Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

The mall gets old. Arlington needs more places for fun


As someone who’s considered Arlington their home for most of their life, I wish teens had more free or affordable activities.

When my best friend returns from UT Austin for any of the breaks on the school calendar, we, of course, get together to catch up. Sometimes we talk about relationships while walking around the Arlington Highlands, and other times we talk about professors at The Parks Mall, but after that, we’re kind of at a loss about where to go next.

We try our best to be creative. We think maybe we should go for a walk at a park? How about a picnic? However, unless the weather is optimal, these aren’t always solid options.

This reality results in us going to Target for fun or getting together for a meal because other than that, there just isn’t much to do. Any activities we do end up thinking of, end up costing money.

I do recognize that maybe this is just our problem. Painting can be an inexpensive activity to do with friends. Movie night at someone’s house, walks at a park or even roller skating are all fun things to do too.

However, I think the issue stems from us wanting to go out and experience some sense of community without having to plan to attend an event in advance. I think of popular shows like Lizzie McGuire and iCarly featuring teens and I envy the fact that they all tend to have

some sort of meet-up spot with their friends where other people from school or work hang out as well.

For young adults in Arlington, I feel like “our place” is The Parks Mall, but what do you do after you’ve gone in every store a billion and one times?

Not to mention, The Parks Mall has become increasingly unsafe for teens. It seems as if fights are breaking out every weekend. On Dec. 29, a shooting at the mall resulted in arrests and a lockdown, according to CBS News.

Teens under 18 also must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years or older. The rule is for those hanging out at the mall Friday-Saturday from 12 p.m. until mall closure, according to The Parks Mall website.

So where does that leave young adults under the age of 21 who can’t enjoy a glass of Moscato at a bar?

This leaves my best friend and I staying in and trying to think of an activity. We’ve gone to Fort Worth to enjoy Sundance Square and other streets in the city with strips of food and clothing store options.

When out and about in Fort Worth, I’ve realized that part of the issue with Arlington is that it’s not exactly a place I’d describe as walkable, and this plays a role in Arlington not feeling like there’s a strong sense of community.

Especially now that spring is here. Enjoying the fresh air while walking in and out of boutiques, maybe with ice cream, would be nice.

Arlington will always be a city I think of as home. Despite not feeling as if it’s a place that encourages community among its teens, I hope groups of friends create spaces themselves and spread the word.

I wouldn’t doubt that there are corners of the city where teens meet up and connect, but if it isn’t talked about, no one will ever know.

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