Dear Alice,

I am bored with doing the same things on weekend nights — movie, dinner, bowling, billiards... I am not into the bar/club scene at all, so do you have any creative suggestions on how else to entertain oneself on Friday nights? Meeting new people who are doing exciting and creative things would be such a plus for my social life and relationship.

Bored to the Core

Dear Bored to the Core,

The same-old, same-old may be a real downer, but thanks to the internet and social networking websites, there are a million and one ideas for fun at the tips of your fingers. What's more, the web makes it easier to connect with people who are looking for new and exciting experiences just like you! Many cities have their own geographically specific event listings in weekly publications, and there are also plenty of websites that are full of ideas. A simple web search ought to turn up some options in your area. Keep in mind, if you're a student, your school ID card may hook you up with discounts at a variety of different places from restaurants to movie theatres to museums.

If expanding your social network is your primary goal, you're not alone. Try visiting some websites where you connect with people who share similar interests and meet up and pursue them! Different interest groups are popping up all over the world so wherever you are, you're bound to find others in your area who are interested in exploring new ways to stay entertained during their free time. Whether you get together to go to a concert, have a picnic, throw a dinner party, or even go to a group workout class, many options are available to help spice up your social scene. Students and post-grads may also be able to meet a new social crowd by getting involved with alumni clubs and on-campus groups.

Another idea is to volunteer for causes that are important to you. This isn't only a great way to make contributions to organizations that need your help, but it's also a fantastic way to meet like-minded people who may share your values. You might also get the added benefit of a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing you're doing something good for your community. Try looking up some of your favorite charities and non-profits to see if they need any volunteers. You may also want to visit Volunteer Match to find a list of organizations in your area that are looking for a few extra hands.

If you're still feeling at a loss for things to do, simply try adding a twist to the social outings you and your friends currently go on. One way to do this is the ABC game. Every Friday night, try doing something you've never done before, but here's the twist: starting with A and ending with Z, each event has to correspond with the next letter of the alphabet. Six and a half months down the road, you will have had 26 new experiences or visited 26 new places!

Whatever your budget, whatever your interests, there are always ways to stay entertained. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of effort to discover them. With these tips and those offered in the related Q&As, hopefully you will be looking forward to your weekends rather than bumming over the same-old, same-old. Have fun!


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