Free time on campus

College is work. We all know that. The semester holds many sleep-deprived, caffeine-driven, head-bobbing days of study and lecture. Yet like an oasis in the Sahara, sometimes days, hours or even seconds of relaxation appear on the horizons of our busy schedules. What are we to do with this strange commodity called “free time?” Believe it or not the campus holds the opportunity for entertainment as well as education. In fact you can spend those precious free moments in a variety of ways without ever having to leave campus.

Are you a fan of art?  MSU holds a wealth of talented artists on many different mediums, and one can view their art in a variety of ways. For example, you can always visit the Exit Gallery in the Strand Union Building (SUB). This gallery is student run and funded through The Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU) and hosts about seven exhibitions of student work throughout the course of the semester, both in group and solo formats. Free receptions are held every Wednesday where you can meet the artist(s) and discuss the work. The gallery is open nine to five during the semester.

Not enough art? An additional gallery on campus showcases both student and non-student work. The Helen E. Copeland Gallery is run by MSU’s School of Art and is located in Haynes Hall. This gallery curates a variety of exhibitions over the course of a semester, as well as yearly exhibitions of both undergraduate and graduate work.

Perhaps just looking at art isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to hear art, which is no problem since MSU also houses a thriving music program. The School of Music offers a number of concerts over the course of the semester and admission to most shows is five dollars, but some shows are also free. Everything from choral to symphonic to jazz concerts are held in Howard Hall. A schedule of all concerts can be found at montana.edu/music/concerts.

Suppose that your classwork has left you exhausted and your brain is in no shape to appreciate art. Or maybe that’s just not your thing. The campus offers plenty more fun ways to occupy your time. One such way can be found in the SUB Recreation Center.Located in the SUB basement, 14 pool tables, 6 bowling lanes, shuffleboard, air hockey, arcade games and a PS3 await all for under $5 per hour.

Maybe your schedule has robbed you of any ability to perform physical activity, no matter how fun. Don’t worry — go to the Procrastinator Theater, also conveniently located in the SUB. The Procrastinator is student-run and funded by ASMSU, showing recent releases for the measly price of $2. Popcorn and other concessions can be bought at Avogadro’s Deli just down the hall. The theater is open six days a week (closing on Wednesdays for student and group rent-outs) and has one or two showings, depending on the day. For more information and  a schedule visit http://www.montana.edu/asmsu/procrastinator.html.

College may be work, but even the toughest jobs have time off. When you glimpse a chance of free time in the fog of textbooks and notes, take advantage of what campus offers in both arts and recreation. If you have sacrificed your last penny to the gods of coffee, fear not because unlike most of the collegiate system the majority of it is free (or at least really cheap).