The student activities that I notice the most are sponsored by TAB. TAB is a student organization that basically holds social events for students to attend just for fun. They put together movie nights at the Student Union Building (SUB), charity events, and little get togethers that have a holiday theme. Like for Christmas this year, they held an ornament making party. I went and it was so much fun! These events are always free and always at the SUB, which is a pretty local place, especially if you live in Horn/Knapp (the best dorm hall ever!) or Wall/Gates. Frequently, there are guest speakers that come. I think there was someone from the Chelsea Lately show this past semester, people that we've seen on YouTube or on MTV. I haven't been to any of the guest speaker events, so I don't have much feedback on that aspect. I just got involved with the rock climbing club. I didn't even know that Tech had a rock climbing club. A friend that I've become really close with invited me to try it out one time. She and I met in the swimming class we took together and then I figured out she was in the same American Government class as I was, and it went from there. She practically had to beg me the entire semester to even go try rock climbing, because between you and I, I'm not a huge fan of people staring at my butt! I mean, come on, wearing tight climbing pants and strapped in a harness? Weird. But I tried it and I liked it. A lot. So I went back and I went to a meeting and then I signed up for a camping trip...pure awesomeness!! It's such a thrill and it works every muscle in my body. Oh, and not to mention the fact that everyone at the climbing wall is majorly fit. That's a sign that tells you it's good for you! There are tons of other clubs to join or look into as well. Just showing up and the Rec Center, you can learn a lot and gather a lot of information. Most nights, I am up until 12a.m or 1a.m either doing homework, coming back from studying, or simply talking with my roommate, relaxing and down-winding from a long day's work. Needless to say, 8a.m classes come very early. It's hard not to be up that late because there is always someone else walking around the hallways or having an audible conversation on the other side of the dorm wall. One of Texas Tech's traditions that I got to participate in for the first time this year is Carol of the Lights. Every year at Christmas, over 20,000 people, including students and residents from surrounding cities, join in the Science Quad to listen to the choir sing, the band play, and watch the burst of Christmas lights light up the night as a switch is flipped on the last note that the band plays. Electric Christmas music played as people gathered in the Quad and around Memorial Circle, waiting for seven o'clock to get there. A small parade also walked through the crowd to the front of the Quad, to my surprise. After the concert and the lights, tons of people just walked around to enjoy the chilly night with their Starbucks in their hands, and lines formed to get pictures in front of the huge lighted Christmas tree in front of Memorial Circle, right off of Broadway Street.
Every college and every major has their own campus group or campus sponsored activities. There are groups specific to major, culture, ethnicity, interests, political affiliation, and many more. The English department has an English honor society run by the students that meets once a month to do everything from discuss a popular new book, help peer edit each other’s work, or even going bowling. It is a small group, the dues are 50 dollars, and you get a cool t-shirt. Some of the most active and interesting groups on campus are a part of the mass communication department. They have an Electronic Media Student Society that meets in the middle of the week. The group is supervised by an instructor but it gives students the opportunity to learn how to use any and all of the equipment in the mass comm building. So even if you didn't get a chance to learn how to use Dreamweaver in any of your classes, you can become a member of this group and learn for free. This is also a group that really encourages its members to be creative. Some of the projects students have worked on include shooting and editing short films, designing websites, graphics, and other forms of multi-media. There are also many clubs dedicated to certain cultures. There are so many people in Texas and Texas Tech that are of Hispanic or Latin heritage and a few on campus groups in particular will host a monthly salsa night and everyone goes out dancing. The student recreation center even sponsors a ballroom dancing club that goes over dances such as salsa, the tango, the waltz, and the foxtrot. If you're interested in going Greek, there are many fraternities and sororities that fit the pretentious and wealthy stereotype, but if that's not your thing then don't get discouraged. There are also some Christian fraternities and sororities and one's specific to ethnicity who are very welcoming. There are so many campus groups and clubs that it is impossible to find information about all of them on the ttu.edu website. My best advice, once you find something you are interested in, ask around, especially upperclassmen. Most, if not all, of the groups I have been involved in, I heard about through word of mouth. Or check the Student Union Building. There will be foam boards on various walls where students can tack things up like garage sale posters, or roommate inquiries. Many groups choose to advertise their events and meetings in places like the SUB where there is a lot of traffic. Also check your techAnnounce emails. They are sent out every day around 11AM and act as an electronic pin board where all of the week’s upcoming events will be posted. Another thing, pay attention to people's t-shirts. Every campus group probably has its own shirt and if you see an interesting one, take note, and then search for the group on facebook or Google, they will likely have some kind of internet presence.
Some of the more popular groups on the Texas Tech campus are the Greek organization and the athletic organizations. Each of these groups stands out on the campus due to the way they dress and represent themselves. I am proud to say that I am in the Greek fraternity Sigma Nu. Having joined was one of the best decisions of my life, but being in a fraternity or sorority are not the most important organizations to be a part of. Tech offers many clubs and organizations outside of Greek life to join. Having spent my first year in the dorms I would have to say it is a valuable experience that everyone should try. I made a lot of new friends and met a lot of great people from just visiting around on the different floors. Everyone at Tech loves athletics and have a lot of pride in the teams playing. Students always do their best to support and cheer on our teams and assure them that they have a great crowd backing them up. Tech also has a lot of different guest speakers that come to the campus to talk about culture, major specific topics, and much more. There is also a great theater program that put on fantastic shows for the student body. At Tech you are always given the chance to meet someone new whether it be guys or girls, there is not shortage in the amount of people you are able to meet. I met my best friends in the dorms and in the different classes I've taken. On a Tuesday at 2 a.m. you would probably find me with a group of friends either studying or watching something on t.v. whether it be a movie or show thanks to having met all my great friends. Tech is also known for an extensive amount of traditions such as wrapping the statue of Will Rogers in red paper before game days and my all time favorite the Carol of the Lights. This tradition is so awesome because people gather around from all over Lubbock on one night to watch as the school is lit up with lights for the holidays. On weekends whenever you are looking for something to do it really isn't hard to find something to entertain yourself. Whether there be a school event going on, a social event with friends, or finding a place to have random fun in general you won't have a dull moment in Lubbock unless you try.
While there are many organizations on campus, I'd have to say Greek life is very popular amongst the student body. I myself was involved with Greek life at another school in undergrad, and I loved it. At Tech, however, I am often jealous that i cannot be a member since I'm getting my Masters degree because it looks so fun! Greek life is a wonderful way to get involved because you can pick the sorority of fraternity you feel the most comfortable with, you meet many people in other sororities and fraternities, you develop a strong bond with your sisters or brothers, and you participate in both school and community events. Additionally, Greek life is a wonderful help academically because they all require a certain GPA to remain eligible to stay in the organization. But, if Greek life isn't your style, Tech has created many many other clubs and organizations to get involved with. The best part is, if they don't have what you want, you can even pilot your own club/ organization! Of course, athletic events such as football, basketball, and baseball games are extremely popular. For football, on game day everyone tailgates and the town is nothing but red and black. It's hard not to get excited. And while many students at Tech party, there is plenty of activities to do that is alcohol free. For instance, Tech has a bowling club, intramural sports, and many other organizations will have alcohol free events. Also, Tech provides many cultural events on campus such as plays, dance recitals, and guest speakers on saturday evenings which many students enjoy. Off campus, the city of Lubbock has many restaurants, a mall, shopping centers, and other theaters that provide entertainment for the locals as well.
The most popular team on campus is our football team. I am involved in the Visions of Light Gospel choir and we minister our words through song and attend worships at different universities in texas. Many students in the residence halls close their doors, but there are always a few that keep their doors cracked for convenience. Athletic events are very popular and entertaining to students. Plays and speakers are common at Tech and there are usually many that participate in these free events. I am not aware of the dating scene, but from what I have seen, the scene is very open and always active. I met my closest friends because they lived next to me or i was introduced to them by friends of friends and so on. At 2am on a Tuesday i am playing cards, chatting online or studying. Every year and every game we wrap Will Rogers statue near memorial circle and attend Spring Fling, which is a community carnival held on the tech campus. Some people party hard 4-6 days a week, but that usually dies down the longer students are here. The people that party the hardest are freshman, until they realize how to manage their time and study. Sororities and fraternities are important on our campus, but only important to those that are in them. I am not in the grrek scene, therefore I have no connection or emotional tie to the group. Last weekend I hung out with friends, slept many hours and played card games. On a saturday night some of the people I hang out with go out to eat, venture to an apartment, play spoons, card games, watch movies or just chat. I travel off capus of enjoy other food and to get away for a while.
As said above Tech is big enough for you to spread your wings and meet your fullest potential but small enough for you to meet your future bridesmaids and groomsmen. Greek life seems to take over the University at times. Though they only make up about 20% of the student population the school seems to be overwhelmed by them in Student Government and some of the larger organizations. Many times unless you are a greek affiliate or gorgeous blond hair, blue eyes, and slim you can't get into some of the organizations. You will always notice a Greek member from a distance. They all seem to dress alike. You will find men wearing polo shirts and slacks with the boat shoes and crochs. The girls will be wearing their sorority shirt (sometimes tye dye, army fatigue, or just shirts with their letters) and those ugly "ugg" boots. When it's hot out you will many times see the girls wearing ugg boats and miniskirts or cheerleading shorts. As a native southern Californian I cannot stand the lack of style that many students exert. If you are not interested in being the "big dog" on campus and simply want to enjoy your time with great people we have many organizations for you to be a part of. We have service organizations, pre-professional and many social organizations outside of Greek Life. Whoever you are you will always find a place and a group of people to belong to. We have an Anime Club, Fencing Club, Equestrian, community service, habitat for humanity, and so much more. There are also a lot of athletic clubs and intramurals aplenty. You simply have to go out and look for it.
Upon first arriving at Texas Tech, students are often given the impression that the only extracurricular activity is partying. Greek life is big, and there are often any number of fraternity parties open to those looking for a good time. Likewise, there are plenty of bars close to campus and many would consider Tech a "party school". However, there are certainly a large number of activities which do not involve drinking available to those who are interested. Texas Tech has a long list of clubs and organizations, including Christian fraternities and sororities, the young Republicans club, and the American Sign Language club (the Silent Raiders). During the fall football is one of the biggest events of the weekend, drawing in tailgaters from across West Texas and packing the student section full of cheering fans. In the beginning of December, one of the most popular traditions is Carol of Lights. Every year, students, faculty, and alumni gather in memorial circle to watch as Tech lights up the campus with Christmas lights. It is also an honored tradition to propose at this special event. The spring is often the time for most who missed fall rush to join in the fraternity or sorority they've had their eye on all year. No matter your interests, Tech certainly has a place for you.
There are tons of different organizations to get involved in on campus. There are academic clubs, sporting organizations, community service clubs, religious groups just to name a few. I’m involved in CNA, (Collegiate Network Association) and it’s basically a club for students to get to know each other and help them network and make connections for potential jobs in the future. We have meetings once a month and they usually have them at a restaurant or get food and drinks catered. Living in the dorms was the best time I had in college. I could get a hold of all my friends in less than five minutes just by running up or down a few floors. There is always action happening in the dorms and if you get bored someone will be able to tell you something going on. Most people leave their doors wide open and there are people hanging out outside and in the halls 24/7. I made most of my friends in the dorms and through my sorority. Also, most of the dorms are strictly guys in one building and girls in the other (with the exception of Coleman) but they are connected by the cafeteria so it’s not hard to meet a potential crush.
Football is king at Tech as with all schools in Texas. There are live bands and great tailgaiting before every game and the team is awesome (the only team in the big 12 to make a bowl game every year since it's inception). We also have the best offense in the nation which makes for extremely exciting and entertaining games. The greek life at Tech is personally one of my favorite aspects. I spent a year not going greek and I would strongly suggest everyone to at least try it out. You will meet great people instantly, many of whom will be lifelong friends, and it opens up so many options you don't have in the non-greek community. I have great friends who aren't in the greek system and have fun at Tech, but everyone I know who is in it loves it. The majority of people at Tech aren't in the greek system, so if that's not your thing you will find plenty of other stuff to get involved in. I personally love to hunt fish which is excellent in West Texas. There is about a 20 minute barrier of cotton fields around lubbock, after that it is an oasis of hunting and fishing the canyons and playa lakes of West Texas.
Greek life at Tech is very big. A large portion of the school is involved in a greek fraternity or sorority, and it's not very unlikely to be asked, "Hi, I'm so-and-so. What's your name? Are you in a sorority/fraternity?" I'm a TriDelt, and I'm not as involved as I was as a freshman, but I'm extremely glad I chose to join. As a freshman, it was an easy way to get involved in something and start building friendships. I currently live with two other TriDelts, and I have lived with only TriDelts since I've attended college. Don't let me fool you about the social life, in general. I'm pretty sure any student, greek or not, will say that there is plenty to do at Tech. We have a street called Broadway that has about five really popular bars on it. There's also the art district which is called The Depot. It has a ton of really popular bars, as well.