with friends and grab a drink or some food and spend the evening in a relaxed setting away from a crowded party.

2. Experience some culture

Another great student activity that does not involve partying is going to a gallery or museum evening. 

The UNIQLO Tate Lates happen one Friday of every month and is the best way to see the Tate with the added fun of live music, food and drink, and immersive activities to get involved with. 

The V&A also has an event like this and promotes student involvement because the tickets are cheap (even cheaper with an Art Pass or Tate Collective Card) and are short tube rides away from UCL campus. 

Most of the Tate Lates have a theme, for example sustainability, and so you can explore artistic interpretations of this while socialising with your friends. 

This is a great way to get to know people in a chilled environment with conversation starters right in front of you. 

The constant change in themes means that even if you go more than once, you will never have the same experience twice. 

3. Stay home

A less obvious activity is simply hosting a dinner party or event in your own home, and socialising from the comfort of a place that is familiar to you. 

Bringing together friends from across campus, or across the city, means that you can relax in a shared space and save money on dinner expenses, while happily socialising and cooking together. 

There are so many recipes that feed a group of people, and it is a great way of trying out new things with each other. 

There is no pressure of drinking or being in a crowded space because you have complete control of the people who you invite, and how the afternoon or evening develops. 

An added bonus is that you may end up bringing together groups of people who did not know each other before but find a common ground in a shared interest or conversation. 

These are just a few examples of ways that you can have fun as a student without partying or going out, and without feeling uncomfortable in a new and unknown environment. 

They are also great ways of exploring what London has to offer and immersing yourself in new experiences that can be done with or without a big group of people. 

You can check out Flourish events exclusive to UCL Accommodation residents and find more activity suggestions on the Flourish blog page. 

Photo by Myke Simon on Unsplash