The Greek system is HUGE here, and I do mean huge. My roommate and I were the only girls on our floor not 'rushing', and even though we weren't interested in joining a sorority we felt extremely on the outs. There are a ton of very active and vibrant theatre boards, but there is more marketing/planning/behind-the-scenes work that goes into them than actual performance and acting. A Capella is big as well, and there is an acclaimed daily newspaper on campus (I have my own problems with the way that it runs, but won't go into detail here). It is definitely a pro that the school is big, because it gives way to a large number and eclectic mix of activities. Even though some groups are smaller than others, you'd be hard-pressed to find an interest that wasn't fulfilled by a group at NU.
We've got so many activities and groups that everyone is able to come together based on interests. If you want to party, there's probably one happening at the time if it's a Thursday through Sunday night. If you like drinking coffee and having intellectual discussions, you've got plenty of people to do that with. Downtown Chicago is about a 20-25 minute drive, which isn't bad. There are so many options aside from that, though, that you can choose from depending on how far you want to go from campus.
Greek life is the most popular student groups at Northwestern, no doubt about that. But, if Greek life is not for you, there are still many different ways to get involved on campus. Some of the other popular groups are Wildside and Homecoming, both of which work to bring a lot of student pride and involvement in Northwestern Athletics. Attending athletic events has also been growing in popularity as both student pride in Northwestern has increased, and as Northwestern sports teams have continued to get better and better.
Personally, I am involved in several student groups on campus, including Wildside and Homecoming. I have also been getting involved with a group that has just started up on campus that puts on some really cool events weekly nights for students to take part in. We had a widely popular 90's bingo night with great prizes, and a hugely successful laser tag on the Lakefill event (the Lakefill is a beautiful stretch of land running right along Lake Michigan that students will often hang out on to study and relax).
Personally, I am not involved in Greek life, but I have many friends who are. Fraternity and sorority events make up the bulk of their social life during freshman and sophomore year. However, students also get heavily involved in other activities. There are a few publications to write/do admin work for. There are also a ton of cultural clubs that put on annual shows. Also, we have a productions company that is involved in bringing live artists, speakers and movies for free (or at a subsidized cost). Underclassmen not involved in the Greek scene typically go to house parties (hosted by upperclassmen). Upperclassmen go out in Evanston, or neighborhoods closer to downtown Chicago.
There are several large and popular student groups on campus. The largest is Dance Marathon, which is an organization that puts on Dance Marathon, which is where students raise money to dance for 30 hours to support organizations that change every year. A&O is a popular group, which puts on movies and brings in artists for concerts and comedians to perform. Another large group is Mayfest, which organizes Dillo Day, which is NU's annual all day music festival, which always occurs in May. Mayfest also organizes events in May that lead up to and build excitement for Dillo Day. The concerts and comedians A&O put on are extremely popular. Dillo Day is also extremely popular, as it is just about everyone's favorite day of the year, and is even known of around the country. Greek life is also a prominent part of Northwestern, as about 40% of students are Greek.
The group I have been most involved is my Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. I have been the Recruitment Chairman and I just finished my term as President. I have truly loved holding leadership positions in AEPi. I valued and enjoyed spending time to fulfill the missions of my fraternity, as well as taking steps to make sure my fellow members can most enjoy their time in the chapter. I also met most of my closest friends by joining a fraternity, although a large number of close friends came from my dorm and classes I took freshmen year, as well as the other groups I am involved in.
Even though Northwestern is considered a school where students only study, people want to have fun as well. Monday and Saturday nights are the big nights to go out during the week. People do go out on other nights, but not as popular as the two nights I listed. Additionally, there are frequently fraternity and sorority invitation-only social events during the week, which are very fun. If one does not want to drink, there are many activities to take part in. In the fall, there are football games almost every weekend, and in the winter about one home basketball game per week. The theater community is also very involved, as there are shows of some sort every weekend.
There are also some traditions at Northwestern. Some were mentioned above, such as Dillo Day, which is probably the most fun. Another tradition is to paint the Rock. There is a Rock in south campus that student groups paint to advertise the group or an event they're putting on. Almost every group paints the Rock at some point. Additionally, every Sunday before finals week starts, at 9PM, the Primal Scream occurs, where students go outside and yell to vent their frustration for the upcoming week.
Dance Marathon is a HUGE deal on campus and everyone tries to experience it at least once before they graduate. It's literally 30 hours non-stop dancing to raise money for a charity. People go crazy over it. Also, Greek life is a big deal on campus.
As a freshman, greek life appeared to be the most dominant force on campus, and a vast majority of my fellow dorm-mates wound up rushing our getting involved in similar ways. However, if the idea of a sorority/fraternity doesn't appeal to you, it's good to know that there are plenty of other ways to have a social life. A large majority of my friends I've made because we're all biology students and have made it through a number of classes together. However, events such as Dillo Day, Primal Scream, and even networking via facebook have also provided me with a number of very good friends. The biggest social force in my life, though, would have to be the co-op that I've been living in: we live together, we cook together, we study together, and it's been a wonderful opportunity to meet a variety of people. Outside of campus, one can explore downtown Evanston. Granted, you will discover almost everything that the city has to offer fairly quickly, but there are some nice things none-the-less. There are a large number of coffee shops to cater to the student crowd, as well as pub-dining for those who want a slightly classier drinking experience than the infamous Keg. However, you should be prepared for most things to be a bit on the expensive side. From my experience, Chicago is a useful distraction, but most students only go into the city once a month at most. It's a good destination for special occasions, but the cost of the L and the fact that the purple line to campus doesn't run at all hours is often a fairly steep deterrent for most students.
Greek life, Associated Student Government, and the school newspaper groups, Global Engagement Summit are the biggest groups I can think of. But every group is good if you're interested in their mission. In terms of student life, people are generally friendly. Doors open, good conversation. There are tons of events on campus, but depending on you're friend group you may or may not take advantage of them. Unless you're a complete individual, which is totally cool too--I go to shit without my friends all the time. The dating scene sucks. You go have sex with someone, and then you do it enough times to say you're dating. It's kind of stupid. Wish it was better. I met my closest friends in my dorm freshman year. One of them I met online and we bonded over our love of partying. It was great. Dillo Day, Dance Maraton, and the Fall Blow-Out Concert are our three big events. Dillo Day is definitely the best one. Basically a fun filled day of concerts and drinking--yum. Depending on the person, people can party either everyday or only on the weekends, but most go out at some point. Overall, the Northwestern experience is so diverse and loaded, you can make it into whatever you want. Think of it as a giant SIMS game where you are the main character--only there isn't some evil dude controlling you on the other end of the screen.
There are a LOT of service-oriented student groups on campus. Dance Marathon is one of the biggest. Participants get people to sponsor them to dance for 30 hours straight. Last year, DM raised more than $1,000,000 for the Children's Heart Foundation. One of the most creative organizations on campus is, in my opinion, the Living Wage Campaign, which advocates for the various campus service employees--dining hall workers, cleaning staff, etc--trying (successfully) to get them to be paid a "living wage." There are dozens of a capella groups, theater groups, and club and intramural athletic teams, Fraternities and sororities are very popular and active, but also easily avoidable (especially if you live on south campus). One group I've been involved in is the Freshman Urban Program, a pre-orientation program during which incoming freshman explore and volunteer in various Chicago neighborhoods under the supervision of older students the week before orientation starts. I met many of my best friends through FUP, and I highly recommend it.
Northwestern offers so much, that in my experience it's difficult to feel out of place. People sometimes have a difficult time finding "their" group but there are available once you really look. Regarding racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic and other groups there are very different make-ups on campus. NU's multicultural community has a lot of support and very conscious students. There are ways to explore cultural areas and feel comfortable maintaining practices from home while exploring others. Minority recruiting needs work, but there are a lot of students who work hard to make minority students feel comfortable. Religious groups are well-supported. Evanston has the highest number of houses of worship per capita than any other town in America. I found a great religious community within my race and lived in an interfaith housing community during my first two years as well. The LGBTQ community at Northwestern is respected and open. I have never heard of experienced negative attitudes toward the LGBTQ community. We have gay pride celebrations, drag shows, and a publication recently wrote a story about a transgender student that received national attention. Most students are open-minded and at the least respectful. We have a number of countries around the world represented and different parts of America as well. Socioeconomic status can be difficult to determine. Tuition is expensive and a touchy subject, so often students don't talk about family backgrounds. Sometimes they are apparent based on students' experiences, but it definitely runs the gamut.
I serve on the executive board of Rotaract, a student group dedicated to public service, a branch of Rotary Club for a younger crowd. I also write for various student publications, like North By Northwestern and The Daily Northwestern, where I have a dining column. Plus, I'm on the Medill Undergraduate Student Advisory Council, where I get to help plan special events, field trips and mentoring programs for Medill. Football games are popular social events, especially the tailgating parties before games, if you're not interested in the sport itself. You'll find people that don't party much at all to people who go out several nights a week. If you're a big partier, live in Bobb-McCulloch hall, a dorm known for its partying ways. I think residential colleges are a great way for freshmen to get involved. I have lived in two, CCI (College of Commerce and Industry) and ISRC (International Studies Residential College) and they are a little smaller and a great way to meet people around a particular interest. Plus, each residential college plans fun events around its theme and has plenty of fellows - professors who attend events, host tutorials and eat lunch with the students. This is a fantastic way to meet professors outside of a classroom setting and maybe find some good classes to take.
The BESTBESTBEST group on campus is NUMB! Also known as the Northwestern University Marching 'Wildcat' Band, also known as the finest band in the land! Members of the band move in a week earlier than everyone else (one week earlier than freshmen, two weeks earlier than upperclassmen) and participate in a week long, intensive, sun-up-to-sun-down band camp during which we learn all the awesome things we do before, during and after each home football game. (For evidence of awesome, go to youtube and search for "northwesternbands".) You will find NO ONE who bleeds more purple than we do. No one. We are an essential part of the "pageantry" (as Coach Fitz puts it) of college football, and we keep the fans going when things aren't looking so great. Sometimes the football players even go out of their way to come to our rehearsals, just to hang out with us. The reason NUMB is so fantastic is because we are a family. We rehearse as many as fifteen hours per week sometimes. NUMB, while it is a huge time commitment, is all pride, all fun, all the time. All my best friends are there, which is a huge advantage to a freshman in a strange city at a strange school as the only alumnus of my high school currently attending Northwestern. I was scared and insecure and NUMB made me feel so completely at home. There are also no auditions, so no matter your skill level, I'd highly encourage you to join if you're interested in marching band. If you are not musically inclined, that's okay. The band loves fans, and there are lots of other cool student groups including Greek life, Happiness Club, our LGBT group (which is effective, yet not too angry, which I appreciate), cultural clubs, Outdoor Club, BLAST (ballroom dancing) and pretty much everything else you could fathom. And if something you want isn't here, you can make your own club and probably get some sort of student government funding for it. We have an INTENSE a capella scene here. Hundreds of students audition for a spot in one of thirteen groups each year (or start their own after being rejected). My favorites are Purple Haze and the Undertones, but they're all good and put on shows throughout the year in dining halls, auditoriums, in the middle of campus, in your dorm, etc. They're all over the place. We do have a significant party scene. Last I heard, about 40% of Northwestern students are affiliated with a fraternity or sorority. I wouldn't by any means call us a party school, but there is a definite social scene. However, if you do not want to rush, it's no big deal. There is no social divide (at all) between Greeks and non-Greeks. Students who don't party (like me) take advantage of the movie theater or the coffee shops (I think Evanston has approximately 325970673467 of them) and talk or go see speakers or make crafts or hop on the El and have a Chicago adventure or participate in the right of passage known as painting The Rock. Painting The Rock is a tradition as old as the dirt under the rock. It's a large boulder right in the busiest part of campus. The rule is that you have to guard the rock for twenty-four hours, and then you and your friends get to paint it however you want. Student groups often use it as an advertising tool, so it's a good way to keep up with events around campus. As I said earlier, students gain entry to all athletic events for free, so those are generally well-attended, especially the football games. Our women's lacrosse team has also been gaining popularity after winning something like 6 consecutive national championships. Other traditions include Dance Marathon, which raised over one million dollars for charity last year, and Dillo Day, an enormous spring music festival started by Texan students that brings big-name musical acts to campus for a weekend of fun and music out by the lake.
Dance Marathon is a HUGE deal on campus and everyone tries to experience it at least once before they graduate. It's literally 30 hours non-stop dancing to raise money for a charity. People go crazy over it. Also, Greek life is a big deal on campus. I believe about 1/3 of students are Greek; however, this doesn't mean that Greeks only hang out with their brothers/sisters since they're not too cliquish.
As much as I would hate to read this as a response as a prospective student, it's true. There's everything. Just in the journalism activities, there are at least a dozen magazines, several very high caliber daily or online publications, professional groups, blogs, everything. I tried several my first year before finding one that really suits what I like to do and where I feel like I need to grow. But of course, everyone is involved in around 3 or 4 activities ranging from cultural groups to music to theatre to intramurals to philanthropy to food.
Alternative student break is a must! You make so many good friends and spend your break doing something meaningful.
There are too many activities to count. From dipping your feet into backyard Michigan Lake to painting the traditional Rock, Northwestern provides long traditions worth participating in. There is not a single interest that a group on campus would fail to foster and if there is, then you can easily make it a club. Football games are always great, weekend partying is always an option and simple chill sessions with a couple buddies are always welcome. My head hurts just thinking about how many of everything we have.
TOO MANY TO NAME. TOO MANY TO TALK ABOUT.
GREEK LIFE IS TOO BIG AT NU -- it's damn annoying.
Greek life is pretty big here - 30% of kids are affiliated. I enjoy being Greek because you always have something to do and are connected to a huge part of the student body.
Dorms are the best way of making friends because who you live with you become close to. There are intermurals between dorms and the residental colleges do a bunch of stuff together.
Big 10 Sports! All the games are so fun even if we are not killer at football the team is heavily supported. Lacrosee Games are awesome too!
Residential colleges on campus are a great way for students to bond because they organize activities for members. Sometimes getting into one of these depends on the luck of the dorm room draw though. Other dorm housing groups become very close as well. In most dorms, doors are either left open, or fellow floor-mates have the privilege to open the doors of their friends without knocking to start up a conversation. The dorm is where many close friends form during freshman year. Studying is a priority to many students, but not on all days of the week. The weekend, and sometimes Thursdays, become nights when students go out and party, though they'll come back early and not drink if they need to get something done for the next day. Partying is certainly not the only thing to do on a weekend though. There are many drama, dance, or singing performances every weekend, a movie theater and great restaurant locations are close to campus, and many simply hang out and talk or watch a movie on a weekend night. Going off campus is definitely another great activity. Shopping, dining, seeing concerts and other performances, or partying in Chicago are all great options for weekends too Fraternities and sororities are a large part of the campus, but they are not typical of Greek organizations on other campuses. They are not characterized by lots of partying and superficiality. Instead, they tend to be places for strong friendships to form and leadership positions to be found. They offer balanced sociality, friendship, leadership, and even career development. While about 40% of campus is Greek, those who aren't Greek certainly don't lose out. They can find groups that offer similar benefits in their dorms or other social groups on campus.
Theater and Dance marathon are really big. What you do when you go out kinda of depends on where you live. North and South campus are like two different worlds.
as part of the 35% who go out, we have a nice culture. all of us are in a greek house (except for theater majors), and we have something planned for every night of the week.
monday - the keg
tuesday - rest/hundo
wednesday - hundo/mcfaddens/creme
thursday - hundo/duece
friday - union/house parties
saturday - parties
sunday - hundo/rest
as you can see, going out to bars is where the scene is at. cause if we try to throw big parties they get busted. parties are at your favorite frat house or with your group of friends in an off campus house.
Ethnic organizations and community service groups seem to me to be most popular. In my dorm, which is a small and close community, some students leave their doors unlocked when they're not there because fortunately they don't really have to worry about theft. I only have my door unlocked or open if I'm in my room. There are thefts in other dorms, and recently - though this is rare - there have been robberies or, in one case, a man was walking into dorms at night and watching girls as they slept (their doors were unlocked). Athletic events are popular, but varsity athletic events are mostly popular among varsity athletes who go to each other's teams' events. For non-athletes, intramurals are popular. Guest speakers and theater are very popular. There's always something going on for each of those. The dating scene - there are some exaggerations about the choices, especially for girls looking for guys, because NU doesn't attract athletes the way some schools do. Dating isn't a big focus, but people who have more active social lives date more as one would expect. It's been said that there are either casual hookups or relationships where the couple is practically married. I'm not sure if this is true or not. My closest friends are from my dorm or the fencing team. If I'm awake at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday I'm studying or doing a little bit of e-mailing, Facebook or reading the news. traditions/events - painting the Rock to advertise groups or events; New Student Week, Homecoming, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Dance Marathon, Dillo Day People party every weekend at fraternities or off-campus. Fraternities and sororites are popular and a common way to meet people if one is a partier, but they're not as big as at other schools. Last weekend I was studying for finals. Saturday night without drinking - see a play or movie, go to an international restaurant in Evanston (they are many and diverse), go to a museum, theater, Navy Pier or festival in Chicago
Everyone does their own thing in term of organizations. I'm involved in Grafitti dancers, which is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and time commitment. Its hard to be involved in a lot of stuff because each thing really takes up your time. Not a lot of doors are open. I feel like on North campus, people aren't that into going to events, cause south campus is so far, but people definitely support their friends. My closest friends are on my floor, hands down. I wouldn't know about the dating scene since I have a serious boyfriend I met here, and I lot SOOOO lucky. I am not awake at 2:00 A.M. on a Tuesday! maybe a Monday, which is keg night, but with 9:00 am classes every day I like to sleep. People really vary in partying. Some people go out and drink 4-5 nights a week, some not at all. Saturday night, w/o drinking, you can go to a show, which there are a lot of, of just chill with friends. Going off campus is hard, especially if youre on north campus. FRat/sor. stuff is pretty big here, and it can be fun if you have the time for it.
There are tons (TONS!) of guest speakers at NU. Very few people have time to date here... Parties occur on most weekends; however, not during tense times like mid-terms and finals. During tense times, a nervous energy overruns the campus. Fraternities provide the North side of campus with a social life; Chicago/Evanston provide the South side of campus with a social life. Students are fairly attractive, if somewhat nerdy looking.
Noone parties very much around here, some people drink keg beer but that's about it. The frats and sororities are VERY important and do everything in terms of social events. If you are not in one, you are certainly excluded and out. If IM awake at tuesday at 2am im partying down in chicago with friends, but if a typical northwestern student is awake they are pulling an allnighter studying away for no reason. Everyone is so stressed out and uptight about work here all the time.
A cappella groups and dance groups are really popular on campus. Sports teams (varsity and club) are pretty popular too. Also, about 40% of the campus is Greek. You definitely don't have to go Greek to have a social life though. There's plenty to do for those who (like me) chose not to join the Greek scene. If you want to go off campus, there's a ton of restaurants and a movie theater in Evanston. Also, it's not too difficult to get into Chicago. It's only $2 to take the El, which is like the subway except its an elevated train.
Dance MArathon and Greek Life are the most visible groups on campus. Frats and sororities are a huge part of campus, but the sororities are, in many ways, not like the stereotypical sororities. Frats are pretty much like what you'd expect but a little watered down. Also, there are a lot of theatre people, and a ton of opportunities to see good shows. Not that many people date, they hook-up. Different people party from every day of the week to not at all - you can find friends either way. I met my closest friends in my dorm and in my sorority. Without drinking, you can still go to parties, go to Chicago, go to the movies, or see a play/musical/comedy group.
The campus offers something for everyone really. There are a ton of theater companies and shows are going up almost every weekend. There are the general supply of frat parties, which are pretty standard and good if you like that sort of thing. Most of the time it is easy to find something to do around here to relax and if you can't, there's always Chicago to visit. Greek life makes up a lot of the social life here, but it's not all encompassing. It's definitely easy to find friends outside of the fraternity/sorority system, and those who are in the system can form close friendships with non brothers/sisters.
There is always something to get involved in at NU. A large number of students don't drink and still find something to do or somewhere to go every night of the week. No matter if you drink or not, the Frats are the main source of nightlife. Your other choices are the local bars and house parties, because the alcohol policy on campus is set in stone. Most students end up buying a fake ID by the end of their first year here if the theater and on-campus events aren't enough to wet your appetite.
Athletics, other than girls lacrosse, aren't a big deal here. EVen though our lax team is outstanding, I don't hear much about it. There is a club for everyone here. Club sports are popular, and so are intramurals. There really isn't a most popular club, except there are some that stand out. Purple Haze a capella is the best hands down, Project Wildcat is a really big group. There are also tons of theater groups. Weekends for most are spent out at the frat houses, or at the Keg(bar). Otherwise there are usually shows going on every weekend, and you can't forget about Chicago.
there are so many student groups! something for everybody. out of everything, i'm most familiar with student theatre, which is the best. there is so much theatre on campus - seriously, more than one show goes up every weekend of the year. there are now ~11 student-run theatre boards that each produce ~4 mainstage productions and several special events each year. they're all unique - there is a group that mostly does musicals, one that focuses on shakespeare, one that only does student-written work, one that does new and exciting site-specific theatre, one that focuses african-american issues, one for political theatre, etc etc etc. It's so great because it's so easy to get involved in all aspects of theatre. I (and many of my friends) came here with a passion for acting, and we've all worked on shows in a number of capacities - directing, light design, prop design, etc. the community is very open and welcoming. It's not just that we put on shows together, we're also friends.
I'll focus on my main extracurricular activity, Fencing: I had no experience with fencing prior to coming to NU. A few weeks into the first quarter of my Freshman year some dormmates of mine suggested I come check out this club. I did and while they ended up quitting I stuck with it and am now one of our starters for my weapon, epee. The varsity women's fencing coach is also our faculty adviser. He has been incredibly supportive of the club team. My interaction with both the club and the varsity team have improved my skills greatly and created many of my best friendships here at Northwestern.
There are a lot of activities for almost any interest. If you don't want to drink on Saturday night, go out to one of the awesome restaurants in town, study, hang out with friends, go see a band, go to an activity, hang out in your dorm, go to the movies or a Northwestern show. There is plenty to do.
Students work hard, some play hard, but I never did.
Theater groups, A-cappella groups, are very popular. The women's lacrosse team has had three national championships and is working on its fourth. Women's softball is doing very well as well. Football and Basket ball continue to improve. Traditional events include an opening year campus picnic, Dillo Day (everyone goes crazy on campus in May). FRats and Sororities are big here, but there are still a number of students who do not choose to go Greek. On any given night there are probably 40-60 things to do.
The big nights to go out are mondays and thursdays. Weekends suck. The bar scene prevails, even over the frat scene, so fakes are a must.
The social life is centered around the greek community, frat parties and the bars in evanston. Monday night kegs and thursday night Deuce. weekends are actually much more tame here. Theater parties occupy the weekends. Other nights are just people hanging out in dorms with their doors open or in their off campus houses watching tv. People spend a lot more time at the library than you think. People live in the library.
Dance Marathon is a big deal here. Many students participate over the course of their college career. The students here are into such varied things, that every type of organization is offered.
I wouldn't call the social life great but i have no complaints. Students are accepting and friendly. We also go out on a regular basis and, if that's what you're into, you will have the opportunity to go out 3 or 4 times a week. Greek life is huge (almost 40% of the student body) but it, for the most part, has a different feel than a state university. It is a huge social outlet and the students who want to be involved socially usually get involved in a fraternity or sorority. We also have Dillo Day every spring quarter which is a day-long social event with concerts and a lot more.
I met most of my closet friends in my dorm freshmen year, and then added a bunch more with my fraternity when I rushed that winter. Some people here are social, others are not, but nearly everyone is friendly. We have an incredibly nice/polite students body. In the dining hall, I almost always here may I, please, and thank you when people address the kitchen staff. I find this refreshing due to the stereotype of college students as completely self-absorbed with feelings of entitlement. On the side of activities, I've already mentioned that most people are invloved with something. Additionally, many people attend movie screenings, football games, guest speakers or the musical guests that the university brings in. Pretty much every student group you can think of is here, but there is nothing particularly unusual. Theatre is especially prominent. I'm not an actor or theatre buff, but I try and attend at least one show a quarter because they tend to be really high quality and I often have friends in them. In fact, I have heard that breaking into the theatre scene is one of the most competitve facets at Northwestern. In terms of social life, drinking has its place, like at any college. People like to go out on Monday nights, Thursday nights and the weekend, but it isn't uncommon for other midweek stuff to go down as well. Still, there are tons of social things which do not involve drinking, like going to Chicago, or seeing a show etc. Greek life has a strong presence on campus, and as a member, I'd like to think that it differs from Greek life at other places. Many people, including myself, claim they never would have considered going Greek elsewhere but end up rushing here. The fraternity is still not the focal point of my college expereince, but I that my house is very involved in philanthropy and we have a handful of non-drinkers who find Greek life rewarding. Still, the main Greek houses lack diversity, and there are problems with binge drinking and negative stereotypes/social stratification among houses. You do not have to be Greek to have an active and vibrant social life. Many of my closet friends are non-Greek and do not suffer because of it at all. Dating at Northwestern is okay, but not great. To illustrate this, I went to a concert on campus from the band OKGO, where during a break between songs, the lead singer asked the crowd if "Northwestern was a school for lovers?" The unison answer was a resounding "NO," and the guitar player was taken aback, stammering "I thought all schools were for lovers." This is indicative of some of the frustration that exists, but there are still good-looking, nice and available girls if you look hard enoungh. Also, in my experience, it helps to join a fraternity. Finally, Northwestern is a fun place. We have a few cool traditions like Dillo Day, an all day concert in the spring. Nevertheless, I reiterate, its not a state school atmosphere. There isn't the excitement about sports or outrageous parties that characterize those institutions.
I wish people cared more about sports. It would really add another dimension socially and add to the school.
The social life can be great, but you have to choose where to put your efforts. The greek scene is the most universally accessible outlet for the student body, but off campus theater parties, parties thrown at athlete burrows, and parties fundraising for various clubs can be found every weekend. It just depends on how open minded you are.
Sailing Team and P-Wild seem to be the most popular groups on campus, and everyone says they have a great time.
The most popular groups are the fraternities and sororities. I am involved with Mock Trial and I love it. Such a great experience. Students leave doors open sometimes to interact. Football games are highly attended, but basketball games are not. If I'm awake at 2 am, I'm at Clarke's or writing a paper. You can go to a register party if you're not drinking.
Too much to do with too little time. One can do anything imaginable here.
Surprisingly, the Greek community is large here. Something like 40% of students go Greek at NU. This has led to, however, an extremely watered down Greek system, with super fratty frats and super gossipy sororities for those who want them, and other houses that are strong in friendship and tradition but not as intense with hazing and partying. There are DEFINITELY niches for those who typically wouldn't become apart of Greek life at most other schools.
Drinking is a part of the Northwestern social scene, obviously, but I was impressed by the sheer number of activities that NU offers to students who choose to abstain from the bottle. Because of our vast theater community, there are always shows, musicals and dance performances to attend. Sports are a big deal here too. We may be bad at football and basketball, but the attendance at games doesn't reflect our losing streak. For students who aren't into either of those, there's always Chicago to explore. The benefit of being a 20 minute El ride from the city is that it is almost always accessible to the student body, and most students take full advantage of the independence this offers them.
NU offers such a wide variety of activities! I have never heard of a student not finding their nook on campus.
The social life at NU has a bad reputation. While other schools say that Northwestern is the place "where fun comes to die," students know this to be untrue. There is always a party going on, and Evanston offers a number of "open late" venues.
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