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The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Lack of “Third Places” That Don’t Require Money or Being Around Alcohol

Photo by: Michael Lin
Medals for Sobriety: Highlighting the lack of ‘Third Places’ without Alcohol.

A third place is a familiar public spot where you connect with others, a meeting place beyond home (first place) and work (second place). These environments play a role in a community, allowing people to interact and build relationships.

The importance of having places other than bars is significant because people need options to socialize without the influence of alcohol. 

Consider finding a local coffee spot, bookstore, or library to study. They offer a safe place when stressed or feeling down. 

Show up, hang out with friends, or go alone. It can help you find a sense of influence and identity. A place outside of work and home is necessary for well-being. 


Ideas to find your spot:

  • Coffee Shops or Cafes
  • Restaurants 
  • Libraries 
  • The gym or exercise classes
  • Parks 
  • Volunteer spaces
  • Churches


Online groups and community spaces also exist if you cannot meet in person. Digital platforms are helping people find connections and organize events. Social media groups dedicated to local interests provide virtual “third places” where individuals can organize meetups and engage in meaningful discussions.

These places should make us feel comfortable and cozy. They can offer socialization and relaxation. Getting away from home to work on homework and study can improve concentration.

For example, libraries as a third place, provide an environment for concentration. People frequently visit places relevant to their self-image, self-concept, and social values. You can reserve meeting rooms at the Fresno County Public Library.

The third place becomes a space for representing self-expressiveness by helping to discover one’s lifestyle and building good habits.

Venues like bars and cafes offer socialization, but they often come with financial expectations or revolve around alcohol consumption. People want more diverse and accessible options to create community connections.

Communities can strengthen relationships by creating more places for people to gather and make everyone feel like they belong. In a society that prioritizes productivity and performance, these spaces play a role in supporting mental well-being and experiencing a sense of community.

Whether attending a yoga class, joining a book club, or simply enjoying a quiet moment of reflection, these spaces empower people to prioritize their happiness.

Grace Lucido, a student majoring in communications and journalism at Fresno City College, goes to the library to do her homework or work on crafts. She said that third places have helped her create a safe space for brainstorming and focusing. 

“Being safe, and feeling comfortable being yourself is important for third places. So just somewhere, you want to be in your free time [so] that you don’t feel judgment and you feel happy,“ Lucido said. 

With the cost of living so high, it is becoming popular to be mindful of how to have fun without spending money.

“Physical communities are so important. You can see the benefits, and you don’t feel so alone,” Lucido said.

Social media can be isolating, which is another reason why building communities in real life is important. 

“There needs to be a place where you are dedicating time for yourself to nurture your friends, your personal goals and endeavors, whether that be peace of mind or something creative,” Lucido said. 

There is hope for our generation that we want to be sober, be creative, and nurture our own goals. 

John Washington, a communications and journalism major at FCC, highlights the struggles of balancing full-time work and school and stresses the need for a space to relax and unwind. He said that while there can be a benefit of making parasocial relationships through the internet if finding friends in person is unattainable, it’s important to be mindful of where and how you’re meeting people. 

“Technology is a good thing and kind of gives you more of an escape from whatever it is you’re focusing on whether that be work or school, but at the same time, I also feel like technology kind of eliminates that third place sometimes,” Washington said.

He emphasizes the value of in-person interactions so people can develop meaningful relationships.

“I think about the person that struggles to make connections and social connections in person, and for them to find somebody to be able to connect with or even relate to. I think it’s a big deal because I feel like everybody should have a friend, but at the same time, I do think it’s very important to have those social interactions,” Washington said.

Washington draws attention to the lack of third places in underserved communities. He reflects on his own experiences growing up and recalls the sense of community and joy found in community centers.

“I went to school on the westside of Fresno. While I was at school, I always noticed outside of the school, there’s just liquor stores,” Washington said.

Washington said the days he would spend at the Frank H Ball Community Center as a kid were some of the best days of his childhood.

“You could meet people around the community and it’s supposed to be a safe place and a place to have fun and get away from whatever it is you’re doing at home,” Washington said. 

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About the Contributor
Paige Gerber
Paige Gerber, Reporter
Paige Gerber is a reporter for the Rampage at Fresno City College. Twenty-four years old, born in Upland, CA. She was raised in the mountain area around Coarsegold, CA, which shaped her appreciation for nature and adventure. She is working to get her associate's degree, majoring in Communications and Journalism. Paige's academic excellence was recognized by the Communications Scholarship in 2022 and the Calviva Scholarship in 2023 from Clovis Community College. Demonstrating consistent commitment, she also secured a spot on the Dean's list for two consecutive years. Once she graduates, she plans to continue to pursue a bachelor's degree in Journalism and has the dream of becoming a news anchor. She has an interest in videography and photography. Paige has a passion for interviewing others and talking. She moved to Los Angeles for a few years, where she found her love for media being on camera, and being involved with television productions. After moving back to Fresno, she pursued a degree in Journalism. The inspiration for her journey lies in the joy of connecting with people. She’s dedicated to improving her skills and completing her degree. She has a focus on entertainment in news writing, and she is ready to immersive herself in that industry. Her goal is to bring stories to life in unique and captivating ways. She has a passion for traveling and has experience studying abroad in Greece, learning about anthropology and public speaking. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports like volleyball and tennis to stay active. A fun fact about her is she loves sushi and seafood and prefers summer over winter.

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