College events are not a one-day affair. They are remembered for years to come and make an integral part of the participant’s memory.
Well, the memories can be both good and bad.
And much of it will depend on how well you plan and organize the events.
We don’t know much about creating bad memories, but we are discussing some fun and exciting college event ideas for creating the most adorable memories.
A. Fun and exciting event ideas for college students
- Scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a good, old-fashioned way to engage students with interactive challenges. This can bring great enthusiasm from students, especially if you hold it at the beginning of the year- when new students are looking to make friends and learn their way around the campus.
One of the ways to do it is to include a task that requires participants to ask 5 strangers to name their favorite thing about the college. You can then include the Find the Hidden Talent challenge encouraging competitors to build bonds with other students by unlocking their unique skills.
- Sports events
College life is all about experiencing fun and new experiences, and sports events are an integral part of it. You are likely to have access to all kinds of sports facilities on your campus. A college's Olympic event is the right way to add a unique element of excitement and school spirit to it. You can host a wide range of traditional Olympic events such as track and field, gymnastics, discus throw, etc., or perhaps something more casual like spike ball or cornhole.
Most campuses have their own run-of-the-mill sports teams including basketball, baseball, and soccer. You can even have your own litter fun mix teams by hosting a Quidditch-themed tournament!
- Local tour
Every college town has a unique history and stories of its own. You can take this chance to engage students in the community with a walking, biking, or bus tour of local attractions such as historical landmarks, haunted buildings, famous landmarks, parks, or public art. If that seems far-fetched, you can take them around your campus- especially the newcomers and host a ‘know your place’ event to tap into the histories and stories of the campus corners. You can even hire a professional tour guide, a local history buff, or a professor of architecture to guide the students through the tour.
- Skill-building events
Skill-building events are great for students who are looking to expand their knowledge or learn something new. If you have resources to offer skill-building classes, why not? These classes can be anything- from coding classes to life skills courses. The best way to determine this is to survey the students about their skills and interests and then organize an appropriate skill-building event that most students are interested in. Depending on the depth of the event, you can decide to keep the entries open or paid.
- Community-service events
A charity or community service event is a great way to promote unity on campus by getting students involved in a good cause. When you decide on the event, post about it on social media or circulate pamphlets to call volunteers for the event. Students can help by donating items, money and volunteering their time.
You can also host a campus-wide day of service where volunteers are assigned into different groups to head to different locations around town. Places like food banks, and animal shelters. libraries, schools, or senior citizen homes are particularly in need of volunteers.
Alternatively, you can host a food, toy, or clothing drive encouraging students to donate items that they do not want or use. You can even incentivize participation by awarding prizes to the class or dorm like a pizza party.
For an ongoing impact, you can connect students with local, regional, national, and international opportunities. Organizing a volunteer fair on campus can be a good way to inform students about the many benefits of student volunteering. Charity events have the power to make a big difference by igniting life-long values in students such as empathy and philanthropy.
- TEDx event
TEDx events or TED talks are popular events where guest speakers share their personal stories, inspirational talks, and worldly advice to students on hot topics. You can host these events for specific major departments or the entire university depending on the community members, speakers, and alumni that you manage to draw in.
You can even host celebrities or social media influencers if you have the budget as they are guaranteed to draw in the big crowd. End the event with a Q&A session to ensure students get to engage and interact with your speaker.
- Health and wellness programs
Introducing and promoting self-care and wellness activities is a great way to encourage conscious decisions about health. Students can deal with several stress factors balancing classes, homework, papers, exams to even a part-time job. Providing de-stressing events, especially during exam seasons can be a great mental health booster.
Some of the initiatives you can undertake for this include-
- Campus-wide Yoga classes- This is a great way to relieve stress while building a community for students. Depending on your geographical location and climate, choose a calm, quiet place and invite a local instructor to teach stress-relieving yoga.
- Spa day- Hire local massage therapists to provide free stress-reducing massages.
- Mindfulness class- Meditation supports well-being. You can hire a professional to show students how to relax through meditation.
- Free campus counseling day- Students carry a lot of burden between academics, social life, and navigating career prospects. Counseling sessions can be a great reminder for students that supportive resources are available and people are eager to listen and help.
- Farmers’ market
Take out students to browse vendors from the local community for fresh vegetables and fruits, flowers, and other locally grown items. To give it a fun little twist, you can set up a station where students can even arrange their beautiful bouquets or vegetable baskets.
Alternatively, you can help local exhibitors set up stalls on your campus. Pick an open spot so that it is visible and accessible to everyone. Also, consider including vendors who sell handmade jewelry, art, or handlooms. Set up food stalls to enjoy this beautiful delicious food.
- Cooking classes
Cooking classes are an excellent way for students to make new friends while developing practical cooking skills that they will carry for the rest of their lives. To get started, scout for guest instructors across campus or from the local restaurant community. This can be an interactive session where the instructor shares cooking tips while teaching cooking skills. Section the classes from beginner to advanced where students can learn basic to pro cooking techniques. You can keep this around Thanksgiving, where students can cook their side dishes with personalized instructions.
- Ping-pong ball drop
The key idea of ping pong ball drop is to have fun, a lot of it. All you have to do is pick the tallest building on your campus and drop buckets of ping-pong balls from it. You can play it as you like but here are two ways to spice it up
- Set up a target on the ground where you will be dropping balls. Students write their names on a select number of balls to win cash prizes, gift cards, or other bonuses if they hit the target.
- Or, mark the ping pong balls beforehand with prize names and gifts. Drop the balls from the buildings as students stand under the shower. The ones who get the marked balls get the prizes.
- Film festivals and competitions
This is a great idea to connect creative minds who have a passion for filmmaking. Try to connect film, theatre, art, design, and other relevant departments by sponsoring a student film competition. Make separate entries for teams and individuals and provide a 24-48 hours time window for the participants to write, direct, edit, and produce a short film. Have a grand screening at a local theater or on campus with area critics as judges.
- Online-gaming tournament
Young adults love gaming and what’s a more exciting idea than hosting a tournament for classic and online gamers? This will also attract a lot of crowds, Reserve a space in a common area on campus where gamers gather to compete in video games. If your college has ample A/V supplies, you can even host mini-tournaments in each dorm. The students can bring their own monitors and game systems to play favorites like Super Smash Brothers, FIFA, and Call of Duty. If it is held on a large scale, contact local businesses to sell treats or invite energy drink vendors to set the correct party mood.
- Musical nights
What is a more exciting college event than musical nights? It is fun, it is romantic and students will be surely excited to attend it. This could also serve as a great platform for musically inclined students to gather at a set time to play and jam together. Prepare beforehand and start promoting the event early to create the perfect buzz. If budget allows, you invite a celebrity artist or let your best participants take over the mic.
- Pizza party
The sheer motive of a pizza party is to have fun, tell stories, and even gossip about the ‘hot topics’ of the college. These parties are relaxing, mellow, and also very affordable. Kids who are not well-off can finally have a filling meal. You can even include games, singing, dancing, or story-telling sessions to make the party more meaningful. A pizza party can be organized anywhere on campus where food is allowed and people can gather.
- Debate clubs
Organizing a debate or forming debate clubs is a great way to bring together like-minded people who have similar interests and passions for topics like politics, world affairs, and even philosophy. You can host a debate group with open entries to allow people to drop by and talk about burning issues or any topic that might be hard to bring up around others.
- Flash mob
Flash mobs have been here for a while, still bringing the same amount of fun and excitement every time. It is also really easy to plan. All you have to do is offer a time and meetup place and give them a theme to practice. Then they get to their best costumes and show up amidst school cheers and applause. This can also make great content for social media.
- Winter field trip
Students are always excited to go on trips. There are so many places you can visit- game night at the stadium, aquarium, galleries and museums and so much more. For a more meaningful experience, ensure to connect students with a place related to their course. For example, you can take the Theater and English students to see a local Broadway show. To enrich the experience, you can coordinate a Meet and greet with actors and behind-the-scenes theater personnel after the performance.
- School Spirit & Community-Building Events
Let students out for some meaningful time with friends. This can promote harmony and bonding between students. Some of the popular activities include
- Mardi Gras Masquerade- This is a night of festivities where students wear their best masks while bingeing on rich food such as meat, eggs, milk, and cheese. Don’t forget to set up a photo booth.
- Mural painting- Choose a place for a giant piece of art and invite students to contribute. This will create a strong sense of community and belonging.
- Clothing or book swap party- This is a budget-friendly way to clean out closer while discovering some new finds.
- Spirit Week- Keep a theme for each day of the week such as specific colors or dressing up in PJs or clothing from different eras.
- Pancakes at midnight- Serve pancakes for everyone at the dining hall or late-night snacks for the night owls.
No matter what type of event you are hosting on campus, the ultimate goal is to ensure everyone has a great time and lasting memories. This event has the potential to be discussed even for years to come, so you would want to do it correctly.
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