How to Have Fun by Yourself

Stuck alone? No worries! You don't need anyone else to occupy your time for you. Easy, cheap, fun, ridiculous ways to spend your time await. See Step 1 for lots of options.

Steps

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    Take pictures. Go for a walk with your camera phone or regular camera, and take ten pictures of striking images. Look for weird people, strange graffiti, pets, flowers, stains on the concrete--look for anything. Take lots of close-up pictures of the interesting things you find as an art project.
    • When you get back to your house, you could caption each picture and print them out for a project like a scrap book or a collage, or give them interesting titles and put them on the internet.
    • Come up with a story that links all the images together and write it.
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    Make a collage. Cut up old magazines and put heads on the wrong bodies, or put Tiger Woods next to the Mars rover. Cut out large lips from make-up ads and give them googly eyes with thought bubbles that say "Earth is overrated" or "Tuna Shark" or "Wednesday makes the people jealous."
    • Make an edition of several hundred of these, matted on high-quality card-stock.
    • Hang them on the walls of the living room and dress in your Sunday clothes.
    • Sip sparkling water from a tall glass and look at them very seriously. Very seriously.
    • Say things like, "This is terribly post-modern" and "Kandinsky, methinks."
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    Go to the library. You think the library's boring? Think again. It's like shopping somewhere they let you steal things. Go check out books, movies, comics, and music, FOR FREE. What's not to like?
    • Alternatively, pull a book off the shelf you've always meant to read but never got around to. If you've got your own library staring you in the face, hop to it.[1]
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    Film a one-act horror movie in 15 minutes, starring you. The moon base is abandoned and the last astronaut from Earth is hearing voices. Scary, scary voices. The voices of his dead wife's hamster. Write out the basic story as quickly as possible, then set it up your camera or phone to record you. Does it make sense? Who cares? Make sure you adjust the lighting.
    • Instead of the other actors, act out each character yourself and edit them together later on the computer. Or use drawings with the lips cut out and your own lips in their place. Or use stuffed animals.
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    Write flarf and mail it to strangers. Flarf is poetry made up of quotations from the Internet. Steal language from everywhere, Internet ads, YouTube videos, magazines, books, and cut it up into weird poems.
    • To make analog Flarf, cut out individual sentences from the newspaper, or cut out things from magazines and glue it all together in weird ransom notes. Mail it to a friend, or scan it and email it. Start a tumblr under your poet pseudonym. Get Internet famous for weirdness.
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    Try a random act of kindness. Take some quarters and go put them in expired parking meters, or just sit outside a coffee shop and tell people they look nice today. Compliment strangers. Call up someone you respect and tell them how much they mean to you.
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    Catch up with correspondence or phone calls. Haven't talked to your grandmother or long-lost friend in a while? Shoot them a call. Instead of vegging out watching television or wasting time with video games, get back in touch with someone you might've lost contact with. Even a short 15 minute phone call can do wonders in touching someone's life and letting them know you're there. Ask how they're doing, what they've been up to, and where they're going.
    • Alternatively, you could go super-analog and write a letter. Like, an actual pen and ink letter. With your own handwriting! Draw pictures, talk about your week and your goals, and ask how your friend is getting along. Even if they just live across town, a letter or a postcard can be a great gift. Yes, emails will do in a pinch.
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    Go running. It's the thing you do where you move your legs faster than they normally go and wear shorts. Some people think it's fun? Maybe you should listen to music while you do it.
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    Clean. Yeah, yeah, it's no fun. But if you're alone and you've got time to kill, there are few things more productive than getting some cleaning done. And, clean spaces make happy people. Set yourself a short goal, like that you want to clean your room in less than 30 minutes, or you want to tidy the whole house in the next hour, and then move as quickly as possible to make it exciting. Put on loud or frantic music to turn it into your own fast-forward movie.
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    Record an album a cappella. Don't worry, Britney Spears can't sing either. Get on the computer and download free music editing software with a good range of effects. GarageBand and Audacity are common options. Open a new track and hit record.
    • Make the sounds of a choking cat, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance in a tinny mouse voice. Do over-dubs with other weird voice sounds, or lay down some sick drums by playing the pencil on your desktop. Do a whole track of you making police siren noises with your mouth.
    • Go back over the tracks and mess with the effects to make them sound like electric guitars and synthesizers. Play around with the reverb and echo to make it sound like alien transmissions. Have fun with it.
    • Name your song something ridiculous, like "Moon Unit Transmission Delta" and then play it for your grandparents.
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    Dance to music you don't usually listen to. Cue up some Tibetan Chant music on YouTube, or some Japanese punk rock and listen to it. Invent a new dance routine to the weird sounds. Get low, shorty. Explore weird music until you find something you like. Check out:
    • Robert Ashley
    • John Fahey
    • Black Moth Super Rainbow
    • Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
    • DIIV
    • TV Ghost
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    Get in shape. Exercising isn't any fun when someone else is there, anyway. Shoot some hoops, or do some aerobics, or do some push-ups and sit-ups. Get moving! Feeling good is fun.
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    Film a vlog and put it on YouTube. YouTube is the place where boredom goes to die. There are plenty of communities of people who do weird things and put them on YouTube, and then comment. Common Vlog topics include:
    • Hauls. When you come back from the grocery store, mall, library, or wherever you go to stock up on something, record a "haul" video when you get back, showing off each item for the camera and describing why you purchased it, or borrowed it.
    • What's in my bag? Record yourself rummaging through your purse or wallet and talking about everything you find there. Let each item launch you off on a weird story or ramble.
    • How tos. Teach the camera how you put on your make-up every day, or how to play "Good Riddance" on guitar. Teach us something we need to know.
    • Review something. Know everything there is to know about shoes, or heavy metal, or hot sauce? Pick a new variety and review it. Try it out on camera, give us a sample, and then give it however many stars out of five you think it deserves.
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    Talk to strangers. All your friends are busy? Quit feeling sorry for yourself. Go make a new one. Strike up a conversation with someone at a coffee shop or at school. Tell them you're organizing a jailbreak and you need a lieutenant.
    • Try to learn one interesting fact about a person you've never met before. Strike up a conversation with someone at the bus stop, or in the lunch room at school and try to make a new friend, at least for a minute.
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    Sit in on a 12 step meeting and say absolutely nothing. Look at the bulletin board at your community center, library, or school. Find where strangers meet to talk about their problems. Listen closely without disturbing anyone. You can be courteous of the meeting, but still sit in on it to learn something about people and a community you'd never considered. They're usually free, and quite interesting.
    • Alternatively, readings, lectures, and church services are all generally free and under-attended events that you might stumble onto to learn something you'd never considered before.
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    Volunteer your time. If you're bored and alone, find some productive way to spend that time doing something for others.
    • The Humane Society regularly needs people to come and spend time with the animals, taking them for walks and giving them some much-needed attention. If you like animals, you could do a lot worse than hanging out with some that need it.
    • Check out soup kitchens in your area that accept volunteers and give back to the community.
    • Many cities and towns have community gardens that need watering. If you've got a green thumb but don't have the space for your own garden, get planting on communal property.
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    Best of luck!

Tips

  • Just have a good time and don't worry if your alone time wasn't productive or time well spent.
  • Listen to some fun, exciting music.
  • Don't get self-conscious and decide not to do something you think would be fun. You may not be the type that goes to the library, but going once wouldn't hurt, would it? There's no one around to tease you about it anyway.
  • Go to a place you don't usually go to. Video tape things and speak like you're a host/reporter promoting the place/things. Don't be shy and act like you're the only person left in the world.

Warnings

  • Be safe; don't give strangers your personal information.
  • Don't do anything, as fun as it may look, that could be dangerous or end badly. Even if you really want to hang up your new chandelier, wait until you borrow that ladder from your friend, don't try to hang it up while balancing on a chair.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • TV
  • DVDs
  • Books
  • Access to a library, movie theatre, book store, café, etc.
  • Music
  • A space to organize
  • Cleaning supplies

Article Info

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