I don't condone or condemn any of this; I'm just providing information. That said, realistically, the vast majority of college students will experiment with at least alcohol, and providing information so people know what to expect can't hurt, so: Most students drink on the frat quad. It's traditional for the frats to provide free beer to partygoers, although it's usually the cheapest of the bottom-shelf stuff. Beer pong is wildly popular, and every frat I've been in on the quad has at least a few tables set up on the weekends, but there's still often a fairly long wait for a chance to play on busy nights. If you befriend some brothers, you might be able to get better beer, as they often buy small amounts of higher quality stuff for themselves. There are a fair number of cigarette smokers, as well as a vocal minority of aggressive and hostile non-smokers. For the most part, if you're respectful, people won't give you too hard a time for smoking. Be prepared to pay about 5 bucks a pack, though... The majority of students I know smoke cannabis. That's never free, of course, but it can usually be found over a night on the quad if you ask around. New York is a decriminalised state, so possession of small amounts is not a misdemeanour; it's basically a traffic ticket, $100 for first offence. Campus security doesn't have the authority to demand a search, so it's pretty rare for people to get in trouble smoking on campus, aside from those who do it in the dorms and get busted by the RA. Prices are moderately high, but so is quality, for the most part. The beginning and end of each semester and the time right before or after each break can be rough in terms of availability. As for other substances... Adderall and other stims make their way around during midterms and finals pretty consistently. There is a small subcommunity of opiate users, and actual opium pops up from time to time. From what I hear, coke is sometimes easier to find than pot. Everything else tends to be very inconsistent; hard drugs are a lot rarer on campus than in the city proper. MDMA (AKA ecstasy) has grown extremely rare in recent years, as have psychedelics. You have to know the right people and/or get pretty lucky to find such things.
I love this school. No school is perfect and I honestly found out about the University of Rochester through one of those mail flyers they send to you. If you want to meet great people and earn a great education and eat horrible food (not all of it is bad, just a lot of it is unhealthy..aka freshman 15) and watch movies on the weekends then you'll be at the right place believe me!!!
It is a difficult school to adapt to if you are a social person who thrives off of open social interactions. They do a January admit for freshman, which I deeply recomend that all people avoid. It is impossible to come in during the middle of the year and quickly adjust and have a great time. It is better to start with everyone else in the fall.
Make sure to take climate into consideration when looking for a school! I'm from New York and love snow so I didn't think it would bother me in Rochester. It's not the snow you have to worry about, it's all the cloudy days and rain/mist. It takes a toll on your mood!
Graduates of Rochester public high schools who enroll at the University of Rochester stand to receive up to $100,000
I love this place and my experiences there.