Princeton University Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Gene

To belabor a point well-written about in the Daily Princetonian, the alcohol and hookup scenes at Princeton are a major blow to real fun in the social life of most Princeton students. As recent McCosh stats have shown, STD rates are as high at Princeton as they are anywhere, and McCosh's medical facilities always reach their peak capacity on Thursday and Saturday nights, due almost exclusively to alcohol overuse and abuse. In sum, many of the intelligent people at Princeton tend to turn off their intelligence when they leave the lecture hall or library carrel. There's a big work-hard, play-hard crowd here. It's always puzzling to me that students I know with astronomical GPAs still find it in their conscience to black out drunk in an eating club. People get the impression from these students that alcohol abuse (once the hangover is over) is relatively consequence-free. This is obviously implausible, practically speaking, but it remains a prevalent misconception.

Devin

eating clubs, music groups some students leave doors open athletics are somewhat popular, not hugely 2 am: working, watching tv, or about to go to bed party once-twice a week frats/sororities are not very significant went out on saturday watch a movie, go to a performance

Reese

The eating clubs dominate the party scene. There are frats and sororities that dominate a small portion of the social life in the clubs, but if you avoid that (or it happens to be your cup of tea) then the eating clubs can be really great. There are 5 "bicker" clubs -- you have to go through a selection process to join -- and 5 "sign-in" clubs that accept everyone who signs up (unless they have too many people, then they use a lottery system.) The clubs are great because there is always (or at least any Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night) a place to go with your friends to hang out, dance, listen to tunes, and drink free beer. Alcohol is a big deal in the clubs (at least at night) but depending on the club, it's more or less overwhelming.

Zoe

I'm involved in the Princeton radio station, WPRB 103.3, and although most students have never heard of it, it's kind of a big deal: oldest fm college station in America! I'm really happy to have stumbled upon this organization, because aside from the awesomeness of djing my own radio show and dictating what music the audience listens to, WPRB offers a great social community of students who love music.

KC

I was in 2 dance groups, and that took up a lot of my time. I thought dance was really big on campus, there were certain events that almost eveyrone would go to, and also a bunch of events that put different dance groups together (international festival, etc). Dance groups are also really nice at princeton because it gives you a chance to be a leader in something, while at the same time you don't have to be amazingly talented to be in a group. I think theater is the same way. I also did volunteering through the student volunteers council. I mostly did a different activity each semester. Trenton is right next door so there's lots of volunteering opportunity and on the whole i thought community service was a pretty big activity at princeton.

Nico

There are too many groups and organizations to pick out the most popular ones. I was involved with cheerleading, and it was a great way to meet a caring group of girls. I was also very involved with StressBusters peer health educators - a group dedicated to reducing stress and depression on campus. I left my door open in the dorm, but it's actually against fire code. I think if it wasn't, more people would do it especially once you know more people in your dorm. There are always guest speakers coming to Princeton to speak, comedians, bands, you name it. The dating scene is hard at Princeton. "Dates" aren't really common. I met my closest friends in my dorm and in my eating club. On a Tuesday at 2 am, I'm either studying, hanging out with friends, or hanging out at my eating club. The major tradition at Princeton would be reunions!!! Eating clubs seem to be more important than sororities or frats. On a Saturday night you can go to the UFO, attend a campus play or show, hang out with friends and have game night, or go to New York for the weekend. There's not too much to do off campus except nyc.

Casey

Princeton is well-known for its system of eating clubs. Freshman and sophomores eat in their residential colleges, but juniors and seniors may choose to take their meals in eating clubs, and many do. The eating clubs aren't just places to eat though; they're social organizations that sponsor lots of events for their members (and often for nonmembers as well). I was an eating club as a junior and senior and had a great experience, but I am supportive of Princeton's efforts to promote residential college life for juniors and seniors which by extension undermines the eating clubs. Although I liked being in my eating club, I think they are generally exclusive and divisive. Eating with members of another club requires a "meal exchange", which is an annoying formality that makes it that much harder to socialize with whom you want whenever you want. More importantly, eating clubs are expensive, sometimes prohibitively so, and although financial aid is now available, it just seems wrong to me that you should have to fork it over in order to have lunch with your buddies.

Royce

The eating clubs are fantastic. I know they are often seen as problematic but in reality they provide a great, safe social meeting place. Clubs are on tap any given day of the week. I met my closest friends through who lived near me and in my sorority. The eating clubs through lawnparties nad houseparties every fall and spring, respectively. lots of great opportunities to dress up for formal events. Off campus, I eat out with my boyfriend. I often go into the city for museums, classes, dates, or just to get off campus.

Brandon

One unique aspect about Princeton students compared to our peer schools is that we seem to be, on the whole, much more social. Perhaps it is because of our eating clubs or our greater proportion of varsity athletes?

Rachel

My closest friends came from my freshman year hallmates--we had a great RA who organized lots of fun study breaks that let us get to know each other really well. I am also close to the girls on my sports team, in my Christian group, and upperclass eating institution. Frats and sororities are only a big deal in some circles. I actually don't think it is at all necessary in order to be fully plugged in to social life here--it is mostly a way of getting into certain eating clubs. There is plenty to do if you don't drink (and I don't): there are ALWAYS more plays/atheletic events/study breaks/lectures/parties/movies to go to than could possibly fit in anyone's schedules. Plus there's always the option of hanging out somewhere like Murray Dodge Cafe, Wu Cafe, Frist, etc. It's often the spontaneous games of ping-pong or trips for ice cream that are the most fun and memorable in the long run.

Jake

No one dates. That is a problem. If people are "dating," it's usually because they met out at a party and hooked up multiple times. And now all of a sudden they are "dating." Rarely do people go out to dinner or to a movie as a twosome. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday I'm probably at Ivy Club, one of the eating clubs, getting ready to come home pretty soon. People party pretty often if you do party. I'd say the kids who don't party never do. And the people who do probaby go out around 2 nights a week. Frats and sororities are lame - they don't have houses and they try to act like they are a bigger deal than they are. If you are not in one, it does not inhibit your social life. A lot of freshmen think this when they come to campus. Last weekend I went to the movies with friends on Friday and then took an introductory swing dancing class at night. That was fun. Then on Saturday I went to the mens lacrosse game, studied most of the afternoon, then went out to The Street to party. Sunday I went to church then had brunch with friends and went to the library to study. I worked my campus job in the afternoon and went to a student council meeting at night. If you don't want to drink on a Saturday night, there are always "Alcohol Initiative" events like free movies or theme parties or something. A lot of people just hang out in rooms relaxing or go into NYC for the night. You can also still go out to the parties at The Street without drinking. I have friends who do that.

Jesse

Social life is a strange beast. However much the university, or some students, deny it, Social life revolves around the street. Room parties are pretty heavily cracked down on and the campus wide activities are few and far between, and when they do occur, they are usually awful ideas (Joan Jett concert). Houseparties and Lawnparties are nice. Whether you drink or don't the street is usually a good time if you go out with friends with the sole intention of having fun.

Kai

Many of the dance groups are really popular among the students, both in terms of a desire to join as well as a high show attendance. Some of the more popular dance groups are xpressions, body hype, disiac, and naacho. I was involved with a variety of groups in college, however, my favorite two activities were Princeton South Asian Theatrics (PSAT) and Best Buddies. PSAT is a small theater group, which writes, directs, and acts in its own productions that deal with south asian immigrant issues. It was very laid back and a lot of fun. Best Buddies is a volunteer group that matches up college students with community members who have intellectual disabilities. Everyone in the group met about once per month for a group activity, such as baking cookies, going to see a movie, or bowling. In addition, each pair contacted each other at least once a week through phone calls, emails, and personal meetings. It was really fun and a great way to meet members of the community who were not affiliated with the university. Princeton also has an amazing assortment of lectures and speakers throughout the school year. However, they are not always well advertised so it is hard to learn about all of the events well in advance. In addition, people who were a part of sports teams often ran into conflicts since most lectures take place at around 4:30, which is also when most teams practice. However, if you keep you eye out for posters and join email lists advertising various events, it is not hard to take advantage of these opportunities. I met most of my closest friends through extracurricular activities. During my freshman year, I did meet a lot of people through my residential college, however, I did not end up staying close with many of the people in my dorm throughout college. The friends I made in college are definitely some of the best friends I've made throughout my entire life and I foresee us staying very close in the future.

Liz

The dating scene isn't dominant in any sense. Princeton very much promotes a hook-up culture, where students engage in chance encounters with the opposite sex while drinking out at the Street one night and then awkwardly acknowledge one another for the rest of their time here as students. Your closest friends will undoubtedly come from your dorm and residential college. They'll be the ones who are regularly in your dining hall and who you'll go to meals with. If you're awake at 2 AM on a Tuesday, there's an 90% chance you're studying or writing a paper. If it's a light-work week and you know the right people to get to passes, then you'll find yourself drinking at the Street at Ivy Tuesday. Don't expect to have a life off-campus unless you're over 21. Then your options extend to Triumph Bar, but even that's only across the street.

Ash

All the student groups have their own fans. I was on the golf team. It was an incredible experience with wonderful teammates, cool trips to tournaments, and something to refresh my mind after a long day of class and studying. Public Safety does not allow you to leave your door open, but students tend to have an open-door policy in terms of visits. Athletic events are fairly popular when teams are doing well. Guest speakers are the best in the world. There's a broad range of highly-acclaimed theater performances. What dating scene?? I met my closest friends on my hallway freshman year, through a sports team, and through groups that I was passionate about getting involved with. Tuesday 2am, making a Wa run! Then back to work on that problem set. Every year- houseparties, lawnparties, pre-rade, p-rade, This Is Princeton. The average student parties 2x a week. Frats/sororities are only a small part of campus life (although the frat guys would probably say differently). Saturday, no drinking- there are always student groups putting on amazing comedy/dance/theatrical performances. And then there's T Sweets, Halo Pub, Bent Spoon. Off campus?? Okay, maybe CVS, Wegman's, Quakerbridge Mall, and trips to NYC.

Gene

I did intramural fantasy football with a bunch of my friends and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did we get an opportunity to regularly play football, but every single member of the team is truly a good person in all aspects. A good number of people leave their doors open in the dorms. Athletic events are not as popular as they are at large state schools probably. Guest speakers and theater events are pretty enthusiastically attended. The dating scene holds a lot of promise but has the usual drawbacks of being a smaller school. I met my closest friends through random assignment to my dorm freshman year. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm probably studying. Certain formal events the eating clubs throw are the usual traditions and events that happen annually. People usually party on Thursday and Saturday nights. Frats and sororities certainly exist on campus but do not play any major role in student life if you're not involved in them. You can watch steeply discounted movies on Saturday if you don't want to drink, or you can throw a casual hang-out in your room. I like to go to Dunkin Donuts and the movies and various restaurants off campus.

Dale

Eating clubs are a big part of social life, especially on the weekends--even if you don't drink, they can still be fun. Other things go on on campus on the weekends, but are not usually as popular. Student performances can get a good turnout. Cheap movies ($2 for movies that have just stopped showing in theatres, or interesting independent movies) are screened every weekend.

Elizabeth

Social life revolves around the "eating club" system, a group of 10 private dining establishments for juniors and seniors located on one road simply called "The Street." Half are bicker (selective, through a process a little like rush but co-ed, and more low-key in many places); half are sign-in/non-selective. Regardless of club membership junior and senior year, students generally go to the Street for parties. There's generally something for everyone, as each club has its own personality, from alternative Terrace to Animal House Tiger Inn. And, for when this system gets boring (as it can), New York is only an hour away. There are a few frats and sororities, but they aren't recognized by the University and thus don't have houses. They play a role, particularly in funneling students into some of the selective clubs, but not being part of Greek life doesn't marginalize anyone. Plenty of people don't feel the need to drink all night on a Saturday, so there's no problem finding friends to watch a movie or hang out in someone's room. Some hold room parties, too, although because the Eating Clubs are accessible for parties this is a less important part of social life. Dorm life, particularly freshman and sophomore year, tends to be tight-knit, but friends can crop up anywhere, from classes to sports teams to extracurriculars. Freshmen and sophomores take their meals in the dining halls, which are a low-key setting for getting to know people and offer fairly good food. Three dining halls were recently renovated and offer good grills and salad bars, and one eats well the cafeteria-style Frist Campus Center too. During the week, people's schedules revolve around their classes and extracurriculars, but there are many opportunities to attend excellent lectures, student performances, etc.

Haley

Princeton is all about community and bringing the student body together, their residential college system, eating clubs, and other organizations really create tight bonds between students. I am in an eight girl suite on campus and my roommates are my best friends. Four of us are in the same sorority, one is in a different one, and three are unaffiliated and we still get along great. We all go out together, go to meals together, and hang out with the other suites in our building.

Tom

Go to bed early, get up early, and if you're Catholic, become friends with all the members of Aquinas Catholic. Its the best thing around.

Caroline

I'm sure the most talked-about aspect of Princeton's social life is the eating clubs. The eating clubs each have their own personalities and styles and attract corresponding types of people. There's a club for water sport teams, a club for actors and performers, a club for artists, a club for engineers and a club for snobs (just kidding...sort of). If you want to be in an eating club, it becomes apparent fairly early on which ones you most connect with. Going out freshman year will help orient you to all the clubs and will give you a sense of what types of people hang out where. If you choose to be independent, there's a big support net of people who have made the same choice, and certain dorms are conducive to communally-cooked meals. I joined an eating club with a group of friends, although other friends chose different clubs. This allowed us to meal exchange and take turns eating at each others' clubs, thereby meeting new people. Regarding parties, the eating clubs are definitely the center of weekend social life. It can be difficult sometimes to get into the more exclusive clubs unless you have friends and can get passes. If you don't drink, you can still go to the eating clubs for dancing or seeing people, or there are likely to be dance shows or plays or friends' room parties to check out.

Maddie

People around Princeton are really open and friendly. It's not odd to walk down the hall and introduce yourself to your neighbors, especially when it sounds like there's a bunch of people hanging out in one room. A good thing about Princeton is the proximity to New York City. There's a train station on campus, and it's really really convenient to just hop on the train and head into the city for a night of non-Princeton activities. After all, the city nightlife has a much greater variety of activities than Princeton, though there are always interesting shows that various campus groups put on.

Katie

My door has remained open every day for the past three years I have been here. Nothing has ever been stolen (knock on wood), but I've opened my door to find flowers, candy, and presents from people left anonymously. People party every Thursday, and Saturday. Wednesday, Friday, and Tuesday are also days that some people go out. It is nice that people don't go out that often during midterms and finals- less pressure to go out.

Caitlin

A capella and dance groups are really popular on campus - it's pretty common to go to an "arch sing" or dance performance on the weekends before going to parties. People in these groups are generally respected and considered cool by the student body. Pretty much any sports team receives a lot of respect and recognition as well. I'm involved in a sorority, which is pretty low key compared to other universities (we don't have a house, aren't recognized by the university, and mostly just function as a social group). Students in dorms leave their doors open all the time - campus feels very safe and secure. Athletic events are fairly popular, although the tailgates (for football and lacrosse) probably draw bigger crowds than the actual games do. Princeton hosts several guest speakers; on any given afternoon, one can probably find an interesting talk to attend. There are also occasional famous speakers (like Kofi Annan). Theater is also pretty prevalent. The dating scene is scarce: there are a few select guys who have the guts to ask girls out, the rest just rely on getting drunk and having random hook ups. The majority of students are single. My closest friends are my roommates and girls in my sorority. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I am probably reading or writing a paper. Big traditions include Lawnparties each fall and spring, and "bicker" where sophomores compete to get into eating clubs. People party mostly Thursday and Saturday evenings, but it's easy to find something to do on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday as well. Fraternities and sororities are somewhat important, but probably not as much as at other schools (people affiliated in these groups tend to be affiliated with a lot of other groups too). Last weekend I went to my eating club and partied for a few hours. Saturday nights, one could go out to the clubs without drinking, or attend a number of shows, concerts, or other activities funded by Princeton's "Alcohol Initiative." Off campus, I tutor elementary school students once per week.

Katie

Everyone who is anyone parties thursday and saturday, Friday is the time to chill out with friends, hang out with that special someone you've been hookig up with, whatever. there is a tuesday and wednesday party scene, but its much more low key and epeneds on everyone's work load that week whether you do out or not. Monday and sunday stay pretty quiet.

Abby

Doors always open- super, super safe campus. Football games are popular, I haven't really gone to others, but people definitely do. Guest speakers and performances are huge here. No dating scene- people really hook up casually. Apparently you're chronically single, or attached and practically married. Closest friends are from random places around campus, really easy to meet people in dining halls and everyone's surprisingly friendly and eager to talk. So many fun traditions and perennial events each year. Sororities and frats play a nominal role here... it's really all about the eating clubs. Saturday nights you can still go to the eating clubs and not drink- there are awesome bands that play live, or you can catch performances, or an arch-sing, go to the little- artsy movie theater right next to campus, or major mega-plex like 5-10 minutes away. LOTS to do, always. Not as much off-campus, but, we are 1 hour away from Philadelphia and New York, so ENDLESS possibilities. We have a train station on campus so getting anywhere is no problem and its so convenient.

Andrea

Princeton has a lot of opportunities to go out on weekends and party, but I don't do that much, and it's perfectly fine. You can go to the cafe open every night that has free baked goods, go see one of a zillion shows any given weekend, go to New York City for the night and see a show, or even stay in and study for the night. Princeton has activities for basically any interest. The a cappella groups always draw huge crowds, and there are at least a dozen dance groups on campus that regularly have shows. The juggling club recently had a performance even. There are fraternities and sororities here, but since we don't have houses it just becomes a social network and more friendly faces around campus. They don't take over the social scene at all.

Madison

Princeton is the party school of the upper Ivy League; we're tough competition for Dartmouth, but we're still a better school. Though some claim our eating clubs to be elitist, they're really exactly the opposite. It's a system in which everyone can be a part of something, where there's always a party you can go to and fit in. As a member and officer emeritus at Tower, the eating club experience has undoubtedly been the best part of my time at Princeton. As far as other groups on campus, most are social supplements to the clubs, not replacements. Sports teams party together, but they always head out to the street afterwards. Fraternities and sororities are great ways to meet people as an underclassman, but are by no means necessary. People at Princeton party as often as they want to. The "traditional" party nights are Thursday and Saturday, but there are reliable parties at the clubs Tuesday-Saturday. As the university has banned or bastardized most great Princeton traditions, it is mainly the ad hoc drinking-related ones that survive, such as Newman's Day and the Prospect 10. Reunions, Houseparties, Lawnparties, Princeton Halloween, Dean's Date, and even the Triangle Freshman Week Showe are also not to be missed. The arts performances at McCarter Theater are superb and many of the student performances are excellent as well. Food off-campus is excellent, and there are a variety of great date spots. However, while dating is by no means uncommon, Princeton also has a very active hook-up culture. Off-campus opportunities in Princeton are limited, but New York is but a train ride away. Why you would want to leave campus, though, I wouldn't know.

Lance

There isn't that much to do here that doesn't involve drinking

Katie

Most popular orgs...Tower. Kappa and Theta. Club soccer. Triangle. Disiac. A capella. Roaring 20 is AWESOME. We always get the most auditionees and we're pretty cool. As in really cool. We perform on campus and off, do really fun tours, and basically hang out a lot. Definitely the group to be in. Students in dorms leave their doors open sometimes. The university doesn't like it though. Those that can leave their doors unlocked. But the university is trying to change that ability as they renovate. Boo. Athletic events are not overwhelmingly popular, but there are followings. Jadwin Jungle! Guest speakers can be popular. The community attends a lot of them. Theatre is really popular. Most shows sell out many nights. Dating. People are either in relationships or not. Little casual dating. Hookups are frequent though. My closest friends I met through friends that I met on OA and early freshman year. I'm still close with them, but they introduced me to others. And some I just found randomly, for which I am so grateful. Tuesday at 2 am...at Terrace drinking and hanging out. Dean's date runs. Comedy show. I dunno. Not big into tradition. I party 3-4 nights a week. Awesome! Average is about 2. Frats aren't that important, but they have parties. Still, very open to randos. Soroties are bigger, but not exclusive. I have some close friends in them. Last weekend I went to the street, had an arch sing, worked, did some hw, and hung out. You can see shows, go to Murray Dodge, go into the city, and other stuff. I usually stay on campus, occasionally go into the city.

Jessica

Most people live in the dorms (like, 95%), so the party and social scene revolve around the dorms and the eating clubs. Almost 75% of upperclassmen are in one, so they’re kind of a big deal. They dominate the campus social scene, with Lawnparties in the fall, Winter Formals in December, Bicker/Sign-in/Initiations in February, and Houseparties in the spring. There are 11, and they’re all on the same street, right in a row. They all have their own personalities, which any current student could tell you about in great detail. The average party happens on Thursday or Saturday, with warm-up drinks or dorm parties earlier in the night and then the eating clubs for free beer and dancing until they close down. Some people go out once every few weeks, some people haven’t missed a night since second-semester-freshman-year. It varies. Pretty much everyone heads to the same places, so the crowd doesn’t vary by a lot (Except around finals). You meet people through classes and activities and whatnot freshman year, but you really solidify friendships (and hookups?) in your eating club, if that’s the route you choose. I did. Although I signed-in with my best friends, I ended up getting to meet and befriend a lot more people just by virtue of eating and drinking with them all the time. There was more hooking up than dating, although I wasn’t really a part of that. And, as an eating club officer, I actually ended up living in my club, which brought me even closer to all that. I would just have a random assortment of members, friends, and hangers-on stopping by my room at all hours of day and night. It was kind of awesome. My club in particular had live bands twice a week, cocktails once a week, and free beer on tap three nights a week. In short, the social life was very vibrant if you wanted it to be, and if you didn’t mind hanging out at a club all the time.

Jessica

I met my best friends in my dorm, as well as through my friends from my dorm. One of my closest social circles included several of my roommate’s friends from her Indian dance troupe. There were a lot of opportunities to meet new people; I had a close group my freshman year, but met many of my best friends sophomore year, more my junior year when I joined my eating club, and even a few senior year. Most students I knew left their doors unlocked, and weren’t hesitant to leave their laptops unguarded on library tables for hours.

Cameron

I'm a member of a co-ed a cappella group on campus, and it's been a great experience. Probably the most unique thing about a cappella at Princeton is the tradition of "archsings." Every two weeks, either on a Thursday night or a Saturday night, there are two-hour oudoor concerts where 8 of the campus a cappella groups sing for 15 minutes each in one of the arches around campus. The archsings are usually pretty well-attended, and they're really fun places to sing because they have great acoustics. The a cappella groups also have more formal shows during the year in the concert halls around campus, and these are usually pretty well attended too. Even though there isn't much to do in the town of Princeton, that's actually a good thing for campus performing groups, because it means lots of your friends will come see you perform.

Hannah

Football games are probably the most highly attended athletic events on campus, and that isn't always saying much (except for the massive enthusiasm when we were working hard to beat Harvard and Yale to get our bonfire last year)...Ivy League football is a totally different environment than at a bigger state school. That said, basketball and lacrosse games can sometimes draw a crowd, but for other spirts mostly friends of players will just come and watch. Half of the students who "go" to football games often don't even go to the game, especially if it's not a big name opponent, but instead go just for the fun of tailgating. Tailgates take place in a field across the parking lot from the stadium, and frats, sports teams, and clubs will set up grills for hot dogs and burgers with kegs and mixed drinks. Students usually come early for these, and stay well into (if not through) the start of the actual game. The a cappella and the dance groups are both really popular with students. The singing groups will have "arch sings" a few times a month where they stand under one of the university's many arches and each group puts on a fifteen minute set. These are a lot of fun to go to because you can come and go whenever you feel like it, and of course they're free. The arch sings are always popular with friends, fans, and passersby who hear the music. The dance groups, especially the two bigger ones, BodyHype and Disiac, are also very well-attended student performances, and tickets often sell out. The audience is always filled with lively fans and friends yelling out for their favorite hot dancer. Dorm life for freshman and sophomores centers around the residential colleges. There are four, and students are randomly placed in one at the beginning of freshman year. Living with only other underclassman, the residential college is one easy way you meet friends and neighbors freshman year, especially when everyone is enthusiastic about meeting as many new faces as possible. Greek life at Princeton is a little different. The university no longer recognizes fraternities and sororities, however there remain about 10 fraternities and 3 sororities on campus. These groups hold rush in the fall, about a month after freshman arrive, but do not have houses and are unable to work with or through the university in any way. Nevertheless, there is still a portion of the student body who is affiliated, larger especially among students who frequent parties and eating club life. Sophomore year, the concept of "affiliation" (whether with a Greek society, sport, or prominent club) becomes important to some students seeking to join the more selective eating clubs. In a small town like Princeton, the party scene is very different and unique. There are only a few bars in the area, which are very strict about carding. So some juniors and seniors enjoy pub nights out in the town, but it doesn't compete at all with the social scene on campus and on "The Street" which is dominant even among students over 21. The biggest party nights are Thursday and Saturday. There are parties Friday night as well, but it is much more common to stay in on Friday and these parties are more low key. In addition, there is usually something going on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for those interested in going out. Parties usually start around 10. These will be frat parties (which are held in the common rooms of large suites), group gatherings at one of the BYOB restaurants in town (the most popular is a Chinese place called Ivy Garden), other room parties, or small pregames in the dorm with friends. At around 12, students will head out to "The Street," a road adjacent to campus that houses the ten eating clubs, mansions that serve as both junior and senior dining and social clubs. Some of the more selective clubs might be "on pass" that you have to get from an older member. The clubs will often have themed nights (country night and two articles of clothing are both popular every year), serve beer, and have bands or DJs. Despite the possible stereotype that Princeton students are all serious and bookish and therefore can't have wild parties, many people seem to party as hard as they work here, probably to work off all the stress that builds up during the week. Membership to the clubs begins in the winter of sophomore year, and this time can be very stressful for those trying to decide what club to join or worrying about getting into the selective club of their choice. There are alternatives for those who do not get into an eating club (called "getting hosed") including going independent, joining a co-op, or continuing to eat in the dining hall, but the traditional option of joining a club remains the most popular. For those who don't drink, there is still plenty to do on the weekend. I know non-drinkers who still enjoy going to parties and out to the clubs sober and having fun dancing there with their friends. If the Street scene isn't your thing, there are movie theaters close by, performances and concerts, and many alcohol free events on Thursday and Saturday night (parties in the residential colleges, game nights, free film screenings, live music). In addition, New York City is only an hour train ride away, which costs about 25 dollars round trip (though there are free transit weeks a few times per year). Taking the train from Princeton is incredibly easy, as there is a "dinky" on campus that shuttles students to the larger train station 10 minutes away. New York is a popular escape on the weekends, is great for meeting up with friends from other places, or just provides exciting alternatives to Princeton--great shopping, shows, and museums. The school sponsors many fun trips to the city, including reduced price shows, so it is definitely worth spending time in the city while at Princeton. Dating at Princeton seems to be one extreme or another. There is not too much casual dating. Random (or serial) hookups abound, but students sometimes complain about the inability to get past this stage (though this seems to be a complaint on almost every college campus). However, there are also many people in serious long-term relationships at Princeton, but not much in-between. I met my boyfriend through my roommate during freshman year and we've been dating over a year now, and this type of relationship is not uncommon among my friends and peers.

Bevan

I've been involved with a lot of groups on campus, including: Princeton Water Watch, Engineers Without Borders, Brown Co-op, and Princeton Bhangra. The biggest challenge is just finding the time to actually make a commitment to these groups, especially as a senior writing a thesis. Because everyone is so busy, the groups on campus can sometimes be somewhat superficial, though this is certainly not true for all groups. Athletic events are fairly unpopular unless one of the teams is doing extremely well (for example, the football team in 2006). Cultural events are better attended, as everyone always seems to know someone on the cast of a show. I would say the partying here is no different than at other schools, except that the times for partying are pretty limited (Thursday and Saturday night) due to academic demands. There isn't a ton to do hear besides going to parties, though I personally don't enjoy partying, and I always seem to find something interesting to do. Dating isn't widespread but it is very possible. Just don't be shy about asking people out and you'll find plenty of opportunities.

Katherine

Guest speakers at princeton are so popular. when i first came here it made me really happy to see that students here are intellectually interested beyond the limits of their classes and assigned readings. people don't treat learning as obligatory, but instead they actually crave it. i love that. i met most of my friends by virtue of where i lived freshman year, and i would say that's true of most people at princeton unless they play a varsity sport or are really active in theater or something. the residential colleges promote these relationships by cutting freshmen into smaller groups as they begin to adapt to college life. the university does not sanction frats/sororities and they even send out a letter to parents disparaging them. unfortunately i think the administration is totally deluded. even though frats/sororities don't have houses and aren't officially acknowledged by the school, they are still completely at the surface. moreover, they worsen that feeling that a "certain group" rules the school and that wealthy students continue to have more advantages.