Of all college students, freshmen have it the worst. Unfamiliar environments, faces, and scheduling can be overwhelming and finding a place to relax or hang out with friends can be difficult while underage. But never fear, college newbies: there are plenty of spots to study and chill around town and on campus that are happy to serve those under 21.
While the third floor of the library is the perfect place to study, the fourth floor has no noise restrictions and is the perfect place to relax and chat before class. But, it’s best to keep volume to a minimum and to be wary of couches, as there may be sleeping bodies.
The campus center is often crowded, especially at midday from Monday to Thursday, but the bustling atmosphere can be easy to blend into in the dining areas. For more secluded parts that were never shown at orientation, check the third and fourth floors. A small, closed-door quiet lounge is open to anyone on the top floor. The lower level has the game room, tables, cushioned benches, and easy chairs in front of the TV row--perfect for unwinding.
The great outdoors are free to everyone. Walk the canal or check out Military Park, White River State Park, or any of the campus courtyards. Take advantage of the waning summer and read in the shade of a tree instead of an overcrowded dorm. The Indiana State Museum has a student discount and the Children’s Museum has free admission on the first Thursday of every month.
Believe it or not, Eskenazi Hospital has much to offer. Although the Tuesday farmer’s market has ended, Duos vegetarian/omnivorous kitchen has a permanent lunchtime sandwich bar in front of the main entrance. Hop on the gray line, grab a bite to eat, and relax in the garden-fountain complex while supporting local business. It’s not Mickey-D’s cheap, but it’s still worth the splurge every once in awhile.
For those freshmen with cars or don’t mind walking, downtown Indy has a lot to offer.
Mo’Joe Coffeehouse sits just off campus at the corner of Michigan St. and Senate Ave,across the street from the new Marsh supermarket. Marsh has a sitting area upstairs and free wi-fi, a good backup plan if Mo’Joe is crowded. Indy City Market has dozens of options for food and ample seating upstairs; there is a bar, but it’s plenty nice to look at from a legal distance.
Monument Circle has cafes and restaurants like Pearings, Soupremacy, Bucca di Beppo, Giogrio’s Pizza, Starbucks and the South Bend Chocolate Company. Those green tables sitting between the library books and the curb are for public use.
Mass Ave is home to plenty of bars, but the entire strip can be a fun night out. Shell out some cash at Pizzology or Bru Burger and then check out the discounted and eclectic shelves of Indy Reads Books. There’s also Yats, YoguLatte, The Best Chocolate in Town, and Natural Born Juicers; Ralston’s Drafthouse allows people under 21 inside until 9 p.m., and after that the outside porch remains open. HomeSpun and Silver in the City have novelties and gifts that are just as nice to look at as they are to buy. Can’t find bacon soap in the campus Barnes and Noble