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Best Solo Date Ideas on Campus

Embrace solitude from the comforts of campus.

By Katrina Scalise

Whether you’re new to campus or a graduating senior, you’ve most likely experienced loneliness at college.

In fact, two-thirds of students surveyed said they struggle with loneliness and isolation, according to the 2021 Healthy Minds Study, a national online survey that assesses student mental health on college campuses.

However, some students are shifting the narrative that comes with periods of isolation: by going on solo dates. Many young people, especially women, are going on these solo dates as a mindfulness method; solo dates are occasions to engage in something, “just for you, and to do it consciously alone,” according to a March 2022 article in ABC News.

Solitude, or contentment in being alone, can benefit your health: The Rest Test, a 2016 BBC survey, shows that most activities associated with rest are done alone. Solo-date supporters attest that taking time to oneself can improve mental health, stress levels and overall fulfillment.

Here are 5 local, on-campus ideas for solo dates:

Appreciate some art: You may know that Boston’s world-renowned museums are a few T stops away from campus, but did you know that BU has its own art spaces? Take a gallery walk at the Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery in the College of Fine Arts, the 808 Gallery on 808 Commonwealth Ave., or at the BU Arts Initiative Office in the GSU. Or, observe the more public works of art scattered across bU, including the hand-painted electrical boxes, the new mural on campus, and the many contemporary sculptures that line campus sidewalks.

Exercise with intent: Although working out alone at the gym can be intimidating, FitRec offers some introductory and instructor-led workout classes. Take a class and improve your swimming, yoga, sailing, dancing, pilates, or rock climbing skills. Make sure to go at your own pace: focus on making your body feel good and energized! If classes aren’t your thing, you can take a “hot girl walk,” the phenomena sweeping the nation.

Learn about something: Attending a lecture often feels like a chore, but if you go to one focused on a topic you’re interested in, it can be an enriching experience. The CAS calendar and directory lists many events happening on campus, including foreign language film screenings, cultural conversations, and guest lectures from well known scholars, artists and actors. Learn something new, completely tailored to your interests, and with no assignments attached!

Coffee date: The classic coffee self-date is always an option, with the benefit of being able to stay sipping as long as you like. Bring a good book, podcast or TV show to binge and sit down at one of the many cafes on or near campus: Cafe Landwer, Pavement Coffeehouse, or any Starbucks location, to name a few.

Pamper yourself: Engage in some self-care and have a spa day, without booking any expensive appointments. Throw on a robe, face mask, use all of the skincare products you brought from home, and take some time for yourself, as long as that doesn’t include belting your favorite songs in the dorm showers. BU’s Student Health Services even offers certain wellness kits, to help you get your pampering on.

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