College does not come with a handbook. Once your parents drop you off with a prayer and a promise to keep your room intact, you are on your own. It’s a hard launch into adulting and no, it’s nothing like they make it look on TikTok. For starters, the closest Ikea is an hour away so forget about redecorating your room on a whim. As freshmen navigate this new Mid-Western world of wonder, it is paramount that they know where to go for the essentials.
Step one is finding your crowd. Principians can agree on which Bible class to take, which campus events are unmissable, and even which resident councilor to call after a wild night, but coffee shops are where battle lines are drawn. Like parents, every Principian has a favorite. The debate between Maeva’s, Post Commons, and Germania is never-ending.
Popular as the best spot to get some work done, Maeva’s packs quite a punch. Think of it like your parents’ youngest sibling who spent a summer in New Orleans and never came back. Like much of Alton, it is a weird niche place. The atmosphere is relaxing and their mocha is arguably the best in town.
Lovers of sandwiches, burritos, and pastries fall in love with Post Commons. Best suited for larger groups and dripping in history, the interior design of the store reminds patrons of its roots as a post office building. Parking might be limited, but the service is always impeccable.
Further up the street, tucked between an art gallery and a quaint thrift store, Germania Brew Haus serves great vibes and incredible coffee. Think of it like The Leaky Cauldron; there is always a Principian lurking. With its coffee menu changing every season, fresh ingredients attract patrons like moths to a light.
With the temptation of a newly rebuilt McDonald’s and Taco Bell down the street, hit some of the local icons first. Famous for sandwiches, it’s almost impossible to get a table at Brown Bag Bistro when Principia’s parents are around. The menu can be overwhelming, but the spinach artichoke dip and cheesy garlic bread are some fan favorites.
If food isn’t what you’re looking for, St. Louis has a lot to offer. With waterways, monuments, wildlife, and historic buildings, Forest Park is the city’s crown jewel. Attracting people of all demographics, Forest Park is home to the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, Science Center, Muny Opera, a boathouse, a skating rink, the zoo, and a golf course.
With over 5000 years of history and culture represented, the St. Louis Art Museum is a gem. Offering free admission, the museum offers stunning original pieces of art with special exhibitions held almost every Friday.
Adrenaline junkies can find their thrill at the many indoor arcades. Offering go-karts, paintball, and laser tag, the arcades are the perfect for group hangouts. For more laid back nights, head over to Top Golf and swing some.
No matter your preference, the St. Louis area has something for everyone.