Though Tech is not well known for granting free time to its students, it is not uncommon, this early in the semester at least, for students to find themselves lacking the obligations of homework and studying. However, when a student comes by the precious commodity called “free time,” he or she will more than likely spend it one of two ways: sleeping or having fun.
Though sleep will be chosen more frequently as Tech nears midterms and finals, it is not a particularly alluring topic and is best left to the exhausted students who require it. Having fun, however, is by definition exciting. The trouble comes when a student does not have a vehicle. This leaves him or her stranded on campus with little to do, or so it would appear. The stranded status, unfortunately for the pedestrian, is unchanged, but there is plenty to do around campus. Most of the entertainment around Tech even has the bonus of being free of charge.
Perhaps the most obvious example of this is Tech Rec. This is a campus-sanctioned, convenient place for students to relax and have fun. With the daily discounts and a monthly Lady’s Night, where women get to play for free, this is an ideal place to go bowling or play billiards.
The Campus Recreation Center (CRC) also offers several entertaining activities such as rock climbing, swimming and racquetball. On the weekends, students without cars can visit Atlantic Station where there is a movie theatre and plenty of places to shop. Although valid entertainment options, students will soon grow weary of choosing between the same three options to spend their free time. Traveling off the beaten path will solve this problem.
As previously mentioned, Tech has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment, but these might not be immediately obvious to outsiders. Take, for example, the third floor of the College of Computing. There are several gaming systems, as well as a ukulele and several stuffed toys in case Computer Science majors find themselves in need of companionship. This is a great idea, but no one seems to know this exists. The third floor is often sparsely populated; the few people who do go there are often upperclassmen in need of desk space.
In addition to providing spaces dedicated to having fun, Tech has places to go and just enjoy the view. Clough’s rooftop garden, for example, provides a phenomenal view of Atlanta, especially at night. Exploring campus is one of the more rewarding pastimes a student can do at Tech. While finding new hangouts and neat views, a wanderer could stumble upon interesting alcoves, such as the ping pong table in Klaus. Of course, anyone wishing to play must bring their own paddles.
Endlessly wandering campus might also get old, or perhaps a student simply wants a change of scenery. Tech is within walking distance of other venues such as the High Museum, World of Coke and the Fox Theatre.
Perhaps the students lacking transportation are actually getting more out of Tech life than those who can come and go as they please. Having cars makes people more likely to go to a familiar haunt than to find something new to occupy their time.
Those without cars, on the other hand, are forced to find new entertainment, which means that they can thoroughly enjoy all that Tech has to offer. At least, until they find their new niche in the entertainment world.