there are a great number of student groups on campus, and generally, most of students' social lives revolve around the groups that they are involved with. for the most part, though this is not entirely true, the most socially active people are those that are involved in greek life or those that are on a sports team. of course this is just a sweeping generalization and i have friends that love to go out as much as i do that are not involved in either of those groups. over the past few years, fraternity popularity has gone down for some reason (new membership went down significantly this past year compared to other years... it could be due to people finding other social avenues or just the types of people being admitted to rochester have changed over the years/gotten more competitive). the administration is definitely cracking down on fraternities, and i keep hearing stories about "how much better this event used to be before the administration started being so strict about it." i am a new fraternity member and i really enjoy it. it has helped me meet new people and is continually a source of fun. sorority popularity/numbers are still relatively high. greeks are not exclusive at all; many of my friends are not involved with greek life and it doesn't hold me back from making new friends outside of the frat house. if people "go out," its usually to the frat quad or to bar nights ("bar nights" take place at bars/clubs, are hosted by some campus organization, and are usually over/under. these are usually very popular and there is 1 or 2 per week during the week on a tuesday or thursday). the social life is not fantastic compared to other huge party schools, but if i wanted a huge party school, i wouldn't be at rochester in he first place. the social life is what you make of it, and i manage to have a good time just about all the time. one great thing about rochester that i really liked is that adjusting to college early freshman year was not as hard as it could have been because all of the freshman live in the same freshman-only buildings and the school makes an effort to force you to meet other people. my best friends are from my freshman floor and in the fraternity that i joined, and i spend a lot of time with both.
As with any university, student groups play a major role at UR. Some of the most popular ones that come to mind are the musical groups (orchestra, percussion ensemble, jazz band, a Capella groups, etc.), activist/political groups (GreenSpace, College Dems/Repubs, etc.), media groups (Campus Times, the student-run radio station and record label, etc.), and club/intramural sports. Ok, so a few of those were personal plugs. I'm the Publisher for the Campus Times (CT, our student newspaper), and have been working with the CT since freshman year. It's easy to get involved with the CT either a little or a lot, in everything from graphics and web design to writing to photojournalism. It's also a great opportunity to meet new people, especially for a science major like me. What to say about the social scene at UR... as with everything else, there's a lot going on and it's highly varied. Some students prefer the fraternity/sorority scene -- if you find your niche there, you can find a party to go to pretty much any night from Wasted Wednesday to Smashed Saturday. If you're more like me though, most of your social interaction comes through smaller parties, organized at the houses/apartments of your friends or out at the bars in the city. If you're not into drinking, you won't be pressured to. People don't want to buy beer for you if you don't want to drink it, trust me. At least in my experience, people are welcomed into the social scene whether they drink or not. I'm sure you're all completely focused on academics and so have no interest in the dating scene, but just in case any of you are interested in any extracurriculars, I'm happy with the pool of singles at UR. Most of your dates will come out of people you meet through class or student groups, so just put yourself out there and don't try too hard. There's plenty of nice, attractive guys/gals looking for the same thing you are. In the city, some popular social activities include checking out some of our indie movie theaters (well-kept secrets), concerts, checking out the bar scene, hanging in parks, hitting up restaurants, heading up to the beach for the day (~20 minute drive), and just urban exploring in general.
Some of the more known organizations are the A Capella groups, the dance groups, the sports teams. There are many speakers that come to campus that include famous entrepreneurs (Russell Simmons,) comedians (Drew Carey, Curb Your Enthusiasm cast, Sarah Silverman, Lewis Black,) and politicians (Colin Powell.) Those events are quite popular and I think are a great addition to the life here. The freshman dorms are very social and that is how most people meet their first friends or girlfriends and this makes it pretty easy to find a group of friends you like when you first get here because of the diverse selection of cliques. If I'm up at 2am on a tuesday, I am studying. That is something that is still disappointing here because I was somewhat of a trouble maker in high school and there simply isn't anything going on late at night here because everyone is so studious. Every year there are many very highly advertised events such as listed above and there is an event called Dandelion Day which is in the spring and the school brings in a big name band and many different activities around campus and its a fun day before finals start where everyone gets to have a good time. Partying is up to the student but most weeks there are 4 days a week where you can go and have a good time, two of those being during the week at bar parties that are sponsored by sororities or other groups. If you aren't on a sports team I think that fraternities and sororities are pretty important. About 25% of the school pledges but keep in mind that about half the school never goes out so that leaves you with half the people that go out are in some kind of frat/sorority. You don't have to live in the frat house and it gives you the chance to participate in the mixers (parties between a fraternity and a sorority that is closed to the public) and its a good way to socialize. Every Saturday night there will be an activity on campus that doesn't involve drinking. Last weekend it was a dance party hosted by a famous DJ that the university brought in and next weekend it is a concert by one of the musical groups.
I already talked a little bit about this, but let me talk about night life. The party scene at Rochester is variable. When it is warm out, the parties can be great. The only parties on campus are from Fraternities, but there are a lot of them so it works out. The parties that are publicized can get really big and chaotic, but usually controlled. I prefer parties with only about 20-30 people in a suite in one of the residence halls, but those can get broken up. Only about 20-25% of the school actually goes out on the weekends, so you usually see the same people out. During the winter, it can get difficult to get the energy up to go out. There are bar parties by sororities and fraternities, and since those are inside, they usually get more attendance. During freshman year, people who do go out usually go out about 3-4 nights a week, and that slowly decreases as age increases. When I was a senior, I went out once or twice a week, and usually went out to the bars. If you don't drink, there are always campus activities having events. There are also a lot of local cafes and stuff to hang out in. There is a group on campus called Campus Cinema Group, and they usually have showings of recent movies in our movie theatre for a cheap price. It can get depressing sometimes if you don't go out, but I think people find something to do . If you do want to go out, I highly recommend joining a sorority or fraternity. My social life quadrupled when I joined my sorority. It makes it so much easier to make connections and network with other people in the Rochester community. I made my best friends on my freshman hall, but most of my other friends are the girls in my sorority. Not only that, joining my sorority made me a leader in my school and among my friends. It developed my self confidence and my interpersonal skills which are essential for the real world. It is your friends and social life that prepare you for the real world in college, not the academics, so make the most of it.
Usually the most popular events on campus are basketball games and fraternity parties. Our basketball program was ranked number one in the nation for D3 sports this year. Although our girls and boys teams had the exact same record this year, mostly everyone just shows up for the boys games, which is normal. I myself played on JV this year and went to pretty much all of the games that I could make- boys and girls. A lot of students leave their doors open in the halls; pretty much the only time I did though was to have dance parties with myself and blast the music. Pretty much everyone dates on campus, not so much dates but hooks up even if they really never did before. Its just such a chance to be free. Like if you want to go out and meet up with someone at 3 am on a Monday.. you can do it.. and you don't have to tell anyone where you're going. My closest friends are all from basketball or are a couple girls in my hall.. my roommate in particular. I didn't really like her much at first but now she's actually the best friend I've ever had. I'm going back to Rochester next weekend to visit her and stay with her. I would suggest rooming randomly and not with a friend or someone you met online. Everyone who got a roommate randomly wound up having a great time while the others usually had more problems. If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, it's probably because me and my roommate were going crazy and just talking all night. The biggest tradition each year is D-Day. It's basically a day where you wake up and start drinking. Pretty much everyone is passed out by like 4 pm. It's really awesome, but we actually almost lost it this year, but we got it back. People party pretty much only the weekends, although by the end of the year more people party during the week. Saturday nights you can still go out and not drink, there is always music and dancing so it would never really be weird. Off campus there are bar parties that are hosted by frats or sororities and you can get in over or under.
Everyone at Rochester is friendly and you can always find someone to hang out with. In dorms, the doors are always open and people always smile and want to meet new people. Anything you could want to do, we have a club for and if we don't, it is easy to make one. Athletics are not very popular to watch except for our basketball games because those teams are actually good! Guest speakers (like Bill Nye!!) are always well attended and so are our performance (theater, singing, dancing, etc.) groups. Every year we have various festivals like Yellow Jacket Weekend (carnival rides, free food, cool free stuff, bands, etc.), Meliora Weekend (homecoming, alumni, and parents weekend all in one), and Dandelion Day (carnival rides, bands, free food, and drinking starting at 8am). They are all lots of fun and great traditions. There are parties every week. The frat quad is usually open with free beer (at some schools you have to buy cups at parties or are charged an entrance fee, etc. but at our frat quad and off campus frats, the drinks, music, and fun are all free!) and bar parties at clubs for 18 and older are thrown by groups and sororities weekly. You can always take a bus or taxi out to a bar or club if you want. There are things to do if you don't want to party too. There are performances, guest speakers, big bands, $2 movies, and the city to go into (restaurants, college coffee cafes, the Eastman School of Music and all of their performances, the Museum of Play, concerts/events in the city, etc.)
THE BIGGEST THING ABOUT COLLEGE, your social life. Yeah, everyone goes to school to get a good education and graduate, but theres much more time than you think to do, SOMETHING other than study and go to classes. (MAKE SURE YOU GO TO YOUR CLASSES AND STUDY THOUGH). "You will learn so much more outside of the classroom, on day to day interactions with other people,than you will ever learn in a classroom while your in college". Humans are social beings, and college is one of the quintessential aspects of a young adults social life. Everyone likes to have fun, and everyone likes to have friends. Simply put, if you want to drink in college, You WILL drink much more than you ever thought you could or should. If you want to hook up with someone, play your cards right the opportunity is there. Mommy and Daddy are no longer around watching your every move. You want go to church and worship you can. Basically you can do anything you want to, just know that every action has a consequence whether good or bad. But if your in this University you already know that or will definitely find out soon enough, but we are all adults so have fun, take care of your business and enjoy the ride. Its time to see who you really are, and who you will shape out to be. COLLEGE IS GREAT, just find you niche, whether it be with a mate, a sport, a club, a group of friends, a combination of different things. Whatever, you find your niche' and you'll have the time of your life! FOR REAL
Everyone is extremely friendly at Rochester and the events and programs going on are almost always well attended. 's great because everyone, although we spent so much of our time in the library studying, are the kind of people that really like to get up and do things. 2 am on a Tuesday is an extremely busy time. Most people are still awake, studying perhaps, but maybe having a cooking party in someone's kitchen, watching a movie, or if it's nice outside, taking a midnight stroll. There were many groups of friends on my floor but everyone was friendly, and I became really close with a small group including one of my roommates. Some of my best friends also came from people someone else introduced me to, and through dance. I do wish people were more enthusiastic about meeting people in class. I have made a couple in that sort of a setting, but it is difficult with the big classes. I am part of the D'motions Dance Group, it takes up almost all of my time, at least half the year, and I love it. I have always loved to dance but haven't ever really done that much seriously before and this is the perfect setting. It is a very focused group, practice is imortant, and we are all reallly passionate about the dancing. However it is most focused on bringing people together and enjoying dance. The way it is set up was exactly what I was looking for.
Im in a fraternity, good bad whatever, the partying at U of R dissapears in the winter, no one wants to go out or do anything, when its nice out some people come out but mainly just friends of people in my fraternity. There is a no drinking games policy...no beirut/beer pong, but thats fairly loosly enforced, but on campus there is a ban on kegs, so that really limits the ability of a fraternity to provide alcohol, and attract party goers. Kids leave their rooms unlocked alot, and occasionally get stuff stolen. No one really goes to athletic events other then maybe basketball games, but then its just mainly the baseball/football team there and then some sorority girls. The school brings in some D list speakers who no one really goes to see, the arts program here is flat out pathetic espetially the preforming arts. Im nocturnal, so I stay up late all the time, I like to play video games and watch sports center late at night, often with my buddies. This past year the school decided to stop funding our only school wide event , d-day, citing some rediculous reasons, but really they just want us all to be robots. The fraternities on campus that dont completly comply to rules get in trouble and get removed, one of the 8 frats that had been there for atleast 100 years lost their charter last year and cant rejoin campus, the beginning of the end...
Since I've covered a lot of these topics in my other answers, I guess I will cover the dating scene. I made a big mistake. I went to the same college as my high school sweetheart. This can work out once in a great while--I've seen it work! However, as a result, I spent most of my freshman year sheltered and bored. So, if you do happen to be single, I can only give you advice about dating from your sophomore year onward. First, being single is usually a good thing in college. Unless you meet the perfect person that treats you the way you deserve to be treated, don't get into a relationship. That being said, do not be promiscuous either. UR is a smaller school than many, and word travels fast. You will probably end up hooking up with or dating so-and-so's ex, and you will probably run into so-and-so on campus more than you like. You will see your past hookups almost daily--or maybe not at all, depending on your schedule. Here's how hookups often happen. You are at a party, you're reallllly drunk, and you and a classmate from writing class end up dancing. You end up making out, you go back to the room...you get the picture. It might become more than a one-time thing, but probably not. Men at UR do not take girls on a lot of dates. If they do, it is probably because they needed a date to their frat formal.