The dorms are typically how you meet people freshmen year. If you do not end up in a social dorm, it may be somewhat of a problem. While some of the older dorms are said to be more social, it really depends on the people who reside there. Overall, people leave their doors open and even the dorms that are full of suites are social because of the common room with a TV on each floor. Many people meet their closest friends this way, but you can meet people through other activities. The intramural and club sports are competitive and fun. There are also Dorm Wars between the different frehsmen and sophomore housing buildings, where the dorms compete in different sports and activities. The theater groups and acapella groups on campus do draw big crowds. In particular, the all male acapella group, the All-Nighters are great for laughs and listening to some of your favorite songs. The Buttered Niblets, an improv comedy group are also a campus favorite, and have some great improv games; they are a crowd favorite. Volunteer organizations like The Tutorial Project, where JHU students tutor inner-city kids, and other clubs acting out of the Center for Social Concern are popular amongst students. Outdoor Pursuits is a campus group that goes hiking, rock-climbing, and kayaking in local areas, is very popular among students. Many people attend the MSE Symposium, which brings popular and controversal speakers such as Bill Nye, Jason Alexander, Ralph Nader, and Howard Dean. The Foreign Affairs Symposium also brings some controversal and internationally renowed speakers. While the people on campus are not the most friendly, and it may seem at times difficult to meet new people, one just needs to be outgoing and friendly. The Student Council sets up many events and parties and there are weekly showings of recently released movies. People can definitely find things to do that do not involve drinking. We are in a city that offers tons of opportunities, and people can always find something to do or something to see whether it be on or off campus. That being said, there are also plenty of frat parties and off-campus parties that people attend. Annual themed parties draw tons of people to the frats, but there are also local bars and clubs that people frequent including PJ's a local bar and The Den, a somewhat fancy club. Both of these are close to campus, but there are of course, plenty of opportunities to go clubbing in downtown Baltimore. Many Hopkins people date one another, and in fact, there is suppose to be a high percentage of Hopkins couples that marry each other. Hopkins is a suprisingly social place and while there are people that study each night, there are also people that go out to party every single night. Fraternities and Sororities are under 30%, but it seems to be a bit more. The good thing about sororities is that the girls do not live together, so there is not a complete feeling of exclusivity. Many people are in sororities and are friends with those who aren't. It does seem like a lot of people pledge, but at the same time people are down to earth and friendly and it really doesn't affect friendships or relationships at all. Finally, Spring Fair and the Duke Lacrosse game are events that draw even the most reclusive person. The intense rivalry between Hopkins and Duke is energetic and extremely exciting. Kids go all out to support their team when Duke comes to the Homewood Field. Spring Fair, an annual campus event, brings a big-name musician as well as tons of vendors,games, and activities. Open to the Baltimore Community, it is a great event to experience Hopkins at its best. It is fun and social, and nobody should miss it.
Pre-meds love service groups! Greek life keeps growing. There are a lot of really subversive sorority girls. Thoroughfare magazine publishes fiction, poetry, art, video, etc. on CD format and on the Internet. We begin every meeting by making jokes about K-Pop and Youtube. I don't know; I don't go. I will go to a lacrosse game drunk this year, though. People don't date. A lot of people don't have sex (!!!), but just make out. All my friends have serious SOs. Long distance is popular. The dorm became best buddies for a while but that faded away. I met my current best friend when his friend who had a crush on me brought me to an awkward, pretentious video-watching in his dorm and my BFF and I got into a fight about shoegaze. I met my other friend because I had a rabbit pelt on the first day of orientation and other people thought it was gross but she thought it was cool. I met other people at Writing Seminars readings. I'm writing a paper! I'm thinking about going to therapy! I AM ALWAYS AWAKE AT 2AM ON TUESDAY! If it were Monday, I might be sobering up from drinking beer with redheads, but if it's a Tuesday I'm writing a paper for Queer class and writing obsessively in my journal. My roommates are sleeping. WE HAVE A LIGHTING OF THE QUAD! IT IS GREAT! THERE IS FREE HOT COCOA!!! Lacrosse games are tradition. Normal-cool people go out at LEAST once a weekend. Some Writing Seminars kids or affiliates have been known to drink seriously and do drugs five nights a week. Some people NEVER GO OUT. I don't know how they live, though. I guess they're really important. I was opposed to them, but I have quite a few Greek friends. I danced at the Lithuanian Dance Hall with a bunch of JHU kids and the woman who runs the bike collective and the dude who runs the anarchist book store / coffee house. The next day I had RAINN hotline training and was super tired so some writerly friends and I had a quiet craft night where we watched basketball, drank wine, ate cheese and designed tee shirts. OH yeah, I should mention that International Relations girls LOVE wine and cheese parties. Like no other. There is one happening all the freaking time. Also costume parties. Go to a concert, have a dance party in a campus building, play dress up and take photos, write love notes and hand-deliver them, go to the Charles and see a movie, um...do homework. I THINK I HAVE ANSWERED THIS QUESTION ALREADY.
Dorm doors are closed most of the time, I guess because people use them as study rooms or just spend most of the time outside, esp. in the library, and don't want their stuff stolen. That's reasonable. I actually didn't get to meet one of my closest friends until the Senior Week at graduation. But finding a great friend through socialization wasn't really on my priority list while I was a student - I'd rather get a respectable grade, get to help other people study by tutoring them, and get involved with volunteer / community service activities. That's how I met people and I was perfectly happy not spending additional time with people. I met my sweetheart in Terrace while dining with other church friends. We were both of similar international backgrounds and we spoke 3 common languages (almost) + the language of BME, so we had a lot to share. I am indebted to him for introducing me to Student Technology Services, one of the greatest places to work on campus. Through training at STS, I spent a lot of time drawing and designing digital art for student websites. I became so passionate in it that I would spend whole weekends at it. Naturally I had a lot to share with my fellow digital artists and programmers at STS. STS was indeed a very comfortable place to be: the director Debbie Savage might be a little intimidating at first, but she made sure everybody was on their feet. STS really worked as a team.
Overall, students at Hopkins seem relatively uninvolved. There is a huge lack of school spirit or pride, and this is reflected at athletic events which attract little to no fan base. All sports are D3 except Lacrosse, which is D1, and definitely demands the most attention of all sports. Games in the spring usually have somewhat moderate attendance, but more so than any other sport. Also, some games/tournaments are offered downtown at the M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens), which always makes it a little more exciting. It seems that the school is attempting to counter this lack of school spirit, however, by attempting to develop new traditions, some of which have worked more than others. Within the social scene, greek organizations are relatively significant, with parties, formals, and mixers largely dominating the social scene. Baltimore is an awesome city. Like many, it has good parts and bad parts, but I suppose the transitions in Baltimore between the two are just more distinguished. Having said that, there are many different boroughs that have bars and restaurants ranging from eclectic, to traditional, trashy, upscale, etc. The Inner Harbor offers a somewhat 'touristy' experience with the National Aquarium, stores, and many chain-restuarants. The more you can explore Baltimore, the more you will come to love it.
At Hopkins, many of the students are involved in some sort of mentoring/tutoring group, and there are a great number of these groups, including Jail Tutorial, Project Tutorial, Incentive Mentoring Program (IMP) just to name a few. IMP is a group dedicated to mentoring at-risk high school students with not only academics, but also social, economic, legal guidance. Thus, the focus of the group is not solely academic, but covers a wide range of topics and activities. Many of the rest of these questions depend on the students. Many students do keep their doors open, but it also depends on some personal preference (obviously) or the dorm you live in. Athletic events tend to be less popular (mostly Division III sports) except for lacrosse, which Hopkins is very competitive in. Partying depends on the student. Some go as often as once or twice a week, while others never go party. Frats and sororities do play a role in Hopkins life, especially if you want to go party. If not, there's always Inner Harbor, which, among other things, has the National Aquarium (which is awesome). There are usually very good turn outs for any guest speaker events, as the guest speakers are usually pretty famous. Speakers in the past few years included Bob Woodward, Thomas Friedman, Jerry Springer, etc.
There are a ton of clubs, and most of them are pretty small. The biggest one is probably the co-ed volunteer fraternity, which is essentially just a way for premed kids to boost their resume. Lacrosse is big, all other events less so. Popular speaks (Bill Nye, etc) get a big turnout, but there are plenty of people who visit without anyone ever knowing. The dating scene is horrible. Don't come here if you actually want to meet somebody. Most people are perfectly nice but majorly socially awkward. This is a school of nerds. Frats and sororities are there to throw parties for the rest of us. Some people join them, but it's not as huge here as it is at other schools. At least one of them can be counted on to throw a party every weekend, though. I met most of my friends through class, which I think is atypical - most people meet their friends through their dorms freshman and sophomore year. You can always hang out with friends Saturday night, but most people consider drinking the highest form of entertainment. There isn't a lot off campus, except the Inner Harbor, which loses its appeal by freshman year, and the mall in Towson. My friend tells me there's a pretty good club and dance scene, and there are two small music venues within a short walk/cab ride of campus.
The largest groups on campus are mostly academic, service or ethnically oriented. The sports teams, although popular, are not the biggest group of students, at least from my perspective. Academics plays a big part, so much so that many things are pushed aside. The dorms can be a area for a lot of interaction, if you are very social. However not everyone is social and some people do on occasion develop a small and close knit group of good friends. For most people the dating scene is fairly barren, once you are a sophomore you tend to meet everyone you will ever hang out with at JHU, so you either end up sleeping around or committing to one relationship or two. Though my view could be skewed as someone that has a small group of friends and relatively unsocial. Since campus is small and if you do plan on being social you tend to see the same people again and again a lot branch out into the city and meet locals, though that isn't a wide spread thing. Most nights are quiet, spent studying or just watching a movie with friends in someone's apt. Other times parties or bar hopping. There are some events that everyone looks forward to, such a Spring Fair and for some Lacrosse season.
I think that the most popular social groups on campus are the sororities, fraternities and sports teams such as soccer, lacrosse, baseball, waterpolo etc. because they make it easier for everyone to meet and socialize. On the other hand, I wouldn't say that they dominate the social scene. I'm a member of Alpha Phi, and even though I have alot of friends outside of the sorority and the greek system, I'm glad I joined because it allowed me to meet and become friends with so many more people. The AMR freshman dorms were also a greet environment to meet everyone. Lacrosse games and big name guest speakers are always popular as well as the Barnstormers plays and comedy events. I met my closest friends during freshman year in my dorm and through friends. The dating scene is pretty active on campus and it's relatively easy to meet people, but not everyone is in long term relationships. The events that happen each year that are a lot of fun are fall festival and spring fair. For fall festival, they normally bring a comedian to campus (last year was Bob Saget) and spring fair always has a band and tons of stalls with food, jewelry, clothes etc as well as a beer garden.
Greek life has a pretty solid presence on campus, but it's by no means exclusionary; you can still be social without pledging with a fraternity/sorority. On any given weekend, there's multiple frat parties or mixers, and sports houses typically have something too. Outside of the party scene, there are always concerts going on nearby, guest speakers, free Friday night screenings of recent movies, poetry readings, and more. The most popular athletic events are the lacrosse games in the spring (our Homecoming is actually in the spring because of lacrosse!) but there's still a good turnout at the Division 3 games like soccer and football in the fall. Specifically for freshmen, people say that the AMR's are the best/most social dorms because they're traditional hall style, but I live in Wolman (a suite-style dorm) and I'm friends with almost everyone on my floor. People's doors are always open, and we all go out together, study together, or just hang out and watch TV in the common room together.
At Hopkins, there are many different groups that students can get involved in. One of the most popular groups are sports teams. Many students are members of an athletic team. I myself am a member of the men's tennis team, and it is like a family within the organization. My teammates and I all get along great and tend to go out a lot together. However, for students not involved with athletics, there are countless clubs and other opportunities that Hopkins offers for students, whether it be volunteering, outdoors clubs, choral groups, etc. Most all students find their niche soon and get involved early in something that they are interested in. Aside from clubs, frats and sororities are also options for students. Frats are pretty big at Hopkins, with rush and pledging in the spring. However, sororities are smaller. Sororities do not have houses at Hopkins, and thus are not as big as frats. However, many girls still get involved, and I have heard that they are a great experience all the same.