Schools where everyone is the life of the party
Tucked into the side of South Mountain in Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh University is geographically imposing, but students don't let the daily uphill climb to class - or day of the week for that matter - stop them from partying. Kristen, a marketing senior says, "I go out at least Thursday, Friday and Saturday (sometimes Tuesdays). We go out around 10:30 or 11 and stay out sometimes until four in the morning. From my perspective, I don't know what there is to do on a Saturday night besides go to a frat party." Most students claim that the classic beer-soaked frat houses make up the majority of partying on campus. "Lehigh is a big party school. Greek life is a big part of it- especially the hill."
If Ohio University has one tradition that separates it from that [em]other nearby university[/em], it's definitely the annual Halloween celebration, which regularly tops lists of the country's best college parties. Every student knows the school's reputation of being a party campus before entering, and most embrace it. "The best thing about OU is definitely the social scene, especially GREEK LIFE!...I am not sure what there is to do on a Saturday night without drinking." Some students, however, take a negative view of the constant partying around campus. One freshman warns, "You'll hear people drunk on the street and partying any given night."
Pennsylvania State University
There's a reason why Penn State is a mainstay on every list of the top party schools. Take a tour of the campus in the morning and note the bleary-eyed students dragging their feet to class, large black coffee in hand. Take a tour in the afternoon and those same students will have a twinkle in their eye as they plan the night's agenda. "People party here pretty often and pretty hard. No matter what, there are always going to be people in the bars having a drink although the crowd tends to be thicker on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday." If you're more inclined to rip tequila shots on Monday however, don't worry. You'll always be able to find an equal-minded partner in crime. "People party almost all of the time. I think at any given time in the week someone is partying. Fraternities and sororities are generally excuses for people to drink alcohol and have sex."
University of California-Santa Barbara
One of UC Santa Barbara's biggest selling points is its idyllic location that promises a life pulled straight from a Beach Boys tune. And with that life comes the stereotype of beach bum partiers. Says one psychology student, "With 80% of the student population actively drinking as much as or more than the average (3-5 drinks per night), the stereotype does appear to be true." But according to others, an all-night bonfire party on the beach doesn't stop students from hitting the library every so often. "We have an amazing beach life- we basically live in paradise in between the mountains and the most beautiful ocean. And we love partying, we love life, and we do everything hard- drink hard, smoke hard, study hard." Just make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen.
University of California-Santa Cruz
Each of the University of California's ten campuses has its own unique identity and culture. If UC Santa Cruz is known for one thing it's being UC's "green" campus, and we're not referring to the recycling program. "420 is a big deal to a lot of people," says one student, referring to every pot smoker's favorite holiday, and perhaps the time of day when most students tend to take a "study break." Wondering whether UC Santa Cruz is right for you? One sophomore student offers a checklist of sorts to help you decide: "As bad or good as it may sound, everyone at UCSC is in some way a hippie, a stoner, a free-loader, a vegan, an environmentalist, a feminist or a tree hugger."
University of Colorado at Boulder
Whether students are tailgating a Buff's game, celebrating a Buff's win, returning from a shopping spree in downtown Boulder, or an afternoon skiing in the nearby Rockies, there's one thing that brings everyone together - partying. Jennifer, a freshman journalism major boasts, "Parties are always going on everywhere." Another freshman offered this possible warning for prospective students: "If you don't like to party then don't come."
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Like any student body worth its weight in cases of PBR, the co-eds at UMass Amherst know that any sporting event is often just an excuse to drink. "Honestly, the football team sucks, the best part is tailgate, noone even goes to the games. Hockey is the most popular and they're actually pretty decent. But expect thousands of drunk kids when you get there," admits one senior. And while the town of Amherst doesn't have the artistic and quirky reputation of nearby Northampton, according to this junior business major, it's still good for something: "The town is small but the bar scene is still really good for college kids. There is always a party and opportunity to go out."
University of Mississippi
Ole Miss is known for the football, the attractive student body, and the southern college town charm of Oxford. According to one sophomore student however, there are a few stereotypes that are conveniently left out of the guidebooks: "1. We are all drunks. 2. We are all rich. 3. We are all snobby." Like many large southern universities, Ole Miss is steeped in tradition, and that lifestyle can also be found in the social life. "People party every night. It's a known fact. Bars on the square have different specials each night of the week that attract kids whenever. To reiterate: fraternities/sororities are very important."
University of Texas at Austin
Everything's bigger in Texas, right? Students at UT Austin take this old adage to heart when it comes to their social life. "There are parties almost every night and Thursdays are by far the craziest night to get wasted," according to one *gasp* government major. The fact that this campus of 38,000 students is located in the heart of one of the country's best little cities doesn't hurt. Rebecca, a history major, gives the lowdown on how to make the most of your Saturday night: "6th Street. There is no better social life. If you are under age, fake ids work wonders or there are the infinite number of parties in west campus."
Washington and Lee University
Kelly, a junior at Washington and Lee University, puts her English major to good use as she offers this description of drinking culture at her school: "People go out on average 3-5 nights a week. And they go out hard. If you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, you are drunk eating your Domino's pizza, possibly wondering how drinking all those gin buckets at KA earlier will affect your history quiz tomorrow at 11. If you want to do something on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking, it won't involve other people." If the combination of southern charm, a rigorous course load, and stiff drinks is your idea of the perfect college experience, look no further than Washington and Lee. One business major has this to say: "Although the school would like to make you think non-drinkers are welcome, there is really not much else to do on the weekends except make the rounds in town and in the country and fraternity parties."