Bowdoin is a binge school, meaning that students prefer alcohol to other substances, though I have seen both on campus. Weekends usually start on Thursdays because Friday courses are rare (unless you're a science major). There are no frats or sororities here, but a college house system in which everyone on campus is included, which I think is SO much better. If you don't drink, there are plenty of things to do, like go to SUPERSNAX, eat out, go galactic bowling, watch movies or play guitar hero! The majority of freshman go to social house parties on the weekends, even if they don't drink because there is NOTHING else to do or they want a random hookup (Bowdoin is infamous for these), but as you get older, you learn that the partying at Bowdoin is weak and being with close friends is much more fun. During the week, its all about schoolwork and stress, but the weekend is a definite way to release.
The social life at Bowdoin can be lacking at times. If you are looking for a good party to go to, there is a good chance you might be out of luck on a given weekend. There are social house parties which are fun for freshman and sophmores (sometimes), but these get old once you are an upper classmen. However, aside from parties, Bowdoin offers great lectures, plays, and dance shows which are a lot of fun to go to. The dating scene here is also lacking since most peole either get into a relationship their freshman year and stay together all four years, or look for people to hookup with (whatever happened to dinner and a movie?). The biggest party weekend here is called "Ivies" when there is a big concert (this year we had naughty by nature) and everyone just drinks a lot and go crazy. This is a nice outlet for the academic pressure that increases as school comes to a close.
Club would be community service. Teams all have full participation although there is an extra added emphasis on hockey and intramurals (namely hockey and basketball and softball). Winter hockey games are well attended, and speakers and other forums' attendance depends on the speaker and/or nature of the talk. Dating scene is relatively live. Its easy enough to find someone to date exclusively or a new person for a one night. On Tuesday at 2? I am either finishing up my work or hanging out with my floor. Parties are expected every night, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, every week of the year. We have no greek on campus, but we do have social houses, which accomplish more or less the same goal without a brother/sisterhood. For the most part, without drinking you can still go to the parties and have a good time. Off campus is mostly just for dinners, pizzas and bowling.
The social scene at Bowdoin revolves around the social houses. Each house is affiliated with a freshmen dorm, and that is the house that you are automatically placed into. They basically operate like coed fraternaties, except you don't choose which one you're in. A freshmen student can expect a social house party pretty much every Friday and Saturday night. They're a great way to meet people at the beginning of the year. In terms of meeting close friends, almost all of them I met through my dorm. We're a really close-knit dorm. Ivies is probably the biggest tradition at Bowdoin. It's during the last weekend in April, and it celebrates Bowdoin declining the Ivy League's offer to join them, and is now a week-long party. There's also a lobster bake right before the beginning of classes in the fall for the whole school. Not many other schools can say that!
Athletes are very close to their team and tend to hang out together when they're not at practice or playing games. The most popular events on campus are acappella concerts and student-produced plays, though students will also show up for many of the common hour events, where the college brings prominent speakers to campus on Fridays. There is almost always an academic event or a speaker on campus, though participation at these events isn't always that high. Students are very open and many of them will leave their doors open during the day, especially in the freshmen dorms. A lot of students complain about the dating scene at Bowdoin, because either you don't have a boyfriend or you spend all your time with your boyfriend. There isn't much casual dating. Drinking is huge on campus and often quite hard to avoid if you want to go out on a weekend.
Freshman dorms here are amazing. All have been renovated or built in the past 3 years, which means they're very modern and still have that sqeaky clean feeling, no matter how many drunken incidents occur. This contributes to a great open-door policy and floors bond very easily. There's a great amount of trust that things won't get stolen- students leave their shoes in the halls outside of their rooms in the built in cubbies and their toiletries in open cubbies in the bathroom. Bowdoin also has some really great guest speakers and drama/a capella/improv/concerts going on every week. Thursday night is Pub Night to get the weekend started at the pub in the Union and there's always a DJ or band playing. The social houses (Bowdoin's form of non-exclusive, coed, Greek system) always have themed parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
So many activities! You can really find whatever you are interested in here which is surprising for such a small school. If by chance what you want isn't here they encourage the development of new groups. Its kind of easy to get over your head however as there are so many enthusiastic people and groups that can suck you in. In terms of on campus activities there are plenty. Although we are in Maine there is no shortage of things to do on the weekend. You can pretty much find whatever your looking for. Parties are ample and rarely exclusive at all. The Social House system really helps get things going for the Underclassman The College also does a great job of bringing in speakers to keep us intellectually stimualted as well and often times there are so many great discussions on each night that its hard to choose.
Besides being on a team, one of tehbest social experiences at Bowdoin is being involved with a college house. Each college house has a different personality and students have the opportunity to get to know other students that live in the house and attend events that the house hosts. One particular house called out to me. One of my favorite nights on campus was attending a party at this college house. When my friends and I arrived, there was newspaper taped to all the walls and people were drawing and writing on it in pastel crayons. The people who weren't participating in this activity were gathered around the snack table-which consisted of an array of melons and coconuts, or dancing barefoot to an amazing live band that the house had booked. It was an amazingly fun and relaxing Saturday night.
People in freshmen dorms definitely leave their doors open all the time! Dating scene: casual hook-ups (usually drunk) or virtually married...very little in between I met my closest friends through my freshman dorm, those friends' sports teams, and through my classes freshmen year. If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday I'm watching a movie or laughing with my friends for no apparent reason and am kicking myself for not being in bed already People party on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, but they are also conscious of their work so it's usually some combination of these nights, not all three. We're near Freeport and Portland and the town of Brunswick has anything you can need and is within walking distance, there's also a bus to Boston directly from campus every day!
Students complain a lot about the lack of innovative weekend activities; social houses dominate the party atmosphere at Bowdoin, which is good because it gets freshman involved and welcomed into campus life, but its poor because the parties are a repeat every year. The dating scene is non-existant here at Bowdoin. Intimate interactions are reduced to weekend hook-ups and there isn't much legitimacy to any of these student relationships. Bowdoin students have 3-day weekends; not many students have classes on Fridays which is great because it's a day to run errands, meet with professors, and go to club meetings. There's a great deal of chem-free (the Bowdoin term for non-drinkers) events on campus; weekly movie showing and parties in the chem-free social house.