There are so many different clubs and organizations on campus, that it's really hard to pinpoint which clubs dominate campus. In terms of sports teams, the football and basketball teams are defiantly the most prominent. The basketball and football games are very well attended and it's actually really hard to get basketball tickets because they are in such high demand. However the crew team at UW is also extremely good. In terms of organizations, ASUW (Associated Students of the University of Washington) is very prominent because they are the voice of the students. The Greek Community on campus isn't super dominate on campus, only 10% of the student body is greek, but it's one of the organizations that I'm involved with and it's how I met all my friends. If a student goes greek, they live in the houses at the beginning of freshman year. Even though I didn't get a dorm experience, I have met my closest friends living in a house with 100 girls for 4 years. If I am bored and awake at 2am on a Tuesday night, I can always find someone else in my house that is awake. Most of the parties happen on Tuesday-Thursday nights at UW. It's a weird concept to get used to, but Thursday nights are definitely the biggest for parties. Since there are football games on weekends or people go home/do homework, parties happen on weekdays. There are a lot of students who don't party too. Since the UW is located so close to downtown Seattle, there are so many different activities that one can do that doesn't involve drinking. The music scene is really big in Seattle, so there are a lot of concerts and music events one can attend. Hitting the Ave and trying new food is also a student favorite. There are so many different types of food to try - my goal is to try them all before I graduate!
Athletic events are really popular. going to any kind of sporting event is always a tonn of fun! football games and basketball games are especially cool, but i also love going to volleyball and baseball games. I'm also on the women's lacrosse team, which is a lot of fun! athletics are big here. Some dorms are more social than others. It's kind of just completely random. there's no way of knowing if you will get a social floor or an anti-social floor. However, even if you get an anti-social floor there's a big upside. No one on my floor is very social, but I made friends in another dorm, so I go over there whenever I want to hang out and be social, and then when i need to get some real work done, i go back to my dorm room where there is peace and quiet. Not everyone parties all the time, and not everyone parties. But almost everyone in the Greek system parties a lot!! There is always something going on on the weekends, and often during the week,too. Thursday nights are very big here. However, if you don't like to party that doesn't matter either. There's a lot of stuff to do on campus, whether it's just hanging out in someone's room, bowling at the HUB, or shopping or eating on the Ave. (The Ave is the big street right next to campus. there are like a hundred delicious restaurants and tons of great eclectic shopping. There's always a ton of students there, whether it's 2 pm on a Tuesday or 2 am on a Saturday night.) Also, if you ever want to go off campus, the public bus system in Seattle is really well hooked up to campus, so you can get literally anywhere you would want to go. Downtown, the south end, Alki beach, Northgate Mall. Anywhere. Even from one end of campus to the other if you're feeling lazy!
UW is a huge school, make no mistake. However, there are so many ways to get connected, you'll soon find yourself surprised at how many times you say to yourself, "what a small world!". The most important thing I can tell you is this: get involved RIGHT AWAY. Every year, thousands of freshman come in, petrified of having no friends. This is when everyone is the most open to trying new things and talking to new people. I am not the most outgoing person around, but I made sure to try branching out right away. I involved myself in as many activities as my sanity would allow. I talked to other students in my classes, found an on-campus job, joined a youth group, hung out with people on my floor, played sports at the IMA, etc. You'll meet friends who will then introduce you to their friends. Soon, you'll start to build some friendships that will last more than just freshman year. Also, try doing different things. Grab a few friends and take the bus into Seattle or Bellevue. It's a fantastic city with tons of things to do. Go to a Mariners game, watch a movie at Lincoln Square, hit up some coffee shops in Queen Anne. But before you graduate, GO TO A FOOTBALL GAME!!! This is an opportunity that you won't have ever again: to sit in the student section. It is so exciting, that even if you don't like football very much, you'll enjoy the experience (just bring other people to sit with).
The most popular student activities and groups on campus are football games, zombies and inter mural sports. Everyone I know on campus attend football games and the only people I can think of that I do not see at games very often are international students. Second, Zombies has been a very popular activity on campus and is where students chase each other around campus with nerf guns and orange bandanas on attempting to turn each other into "zombies". I do not personally know anyone who plays this game but is very popular amongst students in dorms. Third, IMA sports such as basketball, football and soccer are very popular on campus and there are many different leagues and athletic abilities that play these sports during their respective seasons. The most popular nights to hangout and drink with students are Tuesdays and Thursdays, and oftentimes you would find students getting late night food on the ave on the nights anytime from midnight to 4am. The weekends are a little more dull because there are so many local students that go home for the weekend to see their families, get home cooked meals and get their laundry done. If students are looking for somewhere to party, the party scene in the fraternities and sororities is very prevalent and fun, where as in the dorms, there doesn't seem to be as much of a demand for partying/drinking.
The best part about UW has to be the huge amount of diversity on campus. It is impossible to generalize all the students here. It is common to see Monks walking through Red Square, Christians handing out flyers for church events, and Mormons stopping people for a quick chat. Professors have German accents, Japanese, Russian, and Chinese too. The person sitting on one side of you might be wearing a hijab while the next person is wearing yoga pants or a dress suit. The vast majority of students are younger twenties but it isn’t surprising to have someone in there forties of fifties in a class either. Seattle and the UW combined harbors a very accepting and open-minded mentality that allows people of all different backgrounds to intermingle. Regardless, there are still tons of student groups on campus to help connect people from similar backgrounds and interest too so no one feels marginalized or isolated. Most people on campus tend to lean towards the left side of the political spectrum but the student government is incredibly democratic- it is hard to tell whether you are in Washington D.C or at the student senate- so everyone’s voices are heard. No one should feel left out at UW. If you do feel alone, you simply need help finding people you connect with in the sea of diversity on campus.
There is a big greek system here, so if you're interested in that, you'll be right at home. If you're on the other end of the spectrum and want to avoid everything to do with frats/sororities, yep that's easy to do too. Want to go skydiving? You'll find a group of people to go with you. Or swing dancing? Yep, there's a club on campus too. Any activity that you want to do, someone has probably rounded up a few people that want to do that too. Want to have a slip and slide club? Well we don't have that but it's easy enough to start a registered student organization (RSO). Athletic events are popular, football games in the fall cause a flurry of purple and white painted faces headed towards a crowded Husky Stadium. If football isn't your thing, not to worry you can avoid it entirely if you want by finding tons of other things to do on your Saturdays around the Seattle area, such as jumping off an unfinished part of an overpass into Lake Washington, or check out the night life downtown. People party (a lot) in the frats, and there are lots of parties to be found on the weekends. Although, you will find studious students living in the dorms too, although some floors are notorious for being "party" floors.
The number 1 most popular group on campus is the Greek community. The UW has a very old and traditional Greek System that attracts a huge amount of the undergraduate student body. I was part of a fraternity for a couple of years, and it was the best way I found to make the UW feel a little bit more like my home. The Fraternities and Sororities are heart of the University's school pride and are way over represented at almost all the games and school festivals. They also have the highest average GPA of any community on campus. If you aren't part of the G.S. there are plenty of other options for student activities and groups. Some other popular ones are, intramural sports at the GIANT recreations center, clubs, and on campus religious organizations. If your just looking for a place to go out at night, there are more bars and restaurants next to campus than any other place in Seattle. If your not in to the party scene there's plenty of options, from movies to bubble tea.
Athletic events are very popular at UW, especially the football games. Everyone gets extremely involved and dress up and cheer. It's a lot of fun! There are a ton of guest speakers of all kinds so you can go see whoever strikes an interest in you. There was just one not too long ago about why America is so afraid of sex. I met my closest friends through classes and studying with one another. If I was awake at 2am on a Tuesday I would most likely be studying and that's what most people are doing. People party a lot just like any college but it's a very friendly environment. Frats and sororities aren't that important, you either belong to one or you don't but it's not too big of a deal. There are a lot of other things to do besides drink, a lot of stuff goes on on campus so you don't have to go out and drink to have a good time. A lot of kids hang out on the Ave.
As a freshman at the University of Washington, I decided to live in the "Engineering Community." This is simply two floors in one of the dorm buildings that is reserved for students who wish to pursue a degree in any engineering discipline. I maintain that this was the best decision I could have made in my first year here. I met some of my very best friends on the floor I lived on. The wonderful part about this specialization is that we all share similar interests and all took similar entry level math and science classes. There was a great potential for study groups in some of the classes that are most difficult for entering engineering students. Another community such as this exists for Arts majors. I think it is a brilliant idea and would highly recommend it to any student wishing to pursue a degree in this area.
I lived in the dorms freshman year. It was one of the best experiences i have ever had, but i got lucky. Many people end up hating their roommates. And the dorms can get really over-crowded. I went Greek because I wanted the opportunity to be a part of a smaller community that is always doing things and giving back. It has also been an amazing opportunity. There are always events on cmapus too. Free movies, free guest speakers (the Dalai Lama came recently), sporting events are VERY popular, there are all sorts of plays and movies in nearby theaters. If you think you have nothing to do, you're just being lazy. It's easy to find things. There are a lot of parties. Both in the Greek community and at houses in U District. And I have never felt unsafe at any of them.