Ask a fifth-year: “Drinking Period”, How to Make the Best of It

Dear Sarah,

I took advantage of not having classes the last few days and made some seriously Freshman Decisions. I went a little too hard on Wednesday and then spent all of Thursday in bed nursing the queen mother of all hangovers. Reading period is almost over and I’m looking for something fun to do over the next few days so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time off. Any suggestions?

– Haplessly Hungover


Dear Haplessly,

My first suggestion is to go buy several large boxes of Ritz crackers or saltines and some ginger ale. It’s been my fail proof hangover cure for some time now. They’re easy to keep down and will settle your stomach.

Now, on to your question. I know Appleton seems like a small city and Lawrence feels like an even smaller bubble within that small city, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to go out and explore the world around you. Here are a few of my favorite spur of the moment free time activities.

High Cliff State Park: These gorgeous fall colors won’t last much longer, my friend and there are few places that offer better viewing than High Cliff. Just a thirty minute drive southeast (so hopefully you or someone you know has a car), the park has large green areas that are just asking for some college kids to show up with a Frisbee or a soccer ball. You can also walk up along the cliffs for a scenic view of Lake Winnebago.

Movie Night: Not feeling like going out? Plan a movie marathon with friends. Between the library, Netflix and Amazon Prime, you are bound to find something to please everyone. You could also take a quick trip out to the local cinema—“Gone Girl” is supposed to be good and “Birdman” was quite successful on the fall festival circuit.

Fall Festivities: It’s a week until Halloween, go get into that festive fall spirit! Wisconsin is full of apples, take some friends and go pick some of your own in a local orchard instead of snitching extras from the campus center. Look for pumpkins at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning and carve up some jack-o’-lanterns.

Go out to eat: Even if you just barely get out of the Lawrence bubble and walk a block down College to Taste of Thai, it’s good to give your stomach a treat that isn’t from Bon Appétit. If you’re looking to go a bit further afield, Carmella’s is a particularly tasty Italian restaurant and Antojitos is a lovely, intimate Mexican restaurant.

Shopping Spree: Every reading period without fail, I always seem to end up at the mall at least once. You’ve made it through six weeks’ worth of classes, concerts, mid-terms and essays, you deserve something nice. Whether it’s hitting up the sale rack at Banana Republic, shuffling through flannels at the Thrift Shoppe or buying a new arts and crafts project from Michael’s, take these last few days of reading period to do something nice for yourself. We could all use a little time to be nice to ourselves.

Send in your questions to and have them answered by Sarah, a double-degree student in her fifth year at LU.