Sometimes you don’t want to party. It happens. Your friends may not understand, or maybe they encouraged you to take a break. Either way, what else is there to do in or around UCSB?
For starters, look around at the things you haven’t done. Go for a jog, catch up on your homework, listen to that album you never finished. Do something productive. Once you’ve got that out of the way, you’ll feel less guilty about having a good time.
If you’re looking for a source of information on where to find partying alternatives, check out http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/osl/latenite/, the website for UCSB After Dark, an organization on campus which strives to provide partying alternatives to the student body. Their goal is to support non-alcoholic or non-alcohol centered activities on and around campus, and to improve the atmosphere of the school and Isla Vista by doing so.
On Friday nights, Improvability, the local improvisational comedy group, performs at Embarcadero Hall at 8 p.m. It’s a great place to relax, have fun, or take a date you don’t really know what to say to. It’s also fairly cheap, clocking in at $3 for students, and $5 for general admission, so everyone can afford to go.
“Improvability is the most fun you can have for $3, if legality isn’t an issue,” said Improvability member and funny guy Mike Erez-Kdosa.
Another alcohol-free option is the movies with the Camino Real Metropolitan Theater being only a hop, skip and a jump away. They show all the latest movies so you can stay current with pop culture.
If you’re feeling more explorative, the West Wind Santa Barbara Drive-In Theater is the place to be. It’s a classic drive in and has fantastic ambience for spending a night with friends. Just make sure to bring a radio; no one likes a dead car battery.
For those of you who may be more into tech than tequila, AS Tech holds LAN parties every so often at the Loma Peloma Center. You can check out their website at www.ucsbastech.org. They engage in a twelve-hour gaming event with a variety of consoles and PC games. They’re often held on Saturdays, so you still have Friday night to yourself.
“It would be a great place to meet other tech savvy users at UCSB,” said Board Member Nelson Chen.
If you’re looking for a quiet night in with your computer, a good place to start is thedarksideofucsb.com. It’s a very heavy handed website dedicated to demonizing the alleged out of control party atmosphere at UCSB. While very biased, there are kernels of truth, and it makes for a fun, if provocative, night of reading.
You could also head to the mountains or a local campground for a weekend of camping and getting away from it all. The beach at night is also stunningly beautiful, if a bit chilly.
Finally, there’s always the old standby of just going bowling, with neighborhood bowling alley Zodo’s right up the highway.
“Zodo’s was designed to have something for everyone and there’s always something going on with discounts and promotions almost everyday. In addition to bowling, we have great food, an arcade, billiards, and a full bar with over 40 beers on tap,” said Zodo’s Representative Mike McElhaney.
With College Night on Wednesdays, students can bowl one free game each.
For the brave and the bold, a fun night is to hang out with your partying friends without imbibing a single drop of alcohol. You’ll be totally aware of all the silly adventures you go on, and will have plenty to laugh about over brunch the next day. Think of it as a form of gonzo journalism. There’s plenty to do aside from partying. You might as well diversify your experiences.