Break ups: difficult, time-consuming, inconvenient and sometimes filled with 3 a.m. ventures to the vending machines on campus to buy Funyuns. Preparing yourself for a breakup might seem impossible, but choosing a college with the tools for getting over a breakup will protect you from having to drive home every weekend to cry to your mom. These schools have a nonstop party scene and hip college towns for social distractions, great food to eat your feelings in style, hideaways for public tears and meltdowns and huge campuses for avoiding you-know-who.
Brace your atria, ventricles, and aorta for a severely less devastating blow at the 10 best colleges for getting over a breakup.
10. Bucknell University
Almost every Bucknell student describes the dining halls as “killer.” Bostwick Marketplace serves an all-you-can-eat Egg, Pasta, Pizza and Dessert Bar along with a stir-fry station and grill. When you need to drown your feelings in calories, Bucknell will come through for you. Bucknell’s 445 acres might seem small, but it makes up for its size with a deceivingly prominent party scene. Bucknell on a Friday night will shock you into forgetting your ex. “There are a ton of parties every weekend and they are all in small, off-campus houses that are pretty much just rented out to be party houses. Loud music, bad beer and dark, cramped houses,” said Bucknell freshman Blais Herman. If you fit into the “lonely griever” type, Bucknell still has you covered. Bucknell has a plethora of private spots for you and your feelings to spend time alone. “Benches are all over the place and many of the dorms surround courtyards or other open areas secluded from the roads,” said Herman. Hitch a two-hour ride from Lewisburg to Philadelphia if the tight confines drag you down.
9. New York University
Going to school in the city that sets the scene for a million rom-coms actually helps getting over a breakup. When you find yourself up at 2 a.m. watching Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations, the city that never sleeps has plenty of options for things to do besides crying over Dear John. Many of the fraternities rent out clubs and bars in the heart of NYC. When you combine frats with the infamous New York nightlife, plan for a Carrie Bradshaw kind of wild night. Parks like Washington Square Park provide a peaceful backdrop for your contemplation. “There is always something to do in New York, but you can find places to hide away to get away from it all,” said NYU third year Gaurav Goparaju. While NYU dining halls leave something to be desired, hit up Pizza Mercato or Dojo West for some delicious munchies to eat all of your feelings away.
8. University of Iowa
Hearing the name “University of Iowa” connotes “party school” nationwide. With parties almost every day and bars near campus, you’ll forget about changing your Facebook status to single. “All bars let anyone 18+ in before 10 p.m. After 10 p.m. you can only stay if you are 21+,” said Iowa sophomore Ally Cummings. With this goldmine bar situation, in combination with a ton of spots on campus to be alone, you’ll find both wild plans when you’re looking for a party and peace and quiet when you need to mourn your loss. “You can always find a quiet spot on campus,” said Cummings. Try the study rooms in smaller class buildings or the rooftop of the Wellness Center for some “me time.” Although the dining halls prove adequate at best, the university strategically placed snack shops like the IMU River Room’s build-your-own pasta and stir fry bars. Plus, Pat’s Diner and Union Station all accept meal swipes. And with 1800 acres at your disposal and Coralville’s malls and hiking sports nearby, escaping your ex will always be a brisk walk/sprint/drive away.
7. Miami University
Despite its lack of sandy shores and Piña Coladas, Miami U makes up for it with a college experience that will make you forget your long lost high school sweetheart. “The party scene is abundant. The most and biggest parties are Greek ones, and Greek life is very big here, but everyone likes to have fun. Anytime from Friday night to Sunday there is always a party of some kind going on,” said sophomore Simon Osmont. You will also need to experience an epic Redhawks football game. If thousands of screaming fans can’t distract you from your sorrow, nothing will. Aside from the parties, the Western Woods provide a woodsy backdrop if and when you decide to break down for a good cry. “There are benches scattered all around overlooking ponds, hilltops and other great views that are off the beaten path and great for thinking or studying,” said Osmont. Students love Miami’s dining options for their diversity, quality and accessibility. With two 24/7 options, you’ll always be able to satisfy your post-sob sesh cravings.
6. Tulane University
Where better to drown your sorrows than the land of beignets and booze? A 20-minute drive to New Orleans’ infamous Bourbon Street, Tulane’s lively surroundings will distract your mind from “you-know-who.” Tulane’s parties extend way past the typical college frat party, so you won’t worry about Chad from Delta Pi creeping on you all night when you just want to dance with your girls. “Everyone ends their night at The Boot, a bar that is basically on campus. There will be hundreds of people sitting outside The Boot eating pizza… while there are hundreds of people inside The Boot dancing until they can’t anymore,” said Tulane freshman Grace Smartt. If bars like The Boot don’t distract your grieving heart, Tulane’s food lives up to New Orleans’ foodie reputation. Limit your sobs to the time it takes you to chew. “It’s terrible how many dessert options we have every day. We have gallons of ice cream, full cakes and cookies in our cafeteria every day, which makes dieting impossible,” Smartt said. You might not lose the freshman 15, but you’ll lose that emotional baggage.
5. University of Texas Austin
The city of Austin perfected the balance between great food, killer music, an omnipresent nightlife and genuinely nice people. UT Austin lies in the heart of the city, just a walking distance from downtown and 6th street. Bars and the most eclectic Austinites fill 6th street on a daily basis. On the corner, you’ll find Esther’s Follies, a local comedy show that will have you crying from laughing instead of crying from missing your ex. “There is definitely a party scene at UT whether it’s frats, mixers, bar tabs or nights out on 6th street. There is always something happening at West Campus or downtown,” said UT-Austin sophomore Daniela Cos. If you need a break from rebounding, Austin’s beautifully green Lady Bird Lake Trail will let you wallow on the banks of Lady Bird Lake. While the parties and scenery alone could get you over your cheating ex, the most important part of Austin is the food. If you haven’t had a breakfast taco, do yourself a favor and get one from Torchy’s or Taco Deli. Waking up to a bacon, egg and cheese meal will always outweigh waking up next to your ex. Guadalupe, the central street on campus, fuses every kind of food you could want whenever you want it. “The food is awesome. The drag has plenty of restaurants open late with amazing food,” said Cos.
UCLA really has it all: a huge campus to avoid you-know-who at all costs, a strong frat and bar scene to distract you, the absolute mecca of fun that L.A. represents just a short Uber away and some of the best food on and off campus. In terms of night life, it doesn’t get more diverse than UCLA. With frequent frat parties, surf team parties, tabs at Rocco’s and the L.A. nightclubs at your fingertips, you can find a dance floor with the breakup mood playlist of your choosing. “If you’re looking for an entertaining night, you go to the frats. If you want a good conversation and to crack a beer, you go to the surf parties. If you feel like shedding the weight of being a teenager, you go to Rocco’s,” said UCLA sophomore Alex Sandstedt. Students at UCLA often regard their dining hall food as obscenely good. Whether you crave some tri-tip pesto flatbreads at Bplate, or a tartine from the Study, UCLA has you covered. “Covel brunches’ omelets were very healing, especially to debrief after a Friday night out. Café 1919 has the hookup with Mt. Vesuvius when you want to eat your heart out. And BCaf has the healthy smoothie alternative when you’re trying to get over the hump but almost in the clear,” said Sandstedt.
3. Penn State
Penn State lives up to the party scene hype and then some. If you want to avoid your ex, try this 8000-acre campus littered with secret spots. “The Arboretum has a huge garden that has some cool spots that are perfect for alone time. My favorite secret spot is in the Moore building, it is always empty so it is the perfect place to be alone,” said PSU junior Jennifer Manning. But if you don’t want to be alone, PSU has plenty of options to get wild with your friends. Notorious for parties every night, this campus acts as that wild friend that shows you how to have fun again after Mr(s). Wrong does you wrong. “There is always something going on, so if you want to go out to get over a boy, it’s not hard. If you’re looking for a wild night I would recommend the frats or house parties,” said Manning. If the campus doesn’t provide enough space for you to grieve, try Pittsburgh, a two-hour drive away, filled with enough history and life to push your ex out of your mind.
2. University of Virginia
With a 1600-acre campus, your relationship problems drift far, far away. As you know immediately by googling “UVA,” the campus looks absolutely beautiful. Red bricks perfectly pair with the stark red leaves in the fall, creating a picturesque landscape that stop your tears in their tracks. Have a nice picnic on the lawn with your favorite book to escape reality. The food almost rivals the scenery. Hit up Bodo’s Bagels or the food trucks by the amphitheater for some truly delicious grub. “The restaurants on ‘the Corner’, which is on campus, has amazing food—sports bars, coffee shops, smoothie bars to name a few,” said UVA sophomore Katherine Baker. And when you finish a hell of a meal, head to the frats. With 30 fraternities to choose from, recently broken-hearted girls can find the perfect rebound. Every year, students look forward to blow-out events like the Block Party, an unofficial welcome to school hosted by every frat on the row. Boys, have no fear, Charlottesville has bars too. Try Trinity’s for three dance floors or Coupe’s for live music. Moral of the story: bagels and booze.
1. University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder scores high marks in every category needed to get over a break up. You can really only describe Boulder with the word breathtaking. Nestled in between beautiful white-tipped mountains, the campus jumps straight out of a post card. But don’t let its serene surroundings fool you. Boulder’s night-life will get you out of your funk. “There’s literally always something going on, whether it’s a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday,” said UC Boulder sophomore Jeff Attal. The parties on campus mostly affiliate with Greek life, but Denver, a 15-minute drive from Boulder, has bars for all the non-frat bros ready to find a new woman. If you’d rather bask in the Colorado beauty, Attal suggested driving to the Flat Irons. “The Flat Irons are the mountains you can see from campus. If I wanted to be alone, I’d drive up there and go explore nature,” Attal said. Head to the C4C for culinary therapy. With Mexican, American, Asian and Persian food along with a full grill, salad and sandwich bar, Boulder will satisfy even your most exotic cravings. Always wanted a sushi date with your boo, but they couldn’t stomach it? Treat yo’self instead. Need more convincing? Try to find an unhappy Boulder student—I’d bet you can’t. Even the ones with a not-so-happy love life.
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