Texas State is widely known as a party school, with downtown bars in The Square serving as the go-to spot for students. Arguably, some of the most popular hangout spots on The Square include Chimy’s, The Veranda Rooftop Patio and Freddy C’s Lounge. 

However, if one is not 21 or older, the entertainment is completely inaccessible, leaving some incoming freshmen and sophomores struggling to find fun activities to do.

There are a few places on The Square, such as Stonewall Warehouse and The Marc, that require its clientele to be at least 18 years old. However, with businesses adjusting their occupancy numbers due to rising COVID-19 cases in San Marcos, bars and clubs on The Square sometimes only allow the 21 and older crowd to enter. This, again, leaves the underage crowd with very few entertainment options.

Alexa Martinez, a nursing sophomore, often finds herself traveling to San Antonio or Austin on the weekends to find something to do, which she describes as frustrating — and rightfully so.

“The only thing for me to do is go to The Square and, [even then], I can’t [get] into anything on The Square since I am only 20,” Martinez says.

The average college student does not turn 21 until around their third year in college. The lack of activities for them to embark upon can lead to students possibly transferring to a different university — one that can offer them age-friendly activities and events.

Isabella St. John, a geography resources and environmental studies junior, says she believes San Marcos has a "huge" alcohol culture, which does not bode well for those who do not or cannot drink. 

"I think having more options not centered around drinking would be good not only for underage students but also for people who don’t drink for other reasons," St. John says. 

A popular place for some Texas State students is the Tanger Outlet Mall. Sunset Bowling in San Marcos also offers College Night on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to midnight at an affordable price with a valid student ID. Although viable and entertaining, those options often get monotonous and expensive to do each night. Students can also get tired of visiting riverfront parks every weekend.

San Marcos simply does not offer enough entertainment options for underage students, and the pandemic has made it even worse. Before, students could visit places like Sewell Park and the annual Sights and Sounds Christmas Festival. However, with the aforementioned options not available, students were left to dry. 

San Marcos should take the underage crowd into account and provide more entertainment. 

The University of Texas at San Antonio created "A Roadrunner bucket list": 50 things to do in San Antonio. The list contains activities students can partake in around San Antonio, such as a ghost tour or visiting a contemporary art museum.

The University Co-Op in Austin created a similar list titled, "50 Things To Do in Austin." The list informs Austin's tourists, residents and students about fun and exciting activities to do. Activities on the list include paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake or enjoying Zilker Park. 

San Marcos is simply not able to create an extensive list of activities for its underage students, and that needs to change. 

There are not nearly enough entertaining activities in San Marcos for the entirety of a semester or the years it takes to complete a degree. Working to change this in the coming years would largely improve the quality of life for incoming freshmen and sophomore students. 

- Nadia Gonzales is a public relations junior

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