When your parents envision your college career, they probably like to think that you spend hours and hours researching and pouring over books in the university library until the wee hours of the morning. They may have this image in their head because that’s what they did back in the day, or maybe they called you at midnight on a Tuesday and wanted to know what all that music was in the background (“Oh, I’m just at the library.”). Either way, the truth is that you probably don’t spend as much time at the library as you used to. I can’t blame you! That is why they invented Wikipedia, right?
Now that it’s summer you may still be pulling the library line if you happen to be living at home (“Mom, Dad, see you later I’m going to the library to get a head start for next semester!”), but really, you should try visiting your local library because they actually have some really interesting things and a lot of helpful resources–and it’s free!
Books get a bad reputation, but there are so many different kinds, there is bound to be something you like and the joys of going to the library is that if you don’t like the book, you can just return it. No commitments, no costs. Some electronic catalogs actually let you search by subject so you can find books that interest you. Plus, books are a great accessory for lounging by the pool and going on vacations without ever leaving your house.
Most libraries also offer music, DVD’s and magazines too. Instead of renting a DVD, you may be able to find the same one at your local library or you might be able to get them to request it from a different library nearby. The music may be a little cheesey, but every once and a while, you may find something you like, or maybe you’ll find that you just like cheesey music in general! The library is also a fabulous, air-conditioned space to lounge on the couches, drink coffee, and read a free magazine that you don’t have to worry about recycling (or hoarding) when you’re done with it.
Other things to look for are free movie nights, book clubs, and volunteer opportunities at the library. The summer months have a tendency to be slightly dull coming off an exciting year of college life, but the library is a good place to use up your free time and your parents will be proud when you tell them you’re going to the library. Just remember that they used to spend many hours at the library when they were your age, and they probably know what time it closes, so you may want to come up with another excuse for going out late (Wal-Mart is open 24 hours a day).