Comedy groups on campus are made up of a select group of goofballs--some of which you will inevitably become friends with--but entertain almost everyone on campus. Nearly every Maryland student has been to a Bureau comedy show, and a large crowd gathers on Fridays when the improv group Sketchup performs on the steps in front of McKeldin Library. Service fraternities are also very popular at Maryland, and are incredibly inclusive. Anyone passionate about volunteering and giving back can join, and the networks formed within these frats are very tightknit. Sporting events are some of the most popular events on campus in terms of attracting numbers. On Homecoming Weekend, nearly everyone on campus is in a red Maryland t-shirt with their game faces on. There are also SEE, or Student Entertainment Events, which get famous acts such as Lupe Fiasco and Ben Folds to come to campus. The spring "Art Attack" show is always a huge hit, and has featured artists such as Weezer and Ludacris in the past. One of the easiest way to meet people is to socialize within your living community. Chances are, your neighbors in your dorm or the people downstairs or the kids at the table next to you at the dining hall might end up being your best friends come senior year. It's these friends that you'll pull all-nighters with, drinking inhuman amounts of caffeine and Rockstar energy beverages. These are the friends that you'll go to 7-11 with at 2am for slurpees and taquitos, or who you'll skip class with to go hill rolling down by the Memorial Chapel, or who you'll jump into McKeldin Fountain with in just your underwear.
Football and Basketball are big here--we are a D1 school after all. Fringe benefits--awesome spirit, and fantastic tailgating. We have great speakers and cultural series organized by university and student-run organizations. The arts excel here, as the music school and performing arts center is phenomenal. For more info on the events we do check out http://thestamp.umd.edu/ The dating scene is DFMOs- Dance Floor Makeouts. Nothing serious here guys... People that want to party do it at least 3 nights a week. Most of us debauch at least once a week and if we're up at 2am on a Tuesday night, the likelihood of us studying or partying is about 6:4. Considering how nocturnal we can all be (as a generation...) it's also likely we're just up hanging out or wiki/youtube-jacking. On weekends, for those who dont drink and dont want to hang out with the drunk and slovenly, there are a few things they can do. You can always hang out with others that aren't drinking, check out the live music scene nearby (and in DC), and frolic in TerpZone at the student union. Its a fun time, with billiards, bowling, a theater and arcade games. There's music blasting and students hanging out. Also family friendly. There are also 3 movie theaters in close proximity. Off-campus you have DC about 25 minutes away. I was there all last weekend and its a blast. Bit more expensive, but you can play smart and save a ton of money. If you're into arts, music (especially Jazz), clubbing and world class live music.
I can honestly say that the groups I hear about most are the professional groups - "Pre-Med Society" "Pre-Vet Society" and "Pre-Dental Society" tend to be the ones that I always see flyers for. Sports and athletics are also very popular, and I can honestly say I don't know anyone who has never been to a sporting event while being a student here. There are also a MASSIVE amount of sport clubs here. I myself am an avid swimming and equestrian and participate in both of those sport clubs, but you don't have to have a background in a sport to join the club, which is awesome! I also did club gymnastics for a bit, which was really fun even though I could barely do a hand stand when I started! The main group that I am involved with is Terps Roots & Shoots, which is a service group that I actually started with a friend last year. That is the great thing about Maryland - there is a group for EVERY interest, and if you have an interest that isn't being met, just start the club, piece of cake! On the weekends people tend to go out and party as least once every other weekend. There is the crowd that lives to party on the weekends, but if that is not your thing you will definitely be able to find a group that still wants to study with you on a weekend. There are also lots of other fun, sober things to do that campus groups offer for free, such as free weekly movie showings at the on campus theater and weekend trips with various groups.
If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I am either doing homework, or procrastinating doing homework. Football and Men's basketball games are popular. The movie theater on campus shows early showings of upcoming popular movies which is an excellent resource. I've seen several movies there before they were released and could brag to all my friends about it. The SGA has started and continued their annual crab feast, which of course should be a tradition because of the general greatness of Maryland crabs. Art Attack, a large music concert held in spring is also a very big deal. Throughout the semester, the Student Entertainment Events (SEE) organization puts together a ton of free and low cost events that are really excellent and come highly recommended. Last weekend I went on a church retreat, but that's not exactly representative of my normal weekends. Usually, my close friends and I casually hang out at one of our places of residence. Saturday night, non-drinking fun is always available. The proximity to the Metro gives you easy access to get into DC if you want to see a play or a concert or go to a dance club. On-campus, the Hoff movie theater is an excellent and convenient place to catch a movie without really having to drive if you live on campus. A cappella groups and theater clubs and comedy troupes on campus typically have shows on the weekends that are a lot of fun to go to and either relatively cheap or free.
1. Greek life is very active. Intramural sports are popular as well. 2. Chosen Generation Ministry is a non-denominational Christian group that meets on Wednesdays at 7pm to worship, learn about the bible, and fellowship. It is open to anyone and everyone and we also hold small groups throughout the week to keep one another accountable and to continuously pray for each other. 3. Freshmen dorms do, upperclassmen dorms do not. 4. Athletic events are very popular, where as guest speakers not so much 5. Dating is different for everyone, so its hard to generalize. Some enjoy casual dating, others believe dating must lead to marriage. Thus, relationships built on different ideals vary on the campus. 6. I met them through various Christian ministries, through other friends, and/or through classes 7. Studying 8. Riots 9. Depends. Seems like most people party 2-3 times a week, but some party much more and some much less. 10. Greek life is pretty big, but it's not like you can't meet other people if you are not involved in Greek life. 11. Studying (Almost spring break so lots of exams) 12. Hang out with friends, eat, movie, attend various other campus events such as shows, etc. 13. Eat, shop, help my youth group in Virginia
I was involved with the feminist group, which was a great way to meet people, though, unsurprisingly, not a great way to meet guys. Frats and sororities are very important to campus life. There's just about nothing to do in College Park on a weekend if you don't want to get groped by drunk frat guys in the one or two bars and are tired of bubble tea. It's really important to have a car there, unfortunately, to get around College Park to the cute College Perk coffee shop and just around in general, since CP is suburban. The food coop is a lovely resource and community. The Hillel is terrible. It is huge, completely run by the right-wing Orthodox, very homogenous religiously, politically, and socially, and very closed-minded regarding liberal/left views on Israel. Nonetheless, when I was there my group of friends ended up finding each other partially thanks to Hillel: the disaffected people in the corner started noticing each other and making eyes. One time the Honors program hosted a fairly well-publicized event with Poet Laureate Lucille Clifton. I was one of five people who showed up.
There are too many organizations on campus for there to be a popular one. There is something for everyone. It's awesome. I was involved with TEal & puRPle (find the TERP), an organization that raises awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. I volunteered at the Prince Georges County Crisis Center through them. I was previously in a social sorority which was just not for me. I am in Alpha Kappa Psi, one of the two professional business fraternities on campus. Students leave their dorm doors open when they are in them. Unlocked doors during the night or when you're at class can be bad news. Athletic events are nuts. Maryland all the way. My closest friends are: 1. A girl I met when I overnighted. 2. The girl that lived across the hall from me first semester 3. Two guys who lived on my floor first semester 4. Four guys I met through a friend of 8 years my first semester 5. My big Traditions and Events: 1. First Look Fair 2. Maryland Day 3. MARYLAND VS. DUKE GAME. People party as often as they want to, as at any college. It's the balance YOU make.
Most popular student organizations are part of Greek life (fraternities and sororities). Athletic students also get involved in intramural and club sports. I am involved in the pre-dental society along with intramural sports. Many students go to football games at Byrd stadium or basketball games at Comcast center. I have noticed that usually students leave their doors open in the dorms as a sign of friendliness. Leaving your door open will spark conversation with your floor mates and lead to arranging future events (videogames, gym, study, etc). In fact, my closest friends that I have met were actually in my freshman dorm and I have kept in touch with most of them ever since. While there certainly are plenty of parties at Maryland (starting Thursday night through Saturday night), other options on the weekend include going to Terpzone, playing basketball at the gym, going to prince george's plaza nearby, or taking the metro downtown to DC. There is no excuse for not having fun on the weekend being a Maryland student!
I worked at the Outdoor Recreation Center my senior year and wished I'd found it when I'd first arrived. It was such a great community of people and provided a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and practice facilitating groups. And to play! and party! It's all about finding community when you're at a school that big. The food coop was also a great place to hang out and meet folks. And when you first arrive - it is all about the dorm life. I definitely loved it the for the first two years - meeting people the first year, then all picking rooms on the same floor the second year. But by my third year, I was done with that. Got a great old house just a few minutes off campus. As for other activities, I got to try my hand at lots of things. Took recreational classes in guitar and pottery. Acted and danced. Got into political activism for a little while. Heard some great speakers, went to some great dance/music performances. And took plenty advantage of being near DC.
The largest and most influential student groups on campus are Student Government Association, Jewish Student Union, Iranian Student Foundation, the up-and-coming Food Recovery Network, and the Greek community. As a member of Student Government Association, I have had the opportunity to understand many issues affecting the student body. SGA is the focal point of all student groups as we are responsible for allocation the student activities fees. We also vocalize the students' concerns to the administration and host numerous programming events. For example, this year we expressed our viewpoints on grading policy changes and a mandate requiring all students riding scooters to wear helmets. Overall the administration listens to us as an organization, but not necessarily the individual student. Rather, it is our job as SGA to understand the wants and needs of the student body, and forward that information to the administration.