Mock Trial and Model UN are both popular. There are many music ensembles, including Collegium Musicum, a medieval and Renaissance group that I happen to play harpsichord in, three a cappella groups, three large choirs, a symphonic orchestra/band, chamber ensembles, and Javanese Gamelan, which is a group that studies and plays the music of the island of Java. There is an improv troupe and a theatre troupe that writes its own plays, as well as 3 official theatre productions each year and a dance ensemble. There isn't Greek life here so the most popular parties happen at the Harris center, and many are themed. We really get into theme parties here at Grinnell! Frequently the Harris center also shows films. Every weekend you can probably find a concert of some sort. Athletic events are not super popular, but people do go to basketball games because we are apparently pretty successful at basketball.
IF you're not liberal, your gonna have a hard time. If you don't like getting shitfaced, your gonna have a hard time. If you are either awkward at dancing or don't like it, your gonna have a hard time.
The problem is that although it is quote on quote diverse, the social scene really isn't. IT's as singular as you get. Saturday nights consist of going to the one college party on campus...Harris, which is getting shitfaced and dancing to techno every Saturday. Those who don't are studious freaks who do nothing but study. If you are neither of those, your in an alienated gray area.
Since there's nothing to do in the town (wal-mart, which sells ammunition, is an hour walk but that's it), students compensate with politically charged initiatives and high school kind of stuff like extra-curriculars such as mock-trial. IF your not an extra-curricular guy, your in trouble. Nothing to do on campus, nothing to do outside of it. Without extra-currics, YOU WILLL DIE OF BOREDOM!
Grinnell students like to leave their doors open and then complain when someone's laptop inevitably gets stolen. The climate is generally unsupportive of dating relationships, and much more conducive to awkward one-night stands. It is not uncommon on weekends to find a string of wild parties held in dorms across campus but if you elect to live in substance-free housing people are generally respectful of the policy.
Our environmental group, FTP, is quite large, as is yoga. Student Government Association is pretty big. Students leave their doors open when they're there, and also don't really lock their doors a whole lot. It's Iowa. Some of our athletic teams are good. There's usually a decent turnout. Not the whole school or anything by any means. There are a ton of yearly parties that occur that are big for community building, like 10/10, Disco, and Block Party. We don't have fraternities or sororities.
Social life at Grinnell is what you make it to be. Grinnell has a social culture that it likes to keep alive. Major parties or social events are passed down through organizations, so the leaders who take over each year know what is expected. Such as the campus unity party is put on by the men's Frisbee team each year. The 2 am pancakes during hell week, the week before finals two weeks before the end of the semester, are always made by the Grinnell College Cristian Fellowship. Love you body week is organized by Feminist Action Coalition. The MuliCultural Talent show is put on by Concerned Black Students. And, this list could continue for all the organizations on campus.
Socially, Grinnell is a good fit for students who don’t mind getting a little wild and rowdy. People say we embody the quote “work hard, play hard.” Since there are no fraternities or sororities, campus parties are sponsored by clubs or by interested students (who are reimbursed by the student government.) Again, the Grinnell twist is an integral part of our traditional parties. One favorite is called Mary B. James (named for the dorm with the same name) in which girls (Mary) dress like boys (James) and vice versa. Surprisingly, almost everyone on campus cross dresses, even the most feminine girls and the most masculine guys. Another party with a twist is Fetish, where the party requires you come dressed as a “fetish.” Grinnellians also get really into the party 10/10, which has a much-debated history. It’s big party that travels around campus, and involves an all-campus shot (of whichever liquid you chose, alcoholic or non-alcoholic) at midnight. Of course, parties like Disco, 80’s, and Halloween, are big too. In my experience, many Grinnell students drink. However, clubs sponsor dry (no alcohol) parties as well, and alternatives to the pre-parties, where there is almost always alcohol. And even if you don’t want to go to an alternative party, if you are not interested in drinking, it is totally okay and no one will pressure you.
Here is our choir (the Young Gifted and Black Choir of Grinnell College) singing this wonderful and inspirational song by Youthful Praise. This video was taken on Sunday April, 19, 2009.
There are no sororities or frats at Grinnell. Parties mostly take place in Harris, where they're open to everyone, and then break up after.
The campus feels very safe. The girls across the hall left their door unlocked the whole year, and had nothing taken or bothered.
Some people don't drink- they're respected, and that's fine. There's always something to do on the weekends. Bob's Underground Cafe is open, a movie could be playing in the Harris theatre, there are restaurants in town, or just chilling in a lounge is normal. In addition, Iowa City is an hour away in one direction, and Des Moines is an hour away in the other.
Guest speakers normally lecture during the week, and usually they're interesting.
Grinnell has a very large list of activities for a small school and better yet, anyone can be involved. Beginners are always welcome to anything. If you have an interest and its not available, the school will fund you to start and lead a group dedicated to that interest. There is anything ranging from intramural sports to improv. Many people would say that the ultimate frisbee team is one of the most popular groups on campus.
On the weekends, there is so much to do that does not involve drinking. The college brings professional music and performing arts groups to campus and students see all shows for free. New release movies are also played on campus and student music group concerts abound. There is also a game room in the student center and there are so many odd-ball events going on that you can choose between things like dive-in movies at the pool or observatory open house nights. On the other hand, even though there is no Greek life at Grinnell, students are always up for a good time.
Grinnell is in the middle of Iowa, so the number of things to do in the town of Grinnell is sort of limited. However, every weekend there is a party at the Harris concert hall that is free and open to all students. The college also does a really good job of bringing musicians, lecturers, etc to campus so that even though Grinnell is in the middle of nowhere, there are still a lot of interesting things to do and see on campus, and all of it is free. There are no fraternities/sororities so everything on campus is basically open to everyone. And every weekend the school puts on fairly recent movies with free popcorn and has a weekend wellness activity for students that don't want to drink.
Partying. Hahah. A little of everything happens of campus. There are the students who party on Wednesday nights, those who only party on the weekends, and those choose to remain sub-free. But whatever you choose is fine. If someone wants to remain sub-free, there's no pressure otherwise. And although some students choose to party on the weekdays, they still keep their grades up.
Since there are no sororities or fraternities all students know and can attend all parties. The biggest parties on campus are Fetish (dress up in wipped cream or whatever you desire), Disco (grab some polyestor), 10/10 (a traveling party that happens on oct 10), and Block Party ( starts right when finals end in May).
Being one who didn't not party in high school, I was shocked by the amount of partying on campus. And if I had prospied, it probably would have scared me away, which is a shame because I love Grinnell! So don't let partying scare you away!
We are very good at finding our own fun and finding joy and beauty in seemingly simple things. The lounges are really nice. There are events every weekend. We have our own "club"; the Harris center features parties each weekend. It is very easy to obtain alcohol on campus and the school features a self-governance policy, the students are trusted. There are annual parties that everyone loves. There are lots of clubs and groups and it is very easy to make your own. It is pretty easy to get to Des Moines and Iowa City (the latter is really fun).
Some popular groups include: a cappella choirs (men, women, and mixed), theatre (independent and school-produced), basketball and other sports, among many, many others. Life on campus is very trusting - most students leave their doors open and your hall community is typically very tight. There is no greek life on campus, but there are various sports and themed houses near campus.
Work hard, party hard. The party scene is all on campus, very few people go out to the town bars. The parties are heavily rooted in tradition, which makes them very fun. We have a lot of great theme parties, for which we don ridiculous apparel almost every weekend. There are no fraternities/sororities, so most of the parties take place in dorms or our dancehall or pub. I am very glad there are no fraternities or sororities. In terms of house parties, they typically are thrown by sports teams. 5 or so members of a team will get a house and throw large non-exclusive parties. The dating scene can almost be incestual. The school is so small that, soon enough, people are stepping on a good friends toes because there are only so many "good catches."
The school brings in at least 3 great speakers every week (and some bad ones). We get usually 5 very good concerts a year, and a number of others. Whenever I get around to going to the events offered around Grinnell, I am always pleasantly surprised.
I hardly go off campus.
Ultimate frisbee is huge -- it's not a varsity sport, but I'd say it's more popular than most of Grinnell's varsity sports. We're awash in activist groups: international human rights, environmental, political, LGBT, etc. You name it, we've probably got it.
Grinnell is one of those "work hard, play hard" schools. There's a lot of partying, ranging from the usual -- like beer pong -- to the Grinnell-specific, like Harris parties. The Harris center has a large room that usually serves as performance/special events space, and almost every Friday and Saturday night this room holds a Harris party, most of which are themed and/or costumed. They're open to all students, are free, and are really popular. They consist mostly of dancing and drinking. Some Harris party themes have become annual tradition -- every year there's Disco (the biggest and most popular of all Harris parties), Underwear Ball, Fetish, Halloween, and '80s night, to name a few.
We don't have fraternities/sororities, and that's important. Most people I know came to Grinnell partially because of the absence of a Greek system. We try to do away with all forms of exclusivity and elitism at Grinnell (not that we always succeed).
We don't get off campus very often, and this has lead to the phrase "the Grinnell bubble." We're a very tight-knit community, which I love, but we do become somewhat cut off from the surrounding world. Going home can be a bit of a shock.
I'm involved with the xcountry team, a tightly knit group of people who party/eat and run together. For the most part student leave their dorms open, except on east campus where the doors don't naturally stay open. The school really tries hard to bring a lot of speakers, perforance groups to campus whihc is cool. We have a speaker every thursday. There isa big split in the student body between kids who drink and who don't drink. Personally I party on the weekends, but I've heard that there are limited things to do for people who choose not to. However, I've not heard of people feeling pressured to drink, its just a personal choice that is respected by other students.
Oddly, one of the bigger groups on campus is Dag, a recreational medieval fighting group--foam-sword fighting! It's got about 40 members and is tons of fun. Belly dance is also a huge group, as are some of the independent theatre clubs. Most religious traditions will have at least one club, and there are also many social-activism groups of all descriptors. This is partly because it's very easy to make a group at Grinnell--you just need two people interested, and you go sign up. In general, people are very open; doors aren't usually locked and are most often wide open. There are all-campus parties every weekend, with several major events, including the Winter/Spring Waltzes, a fancy-dress party with live music and cheesecake! Alcohol is available at events, although funded by students; but there is never any pressure to drink, and not drinking will not exclude you from social circles. In keeping with this "openness", Grinnell has no Greek life, although there are several "project houses" at the edges of campus, open for student groups to live in each year. Also, for those interested, I think it's something like 65% of Grinnellians marry other Grinnellians--we just get along that well!
There is a group/activity/club at Grinnell for everyone. Tons of people are involved in intramural sports or social activist groups. The most popular (and most respected) sports are basketball, track, cross country, swimming, and soccer. Frisbee is insanely popular. But, I wouldn't say athletic events are all that popular over all. Lots of people graduate without having ever seen a single game.
I'm involved in theater, and the great thing about it is that you don't have to be a major to be cast in Grinnell productions because a lot of them are student-run. Also, theater attracts all sorts of people--athletes, singers, political activists--you really aren't defined by one activity.
The dorms are very close-knit communities. Student almost always leave their doors open, and floor/dorm parties are frequent and fun! People often study in the hallway, and it's rare to find a person who spends a ton of time in their dorm room. Because Grinnell is a wet campus, it's common to see alcohol in the dorms. On a typical Friday night, you'll probably see a beer pong game underway in a dorm hallway, and a party in a dorm lounge.
There isn't much of a dating scene at Grinnell. People don't really "go on dates." It seems like people are either casually hooking up or in a committed relationship. But there are lots of opportunites to meet people.
Grinnell is really unique because is tends to party as a community. For example, there are several parties (10/10, Waltz) that are progressive in which different dorms host different parts of the party. On nights like 10/10 (the weekend after the first campus job paycheck), you can literally see almost the entire campus travel from one dorm to another. Each weekend there's a college sponsored party in a big multi-purpose building called Harris. There's free beer and lots of dancing. The party has a different theme each time, and the most popular ones are Disco, Fetish (dress up as a fetish), and Halloween. Basically these parties are an excuse to show some skin and drink.
Students at Grinnell don't go off-campus much because there's so much to do on campus--there's a free movie theater, parties, guest speakers, free athletic events, free theater and music performances, free concerts--really anything you'd want. There aren't many bars in town, so most people drink on campus. There's even a pub on campus.
I met my closest friends in my dorm freshman year and in my classes. The dorms aren't separated by year, so a lot of my best friends aren't the same age as me.
If you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, you are most definitely studying.
There are no fraternities or sororities at Grinnell. In fact, that whole college lifestyle is pretty looked down upon, and there isn't really even anything at Grinnell that compares to it.
Drinking is really common, but there is lots to do that doesn't involve drinking. People will often cook in the dorm kitchens, watch a movie, go to a concert, or just hang out. Actually, lots of people who don't drink still go to parties and have a good time because you aren't really looked down upon if you don't drink.
The people at Grinnell are really down-to-earth, and completely friendly.
If you like to get drunk, then we provide! If you don't like to drink your days and nights away, we do have other activities.
The cool thing about Grinnell is how easy it is to start a club, and procure funding. Find a friend, and you have a club. 2 semesters ago, we formed a kite club with 3 people, ended up with $800 funding by filling out a page of forms. That's how easy it is.
The ease of finding funds also allow a lot of clubs to bring high profile speakers over all the time, as well as concerts and stuff.
There are generally parties every weekend for all students on campus, organized by one club or another. There are probably a bazillion student organizations, something for everyone.
It depends on the dorm, but many students do leave doors open. My sophomore year, our floor had a fantastic time -- floor parties were not uncommon, even if it just involved chowing down on stolen cheesecake from the dining hall and doing papers or homework until 3 in the morning.
The dating scene... well, there are no words. It's interesting, to be sure.
People party (if that is what they're into) as often as they like. Fridays, Saturdays consistently, many Wednesdays, sometimes Mondays and Thursdays too... but if you're not into drinking and partying, there are other people who don't drink, you just have to find them.
The lack of Greek Life is amazing... instead of several frats and sororities, we just have one big college family.
You can easily get by without drinking -- find friends, go into town, there are movies shown on campus, there are weekend wellness events such as bingo, karaoke, Super Smash Brothers tournaments, the list goes on and on...
There are dances with alcohol almost every weekend.
Many people are invloved in groups and clubs here which is great and they organize so many activities so that, even though we are in the middle of nowhere, there is always something to do. Athletic events are sometimes popular but it really depends on the weekends. There are always movies to watch in the theatre or a play to go to. Grinnell is constantly bringing in guest speakers and muisical acts for students to enjoy for free.
Personally I think trying to date at Grinnell comes with pretty slim pickins' but thats just me and so many people from Grinnell actually get married.
I met my closest friends at a preorientation (the Grinnell Science Project) where there were only about 35 kids. I never would have met them if we had not all gone to this because we live on opposite sides of campus. If you are invited to a preorientation no matter where you go I recommend attending it. You learn so much about the college, where things are, have a few people that you know and can eat with or spend time with, and you get into your room early.
Every year there are certain parties that take place like Block Party (the end of the year party), 10/10 (The all campus party for the first payday), Disco (every one dresses up in crazy 70's clothes and has a blast, and Waltz (the formal dances). People are partying all the time but the great thing is that if you do not drink or don't feel like drinking there is no pressure to do so. It is easy to go to parties and not drink.
We do not have the Greek System here but we do have project houses like soccer house, football house, German house, Spanish house, etc.
Grinnell has a very active athletics department and students from Grinnell always compete well within the Mid-West conference. The Grinnell Rosenfield program is responsible for bringing in guest speakers on a regular basis - they do not disappoint. While homework may consume more time than it did in high school for most, the college brings in bands to perform on the weekends and usually shows about 4 new films directly on campus every week.
If you are awake at 2:00 am on a Tuesday, no doubt you are taking a break from your studies to walk across 6th ave to the Bakery shop, where every evening after 2:00 am (except Saturdays) you can walk in the back door and get fresh pastries for a dollar.
Oh my goodness, there is so much to do here! There's at least one party every weekend, as well as several campus-hosted (and alcohol-free) movies, concerts, lectures, and theatrical pieces. And there are bakery runs! Bakery runs take place around one in the morning Mon-Sat when we go over to the local bakery to get fresh donuts. They're delicious! Ultimate Frisbee is also ridiculously popular here. There are tournaments and everything. I personally am involved in theatre, and I love it. I have been amazed by every production this year.
As far as friends go, I found mine all over the place. Some are from my dorm, like my roommate. Others are just people that I happen to get thrown together with. It just depends. And with dating, well, it exists. For a supposedly mostly-academic school, there's a lot of dating drama.
Grinnell has no Greek system, so sororities and fraternities aren't all that important. However, we do have themed houses, like Football House and German House, that are alternatives to the dorms for those that qualify. \
i like me some concerts
The town of Grinnell does not have a lot to offer fun-wise. I mean, I love lots of things about small Midwestern towns, like friendliness and lack of pretension, but honestly there is not a lot to do. Grinnellians make up for this by making their own fun. There are a ton of different clubs, and new ones are starting all the time. For example: yoga, board game club, improv, swing dancing, concerts (the college brings a lot of music to campus). People just do normal, low-key things like play videogames, watch movies, and just hang out with friends too. On a lot of weekends, there are all-campus parties that have a lot of history. Annual events include Disco, 80's, a short film festival, a cross-dressing event called Mary B. James, Underwear Ball, Winter Waltz, and Spring Waltz, to name a few. Sometimes those require drinking to be fun, but not all of them, and not always. For non-drinkers, there is a group that has a well-attended event every Friday night but I don't know too much about that.
Most people wear their walk of shame clothing three days in a row.
Doors are always open on campus... pretty much all events are well attended, there are football players in plays, and music majors on the tennis team. Physics majors on the baseball team. Everyone participates in a wide variety of things. If you're awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, you're studying... let's be honest! There are so many things to do on a Saturday that aren't drinking! You can go to a movie, go to a dance, go to a show (theater, dance, music) go to a concert, go to a bonfire, watch a movie, go to a game, go to a crafty party, there's so much to do! There are a number of traditional parties and dances each year, that include cross-dancing, disco dancing and costumes, as well as a really classy Waltz every semester.
my weekdays are usually filled with homework, eating, watching television or being active
my weekends are usually filled with friends, parties, sleeping, and always some homework
i love that we don't have fraternities or sororities.
A lot of time is devoted to learning, but when it's warm outside (which is not so often in Iowa-- be warned!), you'll probably find yourself walking along the railroad tracks, having a picnic, or just sitting outside and talking. Most of the year, of course, is confined to indoor activities-- sometimes drinking, but more often Disney movie fests, Apples to Apples tournaments, coloring parties, or intellectual conversations. Musicians, rest assured that practice rooms abound, often with a baby grand Steinway. The Jewish population is small but active; there is a student-cooked kosher vegetarian meal (vegan choices too!) every Friday night. Parties are inclusive and creative as only Grinnellians are-- there are no fraternities or sororities, and party themes are along the lines of cross-dressing (after the dorm Mary B. James), fetish, and the formal Waltz each semester.
Im invovled in both diving and softball and they have been nothing but great experiences. Being involved and enjoying the college experience is what its about the only thing you have to realize is that your here for yourself and school and you cant let the partying get in the way. Even sometimes sports and extracurriculars have to be put on hold. Besides partying there are plenty of other opportunities to do things. Weekend wellness usually has things set up, you can go to the movies held in harris, plays, concerts in gardner, bobs underground cafe, the grille...its endless
There are so many activities at Grinnell. I'm always deciding whether to go to this speaker, or this play, but then I'll miss this party. It's nice to have a lot of choices in activities. There are huge all campus parties, as well as theater, movies, non-drinking parties for the non-drinkers. No one cares whether you drink or not, you'll be accepted and not judged. The students tend to leave their dorm rooms upon which allows for a much more pleasant dorm atmosphere.
Parties can be found every night, although you might have to look harder on weekdays (except on Wednesday). There are no Frats/Sororities here.
While Grinnellians like to work, they really like to play. Grinnell's social life is filled with different activities, including quite a few very well-attended annual parties. Grinnellians love to dress up, so some of the most popular annual parties include Disco and Mary B James, across-dressing party.
Dorm life at Grinnell is fun. The floor monitors (called Student Advisers) are not paid, thus they act more as social-coordinators and mentors rather than disciplinarians.
There are plenty of organizations to get involved with on campus. For every issue there is a group, and then there is a group that opposes that view. Whatever you want to get involved with chance is there will be a group for you.
Grinnell student life always takes a backseat to academics. There are more than enough students groups and clubs around campus to get involved with (many first year students become TOO involved), and a good percentage of students play varsity or club sports, and even more play intramural sports. There is very, very little crime on campus, and most people are very comfortable with leaving their doors unlocked at night or when they leave. There is very little to do in the town. The movie theater has three screens and doesn't always have the best selections in stock. There are some good restaurants, but it can be inconvenient to go there very often.
There are so many different types of activities and groups to be a part of. I'm on the cross country team which is more than just a group of people who compete together. We spend a lot time together while training as well as outside of the athletic facilities. There are plenty of parties on the weekend but there are also a myriad of other activities to choose from. Some of my most enjoyable nights have been filled with cooking, talking with friends, camping out under the stars, biking and anything that comes to mind. The cross country team has a humorous tradition called crazy week which is filled with absolutely crazy activities. I only partake in some. Among the more sedate activities was playing basketball which resulted in severe bruising because cross country players have a difficulty in coordination beyond that required for running.
Sports are highly variable in terms of success, we dominate in cross-country, swimming, water polo, and frisbee. our soccer teams are mediocre with the womens team being much better than the mens. football, baseball, and softball perform very poorly against our iowa conference. Most students dont give a shit about varsity sports although the recreational programs have a pretty large participation level. The only exception is mens basketball which enjoys large levels of spectator support, although they do not enjoy any social appreciation on this account. The social scene otherwise is based on self-governance and drinking is very prevalent, accessible, and in the open. you can drink a beer pretty much anywhere without fear of punishment no matter your age, your room, the dorms, the student center, academic buildings, the library, any open space, its all acceptable. marijuana smoking is very prevalent with most dorms smelling like smoke once classes get out at 4pm when the custodial staff leaves. Large parties take place on Fridays and Saturdays with Wednesdays also enjoying some smaller but nonetheless campus wide parties. Friday and Saturday parties are always campus-wide and anyone is accepted wherever they go. most weekends have some themed parties with costumes being very important. Drug use definitely goes up with the more popular costume parties, while Grinnell does have more demand than supply from its rural location, if you are in the right circles drugs are obtainable, populartiy goes roughly on this scale, alcohol, marijuana, mushrooms, lsd, ecstasy, cocaine, designer chemicals, heroin. Harder drugs usually stay within their social groups and some drugs stay mostly off campus in student apartments and houses, so unless you are looking for them you may not be aware of their use.
Athletic events are very popular, especially men's basketball and the Dick Young Track Meet. Everyone goes and cheers together, whether or not you're actually interested in the game.
As for drinking and partying, there are no frats or sororities but there are themed houses, the most popular of which are on High Street. Some of these house are sports-themed, like Soccer House and White House (football) and others are just students that share a common interest (DAG house) or are just good friends. The houses on High St. usually host parties on the weekends and Wednesdays where anyone can come and drink. There are also Harris Parties (student-run parties) on the weekends. Any student/organization can throw a Harris Party and they're usually pretty crazy. Some of the most popular Harris Parties are Disco, Spring/Winter Waltzes (formals), 80's Dance Party, Fetish, Halloween, and various Drag Shows. There is also a huge year-end party on High St. called Block Party.
I haven't locked my door yet this year. The guy down the hall sleeps with his door wide open every night. We also had many political canidates visit campus. People get really suprised when they hear that Obama stopped by or whoever. Just because we're in Iowa doesn't mean we're not the richest small liberal arts school in the country. There are always people stopping by to preform or speak. I actually feel bad because I miss most things because I'm so busy with other stuff.
Of course Harris parties are fun. Disco, and whatever else.
The student body's very trusting. People often go around leaving their doors unlocked, and sometimes just plain open if they're running a quick errand. I have been able to leave my computer and belongings in the student center for hours and come back to find them untouched.
Weekend nights are often devoted to drinking; the majority of campus does drink. Sober activities include movies at the Harris Center; Weekend Wellness, which provides various different activities based on the hosting group/organization; watching movies in town; going to Iowa City or Des Moines. And there's no greek life on campus.
Other important things to know about as a student are bakery runs. These are usually done at 2 AM except on Sunday mornings. We consider it a really good study break, as the baker in town starts making his goods at around 2 AM.
Dating on campus is really polarized: you either date someone for years or you go on varoius hookups via campus parties. it's hard to find people actually "dating", going into downtown for a dinner and a movie, or going off campus for other activities.
I'm a member of the volleyball team and I have found that it has definitely shaped the group of friends that I have and the activities that I am involved with. Arriving two weeks early on campus for pre-season helps to solidify the relationship between the athletes. However, I have many friends outside the realm of athletes too. Students definitely do leave there doors open on south campus and often sit out in the hall to do homework or chat. People who date tend to hang out a lot and usually have similar groups of friends. Sleeping over at each other's rooms is quite common. The relationships here are usually really close between boyfriends and girlfriends. Going out on dates isn't quite as frequent, but couples try to plan dates in Iowa City or in town every now and then. The one bad thing about dating is that break-ups can be quite dramatic since everyone is so close here and word travels fast. In addition, because the school is small and there is a lot of history between friends and people who have dated, it's common that friends might date someone who has dated a friend in the past and occasionally there are problems. Hook-ups are also quite prevalent, but usually they are just flings for fun between friends and nothing comes of them.
There is so much to do on campus and it is all free! speakers, theater, dancing...
some people party, others don't.
Grinnell does a great job of bringing entertainment to campus, whether it's comedians or new releases or big name bands or a Russian ballet company, and most of these shows are sell out quickly. Aside from that, there is usually a dance to go to every weekend at the Harris Center on campus. There are actually too many things to do on campus for anyone to see or do everything they want to. It's a good thing we get four years here.
The lack of a Greek life does not hinder partying on campus. At all. There are regular moose club meetings, beer pong and beer die tournaments, techno raves, floor parties, theme parties, you name it. There is a pre- and after-party for every Harris party. There are also campus party traditions, like 10/10, which is a traveling all-campus party that celebrates the day that students who work campus jobs historically receive their first paychecks of the year. There are also a formal and a semi-formal dance each year, winter waltz and spring waltz. If you don't drink, you're still welcome to attend all parties, and there's still a ton of stuff to do. There are nerf wars on campus every week, many students go on bakery runs when the local baker opens up his shop at two in the morning, there are generally movies on campus, people drive to Iowa City to all-night diners, and there are always small get-togethers between groups of friends.
The dating scene is interesting. Hookups and breakups seem to happen at a faster rate than the world at large. I'm sure by the end of four years here, the dating pool feels pretty small, but there is someone for everyone at Grinnell, no joke.
Grinnell is all about free events. Free admission to varsity games, to fitness center, to hear invited musical groups, theater performances, almost everything.
I really like that Grinnell has a wide variety of scholarly speakers come to campus to give talks. Partying is a very common weekend activity. For as hard as Grinnell students work during the week, they party just as hard over the weekends. However, if a person isn't a partier, there are many alternatives and other people will be understanding and supportive. There are no fraternities or sororities. Weeknights tend to be late, usually because of homework.
If I'm awake at 2 AM on a Tuesday, I'm either writing a paper or hanging out with friends. If I'm writing a paper, it's probably because I hung out with friends earlier--or just couldn't miss that concert/lecture/gathering and am now paying for the time well spent. If I'm hanging out with friends, well, we should be in bed but we're enjoying each other's company far too much to give in to silly things like sleep.
Grinnell is a bubble of rabid liberalism way the hell in the middle of nowhere. The average Grinnellian has some form of mental illness, usually depresssion, though the Grinnell atmosphere usually leads to some form of more serious mental disturbances, mainly insomnia and crippling anxiety. The mental health services are sparse, and mainly concerned with preventing suicides, though they fail at even that task.
There are some very big groups on campus: Environmental Action, for example. Or the Asian Student in Alliance.
I'm with Grinnell Singers, the college choir. It's my best experience here. Professor John is very dedicated and talented. And I always feel like I belong to a family in Grinnell Singers.
Oh, the dating scene; what dating scene? You call doing homework together with your girlfriend "dating"?
If I'm awake at 2am on Tuesday, I'm finishing up a paper or cramming for a very hard exam or doing readings for class. It's not unusual for students in Grinnell to pull al-nighters. Trust me, when I say Grinnell is hard-core academics, I mean it.
There are the International Food Bazaar each year, where you can eat cuisine from 50 different countries. Also the International Festival, with music and dancing. There's a cross-dressing party, called Mary B James, and a very popular concert sponsored by the Stonewall Coalition.
Some people here party like crazy. And some never do. There are no fraternities or sororities on campus. Grinnellians mostly do not care about dressing-up. If you dress too well, you'll get embarrassed from walking among a bunch of people in their pajamas. Some people here wear pajamas and no shoes to class. Just so you know.
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