So you think Swatties don’t actually have fun on the weekends? Or, maybe you have an image of us spending every waking moment in the library? Nahhh! Never fear! Here is a (mostly) thorough list of fun things that some Swatties do on the weekend:
There are plenty of awesome things to do in Philadelphia, whether it’s to have good food or to hear a concert or just see the city! My friends and I like to celebrate our birthdays at Sabrina’s Cafe, which is a cozy place to get brunch. Restaurant Week is also popular and happens once each semester. Food aside, there are other great places to visit on a weekend. If you’re a science geek, you could check out the Franklin Institute or the Natural Academy of Science, and if you’re more of an art person, there are wonderful collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Or, if you’re just in the mood for coffee, you can always do some studying at one of the many hip cafes around the city like Elixir or La Colombe!
Go a town over into Media
Want to celebrate someone’s birthday but don’t want to trek all the way to Philly? Media is a nice area about ten minutes away from Swarthmore that bustles with a diverse array of fantastic non-Sharples food: you can take your pick between having French, Mediterranean, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai, etc. Plus, there’s a Trader Joe’s for all you TJ-inspired snack lovers (like me). There’s even a student-run shuttle service that brings you there!
Volunteer with the Lang Center
Spread some joy and get involved! For anyone who has some extra time and wants to help out, there are many organizations through the Lang Center for Social & Civic Responsibility that provide resources for those around the communities of Chester and Philadelphia. For example, Saturdays of Service is one of the groups that I help coordinate, and we bring student volunteers to places like Books through Bars, Cradles to Crayons, PhilAbundance, and others.
Festivities, Traditions, & Celebrations
Often on the weekend, there will be festive events sponsored by different student groups on campus. Some are themed parties like this past January’s Yule Ball, which is a kind of winter formal similar to the magical holiday dance in Harry Potter. There’s also the tradition of Screw Your Roommate, which happens every Valentine’s weekend, along with more classic holiday traditions like the party for Halloween. During the warmer months, Holi, which is the Indian festival of colors, is a fun celebration that happens in the spring! In addition, there are always a ton of events scheduled for the Spring Arts Celebration and a not-to-miss Worthstock event that celebrates the end of spring semester classes in May.
Watch a movie
On Friday and Saturday nights, there are screenings that the Movie Committee puts on for popular, recently released movies! Other times, RAs will plan movie events – for example, there was a dorm-wide movie night for “Inside Out” in Danawell a few weeks ago. Of course, when there are special occasions like the Oscars or the Superbowl, different hall/dorm activities are usually set up for the viewings! Alternatively, you can host your own with your friends and bring snacks!
Listen to a concert (or something else!) in Lang Concert Hall
Every weekend there is something happening in the concert hall in the music building. In April, there will be many concerts featuring student groups like the Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Chorus. Sometimes, there are senior recitals showcasing the work of a music student – at the end of April, I’ll be helping out with the harpsichord part for one of my friend’s recitals! A cappella concerts are a huge hit as well, and you can often see large crowds lined up for Jambo, the semesterly concert for the collection of a cappella groups to come together and sing. Aside from music though, there are other events sometimes held in the hall as well! Last year, Bryan Konietzko from Avatar the Last Airbender came to give a talk about his artwork. This year, there was a symposium honoring Professor Barry Schwartz with talks from distinguished psychologists!
Watch a student-run production
Comedy improv groups like Boy Meets Tractor and Vertigo-go put on several shows a semester. If you have friends who are in the groups, it’s always fun to see their hilarious acting and always nice to support them! One of the biggest events of the year is the Rhythm & Motion show, which is an amazing dance performance that focuses on the African Diaspora and is celebrated by the entire Swarthmore community. Additionally, many students participate in plays, musicals, and operas, like this upcoming April’s production of Dido and Aeneas, which will be completely costumed and set to music!
Baking with friends
This is a personal favorite for me and my friends, since we love all kinds of desserts. We even have a somewhat unwritten rule of who does what – a few of my friends are the actual bakers, some are in charge of cracking eggs, and some are the taste-testers (especially for cookie dough). Over the semesters, we’ve made the classics like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies, but have also ventured out to the more complicated, like mini key lime cheesecakes!
Sit outside and do work – or do nothing!
Now that the Adirondack chairs are back out on the lawn outside of Parrish, there’s plenty of nice weather to enjoy. It’s a nice spot to do some readings, hang out with friends, or just sit and relax. Sometimes in the midst of work, it’s important to take breaks and to remember to take a fresh breath of air every now and then to take in the quiet moments.