Free to go

“Poor college student’ is more than just a cliché. Here are some ideas for things to do when dinero is hard to come by.

Raul Tibadviza, a sophmore, asks faculty supervisor Jennifer Medrano about upcoming events.

Raul Tibadviza, a sophmore, asks faculty supervisor Jennifer Medrano about upcoming events.

Photo By David Robert

College can get expensive. The price of tuition plus the added cost of housing, books and food can all add up to a fairly hefty sum so it’s important that everything you do isn’t costing you every extra penny you have. There are free things to do all over Reno—you just need to know where to look.

Join a club

There’s an entire department dedicated to serving the students, and one thing it does is manage clubs and organizations. There are more than 130 groups you can join, which range from your major to your ethnicity to your extracurricular interests. It is hard not to find a group that you would be interested in joining. However, if there doesn’t happen to be a club or organization you want to join, create your own. It’s free, and you could meet people who share your interests. If you become an active member, you will also be able to include this on your résumé for jobs and graduate schools. Visit the Jot Travis Student Union main desk for more information or go to

Check out the free events on campus

Visit the Jot Travis Student Union’s main desk for a calendar of events to find out about free concerts, early-released movies, barbecues and activities. Events are held all the time and usually in areas where students pass by. They can get pretty big—the more people, the more fun.

“This year, students can look forward to Flipside restoring traditions like Welcome Week and the Homecoming Parade,” says Lauren O’Brien, vice president for programming. “Flipside is concentrating on the student’s wants and needs by providing the events that they ask for like large-scale concerts. Flipside is co-sponsoring the AFI concert coming up on Sept. 5.” The larger concerts usually have a price tag attached, and at $23.50, AFI is no exception.

Volunteer your time

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to give your time to someone who could really use it. You can help at a local hospital, animal shelter or somewhere that focuses on people. There are a lot of children who want someone to care about them and guide them. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national organization that helps children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships. If you would like to work on a more local level, you can join Sierra Association of Foster Families. This is a group that helps guide and aid foster families in Northern Nevada. They can always use more volunteers. Call 828-9977.

Walk down to the Truckee River (runs through downtown Reno)

It is several blocks down from campus, but it’s worth seeing. It features artistic sculptures, waterfalls and benches that you can sit on and visit with a friend, do homework or just people-watch. It is a great escape when you need to get away from campus to have some quiet time while still staying close to university grounds.

Have a picnic

Manzanita Lake is a great place to have a picnic because it features beautiful weeping willows and swans, and you have a great view of the sunset. This is a perfect place to grab a blanket, bring some food and impress your significant other. Having a picnic can also be a way to have a casual meeting with someone. It takes pressure out of being in a stuffy room, and there’s food, which is always a good idea.