Schools where blowing off steam means a rousing game of Twister
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University is known first and foremost for its religious affiliation (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in this case). The students at Brigham Young tend to appreciate the strict, conservative policies on campus that comes with that affiliation. As one freshman says, "People say you are in a bubble while attending here because you don't have to deal with people drinking, smoking, and doing other things like that. I appreciate this about BYU because I was able to be surrounded by better people more often and I could focus more on my homework than having to worry other things that aren't worth my time." For BYU students who do enjoy the occasional night out, a little extra effort is required, as Rachel explains: "Sometimes you have to really search for somewhere to go on a Friday night. There are not as many parties because we do not drink here."
Bryn Mawr College
Famous for its superb academics, caring faculty, and very diverse female student body, Bryn Mawr is a haven for those who truly value learning over the less education-based aspects of college life. Megan, a senior, addresses some of the 'complaints' at her school: "Okay so I know people bitch about the lack of social life at Bryn Mawr, I wish we had more parties, blah de dah. I actually like the lack of partying at Bryn Mawr, and I don't consider myself anti-social (maybe you will, haha)." The young women of Bryn Mawr consider their quiet, tightknit community superior to the party atmosphere of other colleges. "The social honor code means for the most part, people will respect each other's stuff and each other (although we are also known to be passive aggressive)...I love the community at Bryn Mawr, since everyone pretty much lives on campus all four years."
College of the Holy Cross
The blue collar city of Worcester is probably not as exciting a place to attend college as nearby Boston, but Holy Cross offers its students plenty of ways to spend their free time. According to Erin, a senior, "The school also offers alternatives for the people who do not want to party on or off campus. They have a dance party every Saturday, and a free movie theatre." Holy Cross is not a party school, and Greek life is nonexistent on campus. Most students don't seem to have a problem with this. However, there are those who complain about the lack of excitement around the school. Alex, a sophomore, says, "The student body is a little bit boring...and very different to what I'm used to...I came from a very diverse high school...there really isn't anything exciting to do around here...at least not to my knowledge."
Creighton is a private Jesuit, Roman Catholic university not far from downtown Omaha, NE. Much of the administration's policies reflect the Jesuit affiliation, and some students find that to be frustrating. Taylor, a senior anthropology student, says, "Creighton has ridiculous rules somewhat based on pseudo-Christian values, but primarily based on business values. There is a smoking ban in effect on campus; no one can chew tobacco or smoke, and while I do neither this is an infringement on the rights of students. Public Safety should be called "The Drinking Patrol" as their primary goal is to catch drinking students, whether or not they are underage, and send them to the hospital for an overnight stay, regardless of how much alcohol they have had to drink." And while a ban on tobacco is a bit harsh, other students are more concerned about different smoking habits. Steve, a marketing major, shares his woes: "Very few ever smoke marijuana and look down upon it heavily. My roommates and I would often smoke in our dorm room, not worrying about getting caught. Everyone knew we smoked quite a bit, but they didn't mind telling anyone or busting us. Instead, they shunned us and treated us differently. All we wanted to do was get along and be friendly, yet everyone else treated us like outcasts."
Haverford College, a small and reputable liberal arts school in Haverford, PA, is completely frat-free. Students tend to focus much more on their studies than parties, and Haverford consistently offers free campus events, including concerts, improv shows, film screenings, and open mikes. According to Stephanie, a senior, "We're definitely not a big party school, but we're also very small and parties are basically just getting together with friends, drinking, talking, and just relaxing and having a good time." Haverford students widely embrace the campus' tame atmosphere and relish in their quirkiness. "The 'Haverbubble' does exist, since it is a small, tight-knit community with its own atmosphere that is very different from other communities. Haverford students are nerds, but in a cool way. You can be smart and cool at the same time," says Lauren, an English major.
What Pepperdine lacks in partying, it more than makes up for in location. Situated in the beachside paradise of Malibu, CA, Pepperdine is a reputable school with a strong Christian influence. "In a conservative school in a not-very-happening town, Greek life provides most of the outlets for fun (with the exception of the church group, which also provides some activities). Outside of these activities, most of the fun is fairly low-key, perhaps limited to dorm activities," says Brooke, a senior. Academics are tough at Pepperdine, and when students aren't secluded in the library, they tend to take advantage of the surrounding area. According to Kathleen, a math major, "Malibu is definitely NOT meant to be a college town. It's too secluded, and the beach is pretty much the best thing here."
As one of two all-women's college in the Five College Consortium in Western Massachusetts (Mount Holyoke College being the other), Smith is often considered the tamest of the group, and rightly so. "The party scene at Smith is also a bit strange since it is a woman's school. Parties are strictly regulated, and while people drink, it's not a drinking culture or allowed openly. Students also do drugs, but again, it's not part of the culture and it's done pretty quietly," says Alana, a junior. "Smith is definitely not a party school, and most girls who really party go off campus to Amherst or UMASS." When not sneaking off campus to see what life is like in the debaucherous world of coed universities, Smith girls live in an open community rarely found at other schools. "Students tend to leave doors open and houses are often quite close. Sometimes this leads to house-drama, but it also leads to a lot of house-love and really close friendships," says Parker, another freshman.
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame is one of the few universities in the nation whose party atmosphere does not match the sports fanaticism. This is assumedly due more to the school's strong ties to Catholicism than its Irish roots. "Notre Dame is a spiritual campus. To give you a good idea I'll give you an example. Notre Dame has a chapel in every dorm. My dorm's chapel has seats for 150 people. For Sunday mass it is standing room only. People will stand in the back and sit on the floor in the front for mass," says Nicholas, a freshman. Some students, like Eileen, an engineering major, find the culture on campus to be a bit dated. "My biggest frustration with Notre Dame is its conservative policies. Due to the Catholic nature of the college the policies tend to be very conservative and old fashioned."
Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of Wellesley's most well-known alumni, and like Hillary, the college isn't exactly known for partying (Bill, on the other hand…). Women at Wellesley find the intimate, beautiful campus to suffice most of the time, but those who do feel the need to party have plenty of ways to do so at nearby schools or in the city of Boston itself. "I found Wellesley to be a both a stimulating academic environment, but also a safe one that I always returned to when i needed to focus. It does feel separate from the rest of Boston, but that is why I would go out every weekend even for just a movie with the girls," says Morgan, a sophomore. The plus side of being at a quiet school is the feeling of security that students feel. Aleyah, a freshman, says, "Living at Wellesley I feel pretty safe, because many students leave their dorms unlocked, and theft is really not a large problem on campus."
Perhaps the straight edgiest school on this list, Wheaton College famously lifted a campus-wide ban on dancing back in 2003. Students at Wheaton, however, tend to look at the school's strict rules as a positive thing. Emily, a sophomore at Wheaton, says, "The rules that are there are there to make the Wheaton community a safe place to learn and grow together. Having a dry campus is great because you can bet that most of your friends are not going to be out drinking on the weekends. We can have just as much fun together without getting drunk. It just leads to a closer, safer campus community feeling so I trust people more readily here than I think I would elsewhere." So what do Wheaton students like to do for fun? According to Emily, a junior, "The kinds of fun range from lots of Intra-murals, water balloon fights, awesome pranks, hanging out in parks, going to the city and much more. We are a lot more creative with our fun than just drinking games and we have a lot of it."