Most popular groups on campus: Safe Space, Relay for Life, BSG, Campus Activity Board, Dance groups: Vague, Obvious, Arabesque. Most popular teams: Lacrosse, Soccer, ICE HOCKEY, FIELD HOCKEY (national champs!!!!) Safe Space is a sexual assault advocacy group, has greatly increased its membership numbers and is closely associated with a new Men's group Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Assault and V-Day which puts on Vagina Monologues every year. Athletic events are huge on campus for such a small student body. Guest speakers are every month at Common Hour where famous world leaders/influential people are invited to speak on friday. Students in dorms do not fear for safety or theft. Dating scene: once you date, you tend to never break up. Very hard to break up in such a small campus. Tradition: IVIES every last weekend of May, Bowdoin students celebrate rejecting the Ivy League when receiving an invitation to join by excessive merry-making, debauchery on campus. Also always a huge concert that week by bands such as OK GO, Talib Kwelli, GirlTalk etc. Closest friends met freshman year in freshmen dorms but also sophomore year in social houses and then through other friends. 2AM tuesday either studying or at Joshuas Bar in Brunswick if you are an upperclassman People love to party [period] No frats or sororities, students very proud of that.
One of the reasons that I chose Bowdoin was the social life. We don't have any frats or sororities here. We do have social houses, but, to put it simply, they're co-ed and not at all exclusive. Instead, they're basically in charge of hosting campus-wide parties and events, ie. concerts, speakers, apple picking, etc. On the weekends, people definitely party, but there are tons of other things to do as well. Bowdoin shows movies every week, and has TONS of guest lecturers and other events. You will never be bored here. Lots of people are also content to stay in and play board games. A lot of people drink, but I've never really been into drinking, and some of my friends don't drink, and we've been totally fine. The dating scene isn't too prevalent, mostly just weekend flings, but there are some campus couples. Overall, I'm really happy with the social life here. I've met friends through my dorm, clubs, and just randomly meeting and chatting with people. Students here, especially in the beginning, are eager to make friends. I've been lucky enough to live in a quad with great roommates, and we make an effort to be a welcoming hub of friendliness. Right now, I am sitting in my common room, with four other people, three of whom are not my roommates.
The Af-Am is one of the most popular cultural groups, they have some clout on campus. ASA is popular when the spring semester rolls around and they give away free food and have their annual fashion show. Bowoin theater is very popular, and the Winter and Spring dance shows are always packed. One of the most popular groups on campus is Improvabilities. Their shows are always overcrowded!! No frats or sororities. There are usually parties on the weekends in the social houses, but sometimes there are weekends when there is absolutely nothing to do but your homework. Ivies Weekend is the biggest drinking weekend at the school. Drinking is involved in a lot of activities on the weekend, but if you do not want to involve yourself with that activity, you can catch a movie-most likely in someone's dorm room, grab a bite to eat, but not after 10, because everything is closed, or play spades 'till five in the morning.
Clubs and extracurriculars are really varied and I think most of them are exciting and cool. I've tried crew, Taiko drumming, organic gardening, and volunteering at a homeless shelter since being here. All of these different clubs/groups were extremely easy to join (and easy to leave if I found that I wasn't crazy about them). Freshman year, everyone left their door open which was awesome. Nobody does this year in Chamberlain, but I guess that's ok. I don't think people over-party or anything but I think they do it regularly over the weekends which is fun. It's nice to de-stress and not be working all the time, and I'm glad people aren't overly academic. The parties aren't insane but they're fun. There are movies and restaurants to go to off campus if you're not interested in partying also.
Sports teams are huge here, many people play, but it's division 3 so no one takes themselves too seriously. A cappella is also huge here, as there are 6 groups on a campus of 1700 people. People leave their doors open, and many of your closest friends will be people from your dorm. The dating scene is almost nonexistant. It is more of a hookup scene. Actual couples are scarce, but hookups are not. Ivies happens every spring, and it is the greatest thing ever created. Musical groups come, and it's a huge party for several days. People party on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at most, but almost everyone goes out at least one night a week. Off campus: the surrounding towns are very cool to explore, and Portland is a great resource. Maine is also beautiful and a great place for outdoor adventures.
Again, the kids are great, and thus the social life is great. It's definitely a school that's into organizations, whether that's varsity athletics, the Outing Club, Club Sports, Activist/Political organizations, and I think it's a significantly more rewarding place socially if you're the type of person that gets into these kinds of activities. I started rowing last year, and not only are we a small, intimate program comprised of fun kids with whom I always have a great time, we are also dedicated, and quite competitive for such a small program.
In freshmen doors you will always see doors kept open. Its a very welcoming a safe environment. There are many fun traditions, including Ivies Weekend (when a big band, such as OK Go! or Third Eye Blind may come to campus), and the Colby vs Bowdoin Hockey game, where tradition songs and insults are yelled along with the cheering. Student involvement off campus is always community centered. Many students volunteer in soup kitchens and I myself have volunteered in the Emergency Room at Mid Coast Hospital.
Most students here are dedicated to academics from Sunday-Wednesday night at least. Partying starts on Saturday and revolves areound socail houses and dorm type parties. But there are other things to do: speakers, plays, and performances. Main Street has nice places to go out for dinner. One thing that surprised me is that Bowdoin students don't drink half as much as guide books and sterotypes project. Sure there is drinking but it is not as central as I would have thought it to be as a freshman.
Students in dorms generally leave their doors open, and each floor (at least freshman year) generally develops a sense of community. Also, at some point in the year people begin expanding outside of their floor and even outside of their dorm. The dating scene is relatively non-existent at Bowdoin - don't come here expecting to find numerous individuals who are looking for a serious relationship, at least not at first. The couples I know of are very happy but are relatively rare.
The College Houses really provide a great party atmosphere for the freshman. There is usually at least one campus-wide College House party each weekend, and all students know that they are welcome to attend. Freshman predominate the College House party scene, but it's a great, and comfortable, environment to meet people at the beginning of the year, and even later on. Plus, the parties (aka beer) are free, which never hurts.