I met my closest friends during Boiler Gold Rush (freshmen orientation) four years ago. We've been roommates now for almost 3 years. Greek life is pretty big on campus, but if it's not your thing, there's plenty other things to do.
The Greek scene is pretty huge and you could find several frat parties any given weekend night; the problem is they are generally list-only and usually only freshmen attend. It's often a problem at Purdue that parties are heavily male. A common joke is that parties turn out to be sausage fests. The bar-life is pretty amazing, though. We have four campus bars just across the street from each other with great music and drink specials; from traveling to other schools I've determined that drinks are outrageously cheap here! The Neon Cactus is a must-attend bar. Just off campus, it is known as one of the biggest bars in Indiana and has a huge dance floor and the Piano Bar, with our own resident Piano Man Bruce Barker. The greatest memories of my life are from the Cactus, and if I could go every Thursday (our unofficial heavy drinking night, known as Thirsty Thursday), I would. As I said before, however, Boilermakers do know how to balance fun and schoolwork, and we save up our partying for after huge projects or tests. When it comes to the dating scene, Purdue is pretty split. There are a lot of serious couples, and group dating is really laid-back and popular, but friends with benefits are becoming increasingly normal. Hooking up happens all the time, especially when drinking is involved, and usually the next morning it's just laughed off and the people become friends. Off-campus there are bookstores, tons of restaurants and shops, an ice-skating rink, bowling, movie theaters, and great parks. Happy Hollow Park is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and a great way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. Nine Irish Brothers and The Knickerbocker are in downtown Lafayette and offer great live music frequently, and we have an amazing pedestrian bridge over the Wabash (our nasty excuse for a river) between West Lafayette and Lafayette.
The absolute biggest and most popular club on campus is Boiler Gold Rush. Intramurals are great to get involved with. I was a member of BGR and I was also extremely involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America club, and I was a die-hard Breakfast Club member. When I was a freshman, every single door on my floor was open 24/7 and we were all, and continued to be until graduation day, the absolute best of friends. Football and Basketball games are the most popular athletic events. Guest Speakers are also prevalent in your classes becuase it is great to hear about someone's experiences who are within your areas of interest. The dating scene is fun becuase there are all different types of people that attend Purdue so its' fun to date and find someone who is similar to yourself. I met my closest friends the very first day of college. We all lived on the same dorm floor, left our doors open 24/7, partied, studied, hung out with eachother all the time. From day 1 of college to graduation day, we are STILL the best of friends. If your awake at 2am on a Tuesday you are probably studing for an exam, writing a 10 page paper, finishing your project, or still out partying from quarter cent beers at Where Else. Traditions at Purdue are: sledding on Slayter Hill, Breakfast Club, Grand Prix, Dead Week, Annual Christmas Show, Jake's hotdogs, running through the fountains. People party alot here at Purdue, but ONLY after they get their schoolwork done first. Purdue is one of the biggest Greek universities, so the greek life is big at Purdue. I am not involved with Greek life, so it is not that big of a deal, but if it is your scene, then it is definitely available. Last weekend my best friends and I flew to Denver for a 4 day weekend for the hell of it. A Saturday night that doens't involve drinking includes watching movies at the theatre or a friends house, going to athletic events, working, etc. There is not a lot of thigns to do in West Lafayette besides go to the bars. Off-campus I go shopping or get groceries.
Frats and Bars are where its at. Frats front all the costs of having parties so you dont pay a dime to drink at frat parties. House parties usually charge 3-5 dollars a cup. The bars are alot of fun and pretty cheap on nights with specials but if u go to the bars on friday or saturday expect to spend a lot of money. If you dont drink, well.....theres not that much to do. You could go bowling, to a movie, out to dinner, go-karting, or possibly just stay in and play guitar hero/facebook stalk. Other than that though, I don't really know of much.
Grand Prix and Breakfast Club are Purdue's most anticipated events on campus! Breakfast Club is the classiest tradition at Purdue - kidding. Upper classmen dress in costumes on the day of a home football game and line up at the campus bars for morning cocktails like screwdrivers and mimosas. For some, morning cocktails lead to an all day event.
Purdue's Grand Prix is a go-kart race accompanied by a week-long party. This event is held every April when spring has finally come and summer is soon to be here! I am proud to announce that just last year we had our first woman Grand Prix winner! Grand Prix is the right way to end the school year!
The most popular organizations at Purdue are the Greeks. Greek life is a big part of Purdue life. I would say about 50 percent of Purdue's student body is Greek. I'm not, so I can't give you much insight on it, but I have a lot of friends who are and who love it. And then I have friends who hated it and regretted it. Dorm life on the other hand, I did love. I only lived in a dorm my freshman year (Owen hall) and I loved it. We all kept our doors open and it was like a big party all of the time. I never felt like I wasn't safe or anything like that--and I lived on the first floor. Our dorms are well-secured, you need to slide your ID's to get in the door every time, and everyone in the hall needs an escort.
I actually met my roommates for the next few years during Boiler Gold Rush, so the first week before college even started. I also met the majority of my friends that week too, and my current boyfriend. They were either in my "BGR Group" or somehow connected to it. BGR is Purdue's way of introducing you to the college scene. You get a campus tour, a tour of the town and participate in a bunch of other random activities along the way. I of course recommend this to everyone planning on coming to Purdue--I met everyone who is still close to me this way!
Most weekends at school are spent on the famous Chauncey Hill. Chauncey is home to most of our campus (even though this is technically off-campus, it's like two seconds away) restaurants, shops, and bars. Here you can find the famous Harry's Chocolate Shop, Boiler Market, and many others. Harry's is a bar so you must be 21 to enter, but Boiler Market is a restaurant that has amazing pizzas, and then for the older age group a good pitcher-and-pie deal. There is plenty to do if you aren't 21 of course. During the winter there is a skating rink down in the levee (at the bottom of Chauncey Hill) and there is a movie theater right down the street from that. A lot of people also going bowling in the Union.
A typical weekend would be like what I did last weekend. My friends and I headed down to a packed BW3's to watch Purdue beat Wisconsin and become No. 1 in the Big Ten. Like I said, we're dedicated fans.
I'm not sure if there is "most popular group". The football and basketball team are always supported. For students who are not athletes, a lot of students want to join the Student Concert Committee. The SCC is very exclusive; only 8 students are allowed at a time and they are a member for 2 years. They are the main group who bring artists to campus.
I was involved in The Exponent, the student newspaper for a year and a half. I am also involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. Both are great programs. You can as much involved as you want with these programs. There's no set minimum or maximum time spent to either. I recommend both.
It has been a few years since I lived in the dorms, but when I lived there, everyone left their doors open. All of the girls on my floor were extremely friendly.
Athletic events are very popular, particularly football and basketball. Guest speaker events depend on the speaker. The auditorium was sold out for Colin Powell and Mo Rocca. Theater events are popular depending on the show. Hairspray and 1984 sold out, but others have not.
The dating scene is varied. From my experience, you can meet people through classes, frat parties, bars and mutual friends. We have a movie theater and a bunch of restaurants within walking distance of campus, so that is generally the dating scene.
I met my closest friends through a mutual friend and classes. I came to Purdue knowing a bunch of people from my high school. One of my friends joined the Purdue Rowing Team, where I then met my boyfriend. I have also made a lot of friends in my communications classes. The class size is small, so you get to know people better.
If I am awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I am either at the bars or in my room eating Insomnia Cookies watching TV. (Insomnia Cookies is a bakery open until 4 am that delivers fresh cookies.)
We always have homecoming every year during the football season. Every home football game, there is breakfast club. Breakfast club occurs when the bars open at 7 am and everyone dresses up in halloween costumes to go to the bars. It's great.
People are out almost every night of the week. It all depends on the people. There is always something to do.
Fraternities are important when you are a freshman and sophmore. After that, you feel a little old at these parties. I've never been in a sorority.
Last weekend, I went to the bars with a group of friends. Then we went to the hookah bar and stayed there until 3 am.
On a Saturday night, you can go to a movie or to the hookah bar. There are 2 hookah bars on campus. You could also go to see a local band play.
Off campus, I usually go to the mall. There is also a go kart racing track somewhere in Lafayette. A lot of local bands play all around Lafayette.
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