My closest friends live with me in the dorm. Hall style dorms are definitely the way to go as an incoming freshmen. As most any other school, living in a suite can make it difficult to meet other people. We have an amazing time in the dorms, watching movies, having random dance parties for no good reason, silly pranks...life in the dorm is a good life. There are also always people to complain to, to ask for scissors from, and to get to know you better than most friends you grew up with (not to mention plenty of girls who share your love for Nathan on One Tree Hill). I have made the best memories from just a lazy, rainy Wednesday afternoon with my hall mates. I am a part of CRU (Campus Crusades) at Tech and it has been an amazing way to meet people and learn about religion. I haven't fully proclaimed myself as a Christian but this group of people shows me a good time regardless. They have the 'Five-dollar prom', 80's skating parties, formals, tubing on the New River, and Karaoke nights that draw hundreds of students. That is one thing that I think stands out apart form other schools, at Tech, if an event is planned and advertised, people will go. In fact, usually LOTS of people go. There is a general enthusiasm amongst the students to be a part of the school. We love being Hokies! That reminds me of the Corp of Cadet vs. Civilian snowball fight. It is not officially sponsored by VT but somehow the word spread and at least 2,000 brave souls gathered on the drill field after the first snow ball to engage in a brutal battle of the ice balls. It was a quite a sight. Yes, there are parties here...really? Is that a question? Alcohol flows like a creek through the middle of campus, but although Saturday night can be easily stumbled home from a frat house or giddily ridden home on the BT Drunk Bus, it can also be spent plenty of other ways. Bowling at BreakZone, movies in Squires, concerts (O.A.R. and Dave Matthews Band this year were AMAZING!), and game nights are just a few options for a sober night. My roommate tried to get me to go to a Salsa class last week and I've seen break dancers graze the lobbies of Squires on Thursday nights. In the summer I suggest staying sober though, because the nights when we take blankets, guitars, frisbees, and soccer balls to the drill field and act like hippies under the stars have been nights I will never forget. Football and basketball games stay going until 2 a.m., and last semester the school put a huge projector up on the drill field and played a movie. If smoking is your thing it seems that year-round Hookah is set up by students throughout campus and many go downtown to the Hookah bar to diligently practice their smoke-rings. People aren't horny rabbits at Tech. Parties=sex, SOMETIMES, but overall there are a few serious couples and a few testing the waters but if you're single it's not as if you'll be jumped right as you step on campus. As far as I have observed, kids here take is slow and find someone they really care about...and with 27,000 students there is always somewhere to look. The goths and hardcore rocker punks are a little harder to come by, but chances are there is someone on campus that is just like you, and that wants to date you!
If you do it, used to do it, have thought about trying it, or scared shitless by it, chances are there is a group on campus completely devoted to it. There's spalunking (very fun I might say--but please wear a helmet. I learned that the hard way), religious groups, biking clubs, innertube water polo, hiking club, business organizations, alcohol awareness groups, future medical students groups, and anything else you can imagine. There is a greatly popular Christian group on campus that I've been a part of since I came to Tech. Campus Crusade for Christ, more commonly known as Cru, has about 600 members of the student body that meet once a week for worship and just to have a good time. (It's on Thursdays at 8:30 in squires if you're interested.) Athletic events are huge here--football being the biggest of course. On Saturdays you might as well forget your plans because the whole town is at the game. Basketball is another big sport but there are also a TON of intermurals and club sports here. The theatres on campus are great--I've seen a lot of plays and they are all done so well by our fellow students. I met my closest friends in Lee Hall last year when I lived on campus--everyone always had their doors open and we sat in the hallway at night talking or doing homework together. I also met good friends at Cru during weekly meetings, game nights, bible studies, and weekend retreats. If I'm awake on a Tuesday at 2am I'm either putting the finishing touches on a paper, coming back from a late night trip to Wal-Mart, or watching the third season of sex and the city with my roommates. People party as often here as they do anywhere else. I think it's just typical of college, but not all college students party. Fraternities and sororities are a big part of campus here. I have no desire to ever be part of one but their presence on campus is huge. Last weekend was St. Patrick's Day weekend---so I went to a party some of my friends were having in honor of the day. (Why do we celebrate that day again?) I also went hiking since it was warm, went for a late night drive through town with a friend, and saw a movie another night. There's always something to do. ALWAYS! What do you do on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking? This one's easy--I do this all the time! Sometimes there are movies playing on campus for $2, you can go for coffee or ice create at Deets, take a walk around campus (because it is very well lit and safe), play pool or bowl in Squires, just hang out with friends and watch movies, or have a bonfire down by the river in McCoy. And believe it or not--college isn't like the movies where everyone is trying to get you to drink all the time. They don't really care--if you aren't drinking that means more for them and believe it or not--people do have alcohol free parties and you can go to a party to dance and have a good time watching people stumble.
There are SO MANY ways to get involved and expand your social network at Virginia Tech. Greek life is great here. We have an amazing sports programs, for both Varsity, club, and recreational levels. There are hundreds of student organizations for interests ranging from dance to music to art to religion to various hobbies and interests... the list goes on. I am invovled with several groups. I'm a sister in a great sorority, Kappa Delta. I am also the director of Sensations, an all-female a cappella group here at VT that sings at events all over campus. I am also in Student Alumni Associates, "SAA," a group that works with the alumni association to host events like reunions, faculty appreciation day, hokie spirit picnics, etc. Students in dorms and other on-campus housing such as greek houses are very open and social. It is common to walk through a dorm and see all the doors open. Everyone makes great friends as a freshman living in teh dorms because you meet so many people. Athletic events are obviously huge here. I don't think I really need to go into that further! The dating scene is great here! As I said before, there are so many people here that you are constantly getting the chance to meet new people! I met my closest friends through a wide variety of things. Some I met during my orientation to Virginia Tech the summer before we began our freshman year. Some I've met through my singing group or SAA. Obviously Greek life has led me to a huge number of close friends, both in my chapter and others. Virginia Tech is a very fun campus, but there is a healthy balance between hard work and fun. We work hard and play hard! Fraternities and Sororities in my opinon are a great way to get involved and meet people, but they certain are not the only thing to get invovled with on campus. There are hundreds of other groups and activies for those that chose to not be part of a Greek organization. There is SO MUCH to do here that does not invovle drinking. There is always something going on, whether it's an a cappella concert, ring dance, a dance company performance, movies at the lyric theatre, bowling in the student center, movies on the drillfield, sporting events, etc. The list goes on and on.
Greek life is something like 13 percent of campus, but it seems to me to be more than that. That might be because my 3 roommates are all in different sororities, and most people I know are Greek. It's a great way to broaden your horizons, but it's not for everyone. You can rush freshman or sophomore year. So if you're not sure, just hold off a year and feel it out. As far as dorm life, I didn't have a great experience. The dorms are dirty! The bathrooms are one each floor, and they don't get cleaned on the weekends. Freshman year, it was so nice to go home to a real shower. As far as people leaving their doors open and being friendly, it really depends who's on your hall. My hall wasn't close, but I have many friends who made their very best friends on their hall, and who consider their dorm experience among the best of all of college. Personally, the day I moved into my apartment sophomore year that wonderful. Quality of life skyrocketed. And this year, being 21, I moved to an apartment downtown. I can't recommend that enough. I get to walk everywhere: class, bars, bars, class, restaurants. Coming from Northern Virginia I've never gotten to walk anywhere really. It's such a great experience to be able to live downtown and walk everywhere. Weekend life is great, there's never a dull moment. There are people who drink all the time, and people who don't. There are bars and parties and groups of people who do other things. Campus Crusade for Christ is a Christian organization that plans social events that don't involve drinking. Anyone can have fun here. Athletic events, such as FOOTBALL, as huge here. People look forward to them year round. They are so much fun, and they bring the community closer. I've heard that many people made their decision to come here based solely on the energy they felt from attending one football game. And some of those people don't even particularly like football. It's an event on such a huge scale that goes beyond the actual game itself. VT is fun for pretty much anyone. I haven't met many people in my 4 year career here that have difficulty enjoying social life here.
Greek life is by far the best thing that has happened to me at VT. I had no idea that so many amazing people could be in a room at one time! There's an almost instant bond. And joining clubs and organizations that are interconnected (like a greek organization) is a great way to socialize and meet other people. we often collaborate on fundraising projects for various philanthropies and help out the community together. Downtown is definitely the place to be on a Thursday night. Tuesdays at TOTS (a 21+ bar) is karaoke night and one friend of mine called it "the studio 54 of Blacksburg" where the who's who of VT gathers. Of course there's the Saturday night that everyone just kinda chills and relaxes. My friends and i like to get together and grab dinner and ice cream and junk food and sit around watching movies and catching up on our busy week. "As I was standing on the sideline of the Virginia Tech game, I could not believe what I was witnessing. It was an absolute downpour, with rain and wind swirling around Lane Stadium, and it didn't seem like Tech fans were even the least bit fazed. There were 66,000 of them booming their chant, doing their absolute best to intimidate their opposition (it at least worked for me). Then, they cut off the chant, and their "Enter Sandman" opener began playing. I don't care what you saw on TV or YouTube; words cannot describe what was taking place. The stadium was literally shaking. My ears hurt. And even as a lowly photographer, I was absolutely terrified, and the game hadn't even started. It was the most unbelievable display of fanhood I had ever witnessed, in professional or amateur sports." - courtesy of the Boston College Newspaper
Most popular--rec sports clubs and greek life. I played club volleyball for 5 semesters--it's definitely it's own sorority. We practiced 4 days a week, had 3 or 4 tournaments a semester, ate together, drank together, and had our own drama. My roommate and I kept our door open all the time, but it depends on your hall/pod. Athletic events are crucial, especially football games--everyone goes. Basketball games are really popular too, but not everyone goes (aren't enough places to sit). Guest speakers aren't as popular, depending on who it is, and I know theater isn't as popular--the only reason I've ever gone is because I had to. We aren't a liberal arts school, though. I met my closest friends in my dorm my freshman year, and I met another one of my best friends out my first night in college through mutual friends. You're either downtown or studying. A lot of people don't party, but there are some that go out everyday. Greek life is much more involved in partying, but a lot of students don't drink at all. Although I rarely go out anymore, on average I went out two nights a week. I feel like my life is run by sororities, because all but one of my best friends are in one--they've ruined my social life, because I'm NOT in one and everyone else I know is. I studied Thursday night, I hung out and watched movies with my roommates Friday night, and I came home Saturday. You can go to movies, hang out with friends, go to athletic events, go to campus events.... I live off campus, go to the gym off campus, etc
Student Government Association and Student Alumni Association are pretty popular organizations along with sports teams and greek life. I am involved in a sorority on campus. Most students do leave their doors open during various times of the day, but then there are some that do not as well. Athletic events are very popular at Tech especially football and basketball, but all of the sports are great. We usually have really amazing singers/bands come to Tech or different places around Blacksburg so I usually try to take advantage of that. We had the concert for Virginia Tech (dave, john mayer, phil vassar, nas), gym class heroes, OAR, phil vassar, SOJA, badfish, and a bunch of others. There are also all types of shows and events going on all the time on campus like the different a cappella groups on campus (their concerts are always really fun) and same with the fashion show. At 2 am on a tuesday, I am either sleeping, studying, or out at a social with my sorority. Some people do not party at all, others party every night of the week. It kind of depends. I usually go out 2-4 times during the week depending on stuff that I have going on. Fraternities and sororities are important in my opinion because I am in one, but there are obviously thousands of students who are not involved in greek life. There is a fairly large number of students involved in either a fraternity or sorority though so it's awesome.
The most popular organizations would have to be VTU and BSA, solely because they put on the events that students look forward to coming out to such as concerts that they're favorite bands will be taking part in. Depending on the floor, class and type of person, doors can be found open or closed. Athletic events, primarily football is number one here at VT. The dating scene is not something that I observe because I have been happily taken before I became a student here. I met my closest friends in classes and on my hall at the first hall meeting. If I am awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I must be up doing work and studying. Traditions that happen each year are the step shows, balls that they sororities and fraternities put on and the concerts in fall and spring. People can party any day of the week if there are no classes. I feel as if sororities and fraternities are important because although they do not broadcast it, they do a tremendous amount of community service and outreach. Last weekend, I attended the BOC Culture show and Winterfest. I go to sleep on Saturday nights because the weekend is the only time that I get to relax. Off campus, I usually walk around Walmart or go out to IHOP with a group of friends.
Organizations and teams are a huge part of the VA Tech community. Fraternity and sororitity members are spotted all over campus in their letters on a normal basis. Sport team members also have a big acknowledgement on campus because of our overwhelming support for Hokie sports. Athletic events are an exciting past time for the majority of Va Tech students. In fact, football season is probably one of the things students look forward to the most each year. I have met my closest friends through my sorority, as well has having friends from high school here at Tech and the friends I met freshman year that I still have remained close with. If I am awake at 2 am on a Tuesday it is because I am just getting home for the night. Tuesday at Tech means TOTS Tuesday karoake-a known favorite among the seniors. How much you party depends on YOU. Any day of the week, there is definitely someone willing to go out with you. However, there are a lot of things around Blacksburg that you can do if you don't want to party. On a Saturday night, you could hit up the lyric or New River Valley Cinemas for a movie, go out to eat in Christiansburg, or simply just hang out at a friends apartment.
Greek life reins as the most popular social groups. I played on the club mens lacrosse team for a fall season and really enjoyed it. I would still be playing if I hadn't gotten injured. the difference between the traveling club sports team and a greek sorority or fraternity is people join a greek organization for many different reasons. Popularity, networking, social status, friends in the org., leadership experience, business experience, etc. These differences in maintaining ties to the organization as I have witnessed makes it difficult and a constant effort to keep a unified group. Everyone on the Lacrosse team shared a very important common interest, a love for the sport. Unity was never an issue. Not difficult to make friends. People are friendly just looking to have fun. I don't believe in prerequisites for a social scene, other than compatible personalities. Mine is fairly compatible with most. I don't have trouble socially. Many social circles drink often, many others do not ever. Anyone can decide to surround themselves with a variety of settings to feel comfortable.