When the sun sets behind the mountains of Cullowhee, North Carolina on a Friday evening, the campus begins to bustle with activity. Since Cullowhee is relatively isolated, there aren’t many places to go off campus. In fact, many students who live nearby go home on the weekends to be with their families. However, the campus has an excellent variety of activities to keep you occupied if you need to stay. Here are five of the top things to do at Western Carolina University when studying comes to an end.
1.) See a movie. The University Center at Western Carolina is equipped with a fully functioning theatre. On nights when they have nothing else to do, students will often go and see a movie. This isn’t some tiny theatre either; we’re talking a literal theatre, complete with rows of comfy chairs and concessions. It’s a great way to relax and see that latest movie you’ve wanted to catch.
2.) Go to one of the restaurants on campus. Despite the fact that it’s a university campus, Western Carolina does have some nice sit down restaurants, such as McAlister’s, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and the Courtyard Food Court. These places provide students with good food and a nice place to hang out and unwind. If you’re going on a Friday or Saturday evening though, you may want to get there before the crowds; some of those lines can get pretty long. Also, you should check the schedules of each of the restaurants beforehand, because some of them have odd business hours. New dining establishments are scheduled to be built soon as well. After a fire destroyed three businesses in 2013, a large portion of the business complex had to be torn down. A new complex is scheduled to be built in its place.
3.) Exercise at the gym.Western Carolina University has an expansive recreation center complete with almost any sort of exercise machine you could imagine, a rock wall, and a swimming pool. It’s hard to beat the recreational facilities that they have, and if you’re a more athletically inclined student, this could be an ideal way to work off all of the stress that you accumulate during the week. Intramural events also take place, so ask around about special events at the gym.
4.) Attend a concert. They are always organizing concerts on campus, and Western Carolina has an excellent music education program to begin with. There are halls and event areas across campus that are specifically designated for these sorts of activities. Concerts include folk and jazz music, along with an array of other genres. Tickets are often required for these events, so make sure that you sign up in advance.
5.) Attend a party. Alright, so I can’t pretend that parties, (even wild parties), don’t take place on campus. Oftentimes, groups of friends will organize their own events on or off campus, and they can be a great way for like-minded people to socialize, provided that the event is properly hosted. If you do go to a party, make sure that it is hosted by friends you trust. I don’t want to give you too much of a talk on this, but please approach partying with extreme caution. It’s possible for it to get out of hand.
In addition to these five activities, there are countless other events you can participate in. Just ask around, and check the bulletin boards around campus. The key to having fun at Western Carolina University is to connect with people. Find out what they know about events on campus, and join in with them. You will remember these experiences for the rest of your life.
Andrew McClure graduated from Western Carolina University in 2014 with a degree in English, a concentration in professional writing, and a minor in biology. He enjoys reading, writing, and studying alongside his two dogs, Pepper and Little Ann.