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Students should look beyond UMBC’s campus to fulfill their needs

UMBC does not often receive ringing endorsements for its nightlife and the events offered on campus. It has been difficult to argue with the critics as of late, with the university struggling at times to give students even basic amenities like heat, water and power.

However, there is a simple solution for those who have qualms with the leisures offered here: looking to the surrounding area for the things they feel are lacking on campus. There are some hidden gems available in the area surrounding UMBC, and if students are willing and able to get away from the campus for a while, they should take advantage of the opportunity.

One obvious source of dissatisfaction for students is the food available on campus. One can only have Chick-fil-A and Einstein Bros. Bagels so many times before even those options grow old and a craving for something different sets in.

The food trucks that are around on campus sometimes are nice, but when those are not here students can try visiting local restaurants like Atwater’s Cafe in Catonsville, which is less than a seven minute drive away from the campus with delicious food options available.

Something that prevents some students from being able to do anything about their dissatisfaction with the dining options is a lack of reliable transportation, and for these students there is the old reliable option of the Subway located toward the outer edge of UMBC campus. It is more satisfying for the taste buds than Mondo’s but is possibly more upsetting to the wallet.

For students who crave entertainment and are not satisfied by the film offerings that SEB has, the R/C Hollywood Cinema 4 is located in Arbutus. It is a small movie theater, but it shows some of the major motion pictures of the year less than eight minutes away from campus.

It is difficult to find options that do not require a reliable form of transportation, a stable source of income or both. UMBC transit can help with the former issue, offering transportation to places like the Mall at Columbia and many local areas like Downtown Catonsville where there are shops and street fairs. UMBC also offers opportunities for employment if students are worried about paying for entertainment and food.

Students who have transportation but want to find free opportunities for interesting experiences can visit Baltimore and check out the museums full of interesting artwork and exhibits that allow students to expand their understanding of the world.

For better or for worse, UMBC is not located in a traditional college town. It is likely that there will never be the same level of excitement on this campus or in the general area as there might be at other schools, such as the University of Maryland, College Park.

That said, UMBC students are supposed to be known for their grit, so students may have to clench their teeth and work a bit harder to find their opportunities for fine dining, ample entertainment and exciting events.