Louisiana sure has lots of colleges and universities. Having larger universities like Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southern, and Louisiana Tech located in different parts of Louisiana means activities for college students can be spread out and diverse. Still, they are all tied together with a distinct Louisiana flavor that embodies everything in the state. Some activities are specific to the college town they are in, while others engross every college student in the state. Here are 14 activities for college students in Louisiana looking to have a good time.
For 11 years, this music and arts festival has brought students from all over the state to Baton Rouge for this little event that promotes business, art, and music in Northgate area right outside of LSU Campus. Local musicians, artists, and attendees make up the festival with most of them being LSU students. Free entry, free music, good food, reasonable drinks, and a host of entertainments after makes for a college students dream.
This tradition is held on just about every campus in the state though is most prominent for larger schools like LSU and ULL. Tailgating entails camping out before the big game, which at LSU mostly means football but also baseball and basketball. It is simply what people do in Louisiana. Cook, talk, listen to music, socialize, and enjoy a nice cool beverage of choice, while taking in the beautiful weather. Who could ask for a better weekend? The best part is, tailgating is so accepted in the state that tailgaters can even be seen for big away games. No fees. Just bring your own supplies and let the fun begin.
Live music is a big part of the culture in Louisiana. So it is no wonder that where there is a college there are also live music venues for the students to see their favorite groups. In Baton Rouge venues like The Varsity Theatre host internationally touring acts regularly, while in Lafayette more local acts can be seen at places like Blue Moon Saloon and Artmosphere. However, having two colleges in New Orleans alone, Tulane University and Loyola University, students from the Big Easy have the greatest advantage in seeing live music seven nights a week at world-renowned venues like Maple Leaf Bar or Tipitina’s. Being the birthplace of jazz, an inhibitor of the blues, a foundation of funk, and a curator of both Cajun as well as zydeco music there are countless venues and outdoor concert events for students to choose from. Just get out there and boogie!
Spring time is a magical time in Louisiana when the sun comes out, the weather stays cool, flowers bloom, and the crawfish come out! That’s right. These little mudbugs are quite the delicacy in Louisiana and the season only lasts from January till June. Crawfish boils happen throughout the spring under a sunny sky and music overhead. They are just like a barbeque, except a table is filled with boiled crawfish, potatoes, corn, sausage, and much more. They are spicy so be sure to bring something to wash these mudbugs down. Oh yeah, and there is no such thing as just boiling a little bit of crawfish. The whole pot must be filled so be sure to invite some friends and family!
LSU’s mascot is a real, live tiger called Mike. Though there have been about five Mike’s in the past they all live in the luxurious habitat that the Tiger Foundation built for the school. Since the mid-1930’s a Mike has occupied his residency on campus where he can be visited at any time though he is not always seen as sometimes the big cat like to sleep. The environment is located right next to the P Mac across from Death Valley. Right in the heart of campus.
Universities are places where the mind can expand and students in general are encouraged to speak their mind. Well, at LSU the school and students themselves have dedicated the alley going up to the front doors of the Student Union as Free Speech Alley. Where on any weekday citizens are welcome to speak their mind. Religious, political, and spiritual discussions as well as demonstrations can be seen throughout the week. Students are encouraged to state their point of view or simply ignore the free thinkers. Stop by the union to speak your mind!
This week is dedicated to students of the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Every spring the student body of ULL gets a week off to enjoy some fun activities. Lagniappe is a term used to describe just a “little something extra,” and this week at ULL is exactly just that. There are kayak and canoe races, crawfish boils, and the annual Lake Jump! The lake jump involves one student per year jumping feet first into the murky waters of Cypress Lake. Come bear witness to this great tradition.
Since the 1970s this legendary game has been happening every year between rival Louisiana schools Grambling University and Southern University. It is called the Bayou Classic because it is played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and makes for a heck of a weekend in New Orleans. People from across the state ventures over to the crescent city for the weekend. Grambling lies in north Louisiana where Southern University is from Baton Rouge in the southern part of the state. This brings together students from all over who are welcome to buy tickets to the game or experience the party that goes along with it!
This is certainly not an activity just limited to college kids though it is a past time many students enjoy. At LSU or Southern in Baton Rouge, students can take part in catch-and-release fishing on the LSU lakes right in town. In Lafayette, Cypress Lake and its proximity to the Atchafalaya Basin make for more great fishing only minutes away from campus. Fishing is everywhere in the state and is a common past time for everyone. The fact that it is largely a free activity that can be done on you own time makes it just another great activity for university students in Louisiana. Take a break from studying and cast out a line.
In Louisiana we have no shortage of water. For university students, this means water sports for days, which very much include kayaking, canoeing, and of course tubing. The many waterways, bayous, river basins, canals, rivers, and of course the Gulf of Mexico make for tons of good times paddling around with friends. However, tubing is mostly done down the rivers with places to tube right outside Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and more. It is basically a booze cruise on a tube so it is only an activity for those students of age.
Each April the fine students at Tulane University in New Orleans become the hosts of their annual Crawfest held in the heart of campus. Though the fest is free for Tulane students, other students from around the state along with guests are welcome to pay the $10 entry fee. The fee includes access to bands on two different stages, which in the past included acts like VulfPeck and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. On top of that they boil over 20,000 pounds of crawfish and thousands of pounds of vegetables. Be sure to check out the art vendors, as well. BYOB and get your groove on at Crawfest!
For most students in south Louisiana a beach trip is never far away. Being so close to the coast students can drive only a couple hours to enjoy some sun, sand, and water. ULL students in Southwest Louisiana are only a short drive from Holly Beach, a less crowded beach nicknamed the Cajun Riviera for its pristine views and relaxed feel. Those residing around New Orleans or in Baton Rouge however will have no problem getting to Grand Isle where there is not only a public beach, but tons of cabin rentals right on the water that can be enjoyed for a weekend trip. Lastly, such popular beach destinations as Gulf Shores, is only about a three-hour drive from New Orleans and four hours from Baton Rouge. This makes for a perfect road trip for a weekend getaway.
Around Louisiana, we not only have live music seven nights a week, but many jam sessions that happen in the larger cities along with college towns. Lafayette plays host to many Cajun and zydeco jam sessions at places like Blue Moon Saloon whereas in New Orleans there are jams everywhere. Hop onto Frenchmen Street, soak in the atmosphere and hop on with the band! Baton Rouge has many open mic nights where students can sing their blues away at places like Phil Brady’s where they have had a blues jam every Thursday for decades. College is a place to find your voice and discover things about yourself you never knew possible. So, instead of being in the audience get out there and jam!
From St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls, to 90s themed bar hopping, and more. There are bar crawls scheduled around the state that are perfect for students over 21 to attend and meet people their own age. In Baton Rouge, 3rd Street downtown provides a perfect arena for people to walk from bar to bar trying different drinks on special occasions. Tulane and Loyola students often enjoy bar crawls that are organized close to campus where you can walk along the Street Car line. In any case, a well-organized bar crawl can be a fun way to start off the evening meeting and greeting different folks.