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Don't Be Boring: 5 Campus Activities that College Students Love

Is your campus boring?

You’d probably answer that question with, “Of course not!”

Almost every Higher Ed professional reading this would respond similarly. Colleges typically go to great lengths to provide exciting activities and events that their students love.

However, with enrollment down across the board and many students dropping out of college, it’s important to always look for fresh and innovative ideas to keep students engaged, connected, and happy.

We’ve outlined five of our favorite campus activities below, and many of these are super low-touch; you just need to create the opportunities and the students can take it from there!

Here are 5 Campus Activities that College Students Love:

1. Meet and Greet Mixers

Mixers and networking events are always super popular because they are very low-key and have universal appeal. The barrier of entry is relatively low since you don’t need to be part of any particular group in order to attend.

Create a chance for your students to mingle with each other and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Even many students with rich social lives love to attend these types of events—it’s not just about meeting new people, it’s about having a good time and being with friends.

That said, these mixers are especially valuable to students who may be shy or have trouble meeting new people.

2. Intramural Sports

Playing intramural sports is a fantastic way for college students to make friends, stay active, and be part of a larger community. There’s a reason that these are always a popular favorite on college campuses.

Which sports you can offer will likely depend on the size of your student body and your available facilities, but many of them require little more than a field and a ball. Some of the most popular intramural sports include soccer, volleyball, floor hockey, dodgeball, and basketball.

Intramural sports also create a great opportunity for work-study jobs or internships for students who can serve as referees, scorekeepers, and coordinators. 

Intramural basketball

3. Job Fairs and Career Services Events

More than ever, college students understand the importance of preparing for life after school, which for most is entering the workforce. The more resources and support that schools can offer, the better.

Hosting events and training seminars like mock interviews, job fairs, and resume reviews, are incredibly valuable to students and are typically well-attended.

These events are also a great way to foster relationships with local businesses and professionals in your community. It’s a win-win-win!

4. Volunteer Opportunities for College Students

As a group, we know that college students tend to be compassionate people and love to give back to those less fortunate in their communities. In fact, it's one of the best ways to build college student engagement.

In fact, 25.7% of college students volunteer and college students contribute $6.7 billion worth of service each year.

So, it’s a great idea to create as many opportunities as possible for your students to volunteer, whether that’s in your local community or on some type of service trip.

This is also a great way to foster relationships with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, food banks, homeless shelters, schools, parks and recreation centers, assisted living communities, and more.

5. Common Interest Groups

One of the best ways to keep your student body engaged is to create smaller, specialized groups to engage in their favorite activities. Creating the chance for people to connect and have fun while sharing their common interests can quickly facilitate lasting friendships.

You should rely on your students to tell you what these interests might be, but here are some favorites:

  • Board games
  • Writing
  • Book clubs
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Photography 
  • Cooking
  • Social Causes

The best part is that the school doesn’t need to have much involvement in most of these activities, other than perhaps providing a physical space. And the best part is that they go a long way toward creating a thriving campus culture.

For more ideas on creating compelling, exciting campus activities for your students, visit the National Association for Campus Activities.

Do Your Students Show Signs of Disengagement?

With record levels of burnout and anxiety, many college students are struggling nationwide. When that happens, they start to disengage from school which can often lead to dropping out.

What do signs of burnout look like?

Here are a few:

    • Missing classes
    • Skipping meetings
    • Infrequent attendance
    • Minimal participation 
    • Not completing assignments
    • GPA dropping

If you want to make sure you have proactive, proven solutions in place, check out our free guide: The Academic Advisor’s Handbook for Disengaged Students.

Academic Advisor's Handbook for Disengaged Students