Students, especially first-year students, may often have anxiety about starting a new year of school. Not only is there the stress of books, classes and the looming threat of homework, but also worries about how to best utilize free time.

Luckily, Richmond, like many college towns, isn’t without its fair share of college friendly events and activities.

There are many school-sponsored and non-school- sponsored activities to do on and off campus for students at Eastern Kentucky University. 

Richmond, although relatively quieter on the weekends, has a multitude of events to get involved with many of them hosted by university clubs and other student organizations.

If you ever find yourself looking for something to do, Lexington is a convenient 30-minute drive from Richmond.

However, if you’re anything like me, nothing matters as much as getting something to eat.

In fact, some of my favorite and most frequented eateries are on-campus or just a short walk downtown.

Recently, our on-campus dining options have expanded to include many new and popular restaurant options.

In addition to Subway and Chick- fil-A, the lower portion of Case Dining Hall now offers Moe’s and Panda Express.

Additionally, a Steak-N-Shake and a much larger and renovated Starbuck’s have opened in the lower levels of the Powell building.

Some other great options on cam- pus for coffee or a quick meal — other than Case Dining — include Java City, Einstein Bros Bagels, Cuisine and the Stratton café.

One great place outside of campus is Café Meeples. Meeples is a board game- themed restaurant that serves sandwiches, chili, mac-and-cheese and whatever else the term “café” brings to mind.

Guests can sit and enjoy their meal while playing a friendly game of jenga, cards, or many of the other games Meeples has to offer.

Some of my favorite menu items are the variety of bubble drinks they offer and Mad Scoops ice cream.

Another local place that I recommend trying, especially for first-year students, is Jackson’s.

Jackson’s restaurant is more of a home- style eatery. They offer a variety of home-cooked meal items from meatloaf and pork chops to mashed potatoes and green beans. The best part is, first-time customers can get a free piece of pie or cake for dessert.

My final recommendation, and by far favorite place to eat in Richmond, is Purdy’s Coffee shop.

Purdy’s is probably the place I frequent the most when I’m in Richmond, but I will admit – I am an avid coffee-drinker.

Purdy’s is a very cozy and college friendly environment and is often filled with students meeting up between classes or working on homework. In fact, many student organizations host meetings there from time-to-time.

The coffee shop serves a variety of pastries and beverages and not all of them are caffeinated.

Recently, Purdy’s has opened up a second location across town to offer even more coffee to the Richmond community.

Though all of these options are easily within walking distance from EKU’s campus, there are many others downtown or within a short drive off campus.

Though Richmond may be a little small in comparison to some other college cities, one thing it isn’t lacking is good food.

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