I'm not really in any groups yet. Hey, this is my first year, I think I need to get a little adjusted first. I live in an apartment, but from what I see, people leave their doors unlocked. I'm too scary for that and I keep my door locked as long as I can help it. Athletic events are everything sometimes, especially football games. Guest speakers and theater aren't as popular because I never really hear about them. I don't look for sports events but I always end up hearing about them. Closest friends? Does that happen in the first year? I met my closests friends in elementary school. Frats and sorors aren't that important to me. People party pretty often, sometimes, there's something going on somewhere every weekend. Off campus I just hang out with friends and family.
You do not have to go Greek to have fun at Clemson (although I recommend it)! There is always something going on, for drinkers and non-drinkers. For drinkers, there is a party every night somewhere. If you really want to find one you will. When people have really big parties, there is usually free transportation to and from the party. And downtown, whoa, downtown is AWESOME! It has been my favorite part of Clemson. There are so many options and you can see people you haven't seen in 3 years. As for non-drinkers, there are always activities going on through the week and the weekend. The CSA (Catholic Student Association) has dinner one night every week. They go midnight bowling together like once a month. There is always something to do no matter what you enjoy doing!
Holy crap. If you like football, and maybe even if you don't, you will learn to love your Clemson Tigers. Gameday weekends are absolutely insane. There are people EVERYWHERE! And they're all wearing orange, having a great time tailgating, and getting ready for the game. Once the game starts is when the real fun begins though. Having 80,000 fellow Tigerfans cheering as the team runs down the Hill is one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences in the world. Two years ago, for the Miami game, we were in triple overtime, and everyone was screaming at the top of their lungs. Literally. It was louder than a 747 jetliner in the stadium, and that's not an exaggeration. I think that we either broke or tied the all-time noise record that night. It was crazy.
Clemson has a terrific balance of academic and social activies. Everyone in your dorm hall leaves their dorm rooms open and within the first week everyone on a hall is hanging out together. My hall would always go eat together and do other things too. Its really a great sense of community. Athletics are a must ,especially football. 86,000 people at 125 decibels in Death Valley really is an experience that students should never miss. Fraternity and sorority life is a large part of Clemson. About 25% of the student body is Greek. But there is plenty of parties and other things for non Greeks to do. Joining a fraternity or sorority at Clemson has other benefits such as special housing and other Greek only events.
Sports. Clemson revolves around sports. Football season is the highlight of the year. Clemson has some of the most rabid fans in students and alumni. Clemson fans tailgate like no other. Basketball is taking off in Clemson now too. Baseball is consistently one of the best teams in the country, and so is soccer. Intramurals are also very big at Clemson. Nearly everyone plays something. Clemson is a party school, whether school officials want to believe it or not. That aspect of Clemson is usually played down. Fraternities hold parties every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night religiously, but Tuesday and Wednesdays are also popular.
Students I feel are very involved and very physically active. When studying is not going on, many students do not reach for the remote. They want to get outside, enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather, and have a game of ultimate frisbee on Bowman Field or lay out on the fields. Parties are fun, but you have to drive to get to any big ones since all (most anyway) of the frat houses are off-campus. Downtown is quaint and you can go to the movie theater for really cheap, get ice-cream, go to isaqueena trails, go to the lake, and at night time you can just walk around with friends. Drinking is present, but it is not the only way people have fun.
Greek life has a major presence on Clemson's campus, but there are way too many organizations to count. Personally, I am active in Greek life, student leader organizations, alumni-related organizations, as well as philanthropic and religious groups. The dating scene...well, if you want a date, there would be no trouble finding one! There is a plethora of both good looking guys and girls of every type! Traditions that happen every year are Tigerama, the annual Homecoming pep rally; many graduation traditions; football season is something everyone looks forward to-to name a few.
The social atmosphere is almost exclusively run by fraternities and sororities on campus. If you're not part of one, you're still going to (girls) or paying for (guys) their parties on the weekends. They are definitely catered to by the university, and they sponsor most of the activities around campus. Besides the frat scene, we have a great downtown with something like a dozen bars in walking distance and plenty of other large events taking place all the time. You'd be hard pressed to find a weekend without a major sporting event or a major concert of some sort going on.
Socializing revolves around Greek life and sporting events. However you can definitely find fun outside of these two spheres. Clemsonlive and other campus organizations bring concerts, comedians, movies and more to campus so there is something going on pretty much every weeknight and usually for free. Also if you keep up you can probably get at least five meals free a week due to the different lunches and events held by campus organizations. Drinking is a large aspect of the social scene because sporting events encourage pre-gaming, tailgating, etc.
Club and intramural sports are really popular. Clemson is a big jock school. There's also a lot of special events around campus like flag football tourneys and stuff that can be a lot of fun. Most students leave their doors open in the dorm buildings. If you're not in a frat or sorority you're pretty much on your own trying to find something to do, and your freshman year will be a struggle. There really isn't much to do on the weekends that doesn't involve drinking - Clemson is in the middle of nowhere.