The frat and heavy drinking scene is only for those who seek it out- the majority of students get involved in a club or group of friends who go out exploring Manhattan and the neighboring borroughs. A great way to meet people who share similar interests is to go to the Club Fair at the beginning of the year and attend the first meeting of any you're interested in. Barnard students don't sleep- if someone's in bed at 2am, it's either because they're deathly ill or they're avoiding someone. Relationships have the typical college shelf life of a few weeks to a couple of months, but hooking up is pretty common. Barnard's College Activities Board always has suggestions as to where to go or what to see, but students usually prefer to hang out on the Lowe Library steps and argue philosophy and whether Snickers Bars are heaven on earth- we're big on debate, and CU is even more so, but we rarely take our arguments seriously.
Lots of people are involved in community service groups. Other popular orgs are the Columbia Spectator (daily newspaper), the College Democrats, and dance groups. Lots of dancers go to Bnard. Nobody goes to athletic events, but everybody works out. There are lots of cool guest speakers. Lots of Bnard girls date Columbia guys and also guys from other schools (or not) in NYC. My closest friends were my freshman year hallmates. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm probably studying at the library - the Columbia library, Butler, is super intense. On a Wednesday though, I might be at a bar drinking. Got to balance it all. People party at Morningside bars. You'll always find people you know there on weekend nights (Thurs-Sat). There are also dorm parties and frat parties, but the frat scene is pretty small. People also go to bars and clubs downtown. You need a fake ID as a freshman!
All women's housing is nice because it's a quiet atmosphere (and the bathrooms are always clean). First-years live in corridor-style dorms, where they tend to make some really good friends and have some friendly faces at the other end of the hall. Upperclassmen live in apartment-style housing on 116th st, 110th st, and a few other locations. Again, dorms are mostly used for sleeping/studying. If Barnard students are looking for a party, they go across the street to Columbia. Barnard doesn't have any sports teams, but a number of students play for Columbia teams. I don't think anyone ever goes to the games. Women's college = weird dating scene. If you're a lesbian, you could feasably date another Barnard student. Most people, gay or straight, end up dating Columbia students... or getting drunk and hooking up with them.
we rarely stay on campus on weekend nights. it's ny, and ny has a lot more to offer than a college campus does, no matter how hard they try. some do stay; there are frats, and other dorms, but generally, the city has more to offer. i feel like there's not much you can do on weekend nights except party, although if you're not into that, you're probably friends with like people, so you don't have to worry. and my friends and i don't go out every night. it is barnard, and academics are important. i've stayed in doing homework on weekend nights. i've also stayed in and just hung out with friends, watching movies or whatever. i like how the school isn't totally into partying, like a lot of other schools are. i like the balance. i like how i don't have to feel weird if i don't feel like partying on a saturday night sometimes.
I'm ironically awake at 2am on this Tuesday night, and guess what I'm doing? Hanging out with my friends! & no, I do not just spend my time hanging out with my friends! For instance, today I went to my long day of classes, did some homework, grabbed some dinner, and of course did some more homework. Then, I knocked on some friends doors on my hall, grabbed some tea and cookies at the dining hall, and sat chatting with a bunch of them for hours. We talk about everything from discrimination to fashion. In the late hours of the (week)night, many (but not all) Barnard students congregate with each other and have conservations about life and occasionally academics, depending on the group of friends. Students can also be found sleeping soundly or studying over in Butler Library across the street.
In my experience, most of the people I have become close with have been people that I have met on or through my floor, although I've certainly become close with many friends from my classes. Generally over the weekend there are parties going on, but most of the larger parties are at Columbia. I generally go out with my friends into the city to have fun which will involve going out to bars/clubs every once in a while, so it pays to have a decent fake id. But there are plenty of places to go and things to do in the city that don't involve drinking, and I find that just going into a new part of town to walk around and explore is the funnest thing to do with other people. On campus, the more relaxed nights during the weekend generally involve studying, talking, or watching movies.
SGA thinks they are the shit. People leave there doors open after being warned not to. Athletic events are not popular. Columbia guys will not pay attention to minority students at Barnard, only "white" girls. I luckily met my close friends through my roommate. If awake at 2am, I will be studying in a lounge while checking Facebook or Myspace. ALL the Jewish events are a huge deal. SPIRIT DAY is GREAT!!! People party often, but w/o a fake a ID it's pretty bad. Columbia Parties are a 4 out of 10. Last weekend hmm Party at a wack party Sat. night can be laundry night plus studyin plus a visitor. Off campus I shop and go to visit my sister. I also look for entertainment since campus doesnt provide much.
I love the little activities Barnard has for the students throughout the year: midnight breakfast before finals, Barnard spirit day barbecue, and other study breaks and little activities. I am not much of a partier, but being in the city, many parties, even cast parties, are forced to be in bars because there is not much room on campus for that kind of thing. This is frustrating because it forces you to either get a fake ID or be left out of a big part of the social scene. I have found friends that do not want to always go our to bars at night so we hang out in the dorms or find other things to do, but living in the city can be frustrating when your under 21 sometimes.
There are plenty of groups, clubs, etc. to choose from - I'm involved in several dance-related groups. There's tons going on every weekend (and weekday) with respect to theater, music, dance, lectures, etc., and being in New York, there's literally a never-ending supply of things to see and do. By far the best tradition at Barnard (and probably one of the top three reasons I love Barnard) is Midnight Breakfast. The night before finals begin, the deans, administrators, and alumna get together to serve the students breakfast in the middle of the night. There's always an awesome theme, lots of music, fake tattoos, banana splits, and Anna Quindlen serves you bacon!
Barnard has some lovely traditions. We tie-dye out on the lawn and the deans serve ice cream (the name of the event changes from year to year but it always happens), we have midnight breakfast once a semester, our friends perform at all sorts of dance venues, we have class dinners for the entire class (something you can do at a small college) and the entire school turns onto the lawn for class and socializing once the weather is nice. We work hard and party hard, for the most part. Saturday nights can involve the theater, the movies, an on-campus performance by a theater or comedy troupe, going to clubs and restaurants in the village and meatpacking district.