A lot of people are in theatre. There are also a lot of people in greek life. But, there are a lot of diverse activities and a lot to do on campus. I haven't experienced much of a dating scene. On a Tuesday, if I am up at 2am I am studying. Last weekend I went to the LYNF festival at Wash U and hung out with my friends and did some homework. I never drink and there is still a lot to do. So there's a place for every type of person.
At Wash. U., the single most important part of your social life in the fall of your freshman year is your freshman floor. Expect every door on your hall to remain open at all times, tons of cheesy bonding activities, and making lots of trips to the frats on the weekends as one massive group. I met my two best friends through my freshman dorm, and now, as a senior, I still live with them. For most underclassman at Wash. U., whether or not they decide to go Greek, the frats provide the most significant source of a night life on campus. For the upperclassman, especially those in fraternities or sororities, the frats continue to be a part of the night life, but local bars -- especially those on the Loop or downtown -- tend to be more popular. As a member of a sorority, my weekends are typically taken up with mixers or date parties, as well as trips to bars with my friends. Other parties occur in dorms (for underclassman) and off-campus apartments (for upperclassman). There's no normal number of times per week for a Wash. U. student to go out -- some rarely do, and some do every night -- but the student body is fairly social, and if you want to go out, it's never hard to find something to do and someone to go with.
For me, Greek life has been a crucial part of my experience at Wash. U. I've made some of my best friends in my sorority, as well as some of my happiest memories at the school. However, I know many people who aren't Greek, and for them, being in a sorority or fraternity isn't necessary. There are other things to do on campus than going to frats, including our biannual concert, W.I.L.D., as well as attending our never ending roster of impressive guest speakers, a capella performances, and, of course, sports games. The best-attended athletic events are the men's basketball team's games. The football games attract a decent crowd from the school and the area, but the basketball games get so crowded that it can be hard to find a seat.
I think the most popular groups are culture groups. Asian student groups have lots of activities and free foods throughout the year. And also, Greek organizations are popular too. On weekends, many students go to fraternities in groups. The largest event on campus is called W.I.L.D, short for "Walk In Lay Down." It is held once a year. It features many pop music bands. More than one thousand students attend every year. It's the time when we hang out with friends, sing songs, and drink beers and free ourselves totally.
Greek life is big, but not too big. It provides most of the social life and parties on campus, although off-campus activities can be found downtown, and in other areas, that are unrelated to greek life. I'm in a sorority, which I joined the second semester of my freshman year. It made a HUGE difference on my social life, I went from being rather unhappy at WashU to being very happy with so many new friends and social activities. Now, all my best friends are in my sorority. However, I still have girlfriends that are in other sororities, or aren't in greek life at all. Most of my guy friends, similarly, are in fraternities. Greek life at WashU is far different from what I hear about at state schools. It isn't very time consuming for girls, but is very time consuming for boys. There is no hazing for sororities, but I think there is some hazing for boys (as I think there are at all colleges, unfortunately). WashU tries very hard to eliminate hazing, but actually tries a lot harder for the girls. Sororities are kind of a side activity, but you can be as involved or as uninvolved as you want, which I love. It's a very easy way to get involved on campus!
Two of my best friends aren't in Greek life, and belong to another extracurricular called EST, which is a completely student run emergency service that's on duty 24/7 on campus. That too, is a great organization, which I really recommend if you're interested in anything medical related.
Students live in dorms until their second year (usually) on an area called the South 40, until their junior year when they typically move across campus to "the Village" to live in on-campus apartments. I lived in two very nice, new dorms my freshman and sophomore year, and lived in a less-nice on campus apartment my junior year. Housing at WashU is difficult, although I've personally had a very positive experience with them. I've gotten my first choice for housing all three years, which is extremely lucky, because most of my friends often get their second or third choice. Housing is rather unaccommodating if students don't get their first pick, which as a huge complaint among the student body.
Some traditions that happen on campus include WILD, a biannual concert, which is so much fun. WILD, or walk in lay down, is a concert, that happens all day. It's the one day when WashU parties like a state school, which is about all we can handle. Past performers have included Shwayze, The Cold War Kids, Passion Pit, Method Man and Red Man, and even the Black Eyed Peas way back when. It's a lot of fun.
Guest speakers are big at WashU. We held the last VP debate in 2008, which I really wish I had seen! A big comedian comes once a semester, including Seth Meyers, and Donald Glover. Shows are free...but have INCREDIBLY long lines, so come early and be prepared to wait! It's really cool having famous people perform for free at our school (for students, at least), and I really recommend going to some of the shows. It's a big drawing factor, since WashU is highly respected among many people. Next semester, Sofia Vergara from Modern Family is coming. Unfortunately, I'll be abroad, so I won't be able to see her!
There are also many clubs and other activities, as well as volunteering opportunities and political activism opportunities, that are presented in a fair in the beginning of the Fall semester. I recommend attending the fair if you're interested in becoming more involved, which I also really recommend!
A Cappella and the performing arts in general are really popular. You have top notch talent (auditions are very intense and selective) for a cheap price (most concerts are FREE).
There is everything. Literally everything. Campus is so inundated with groups and activities that there is no way to figure out what the most popular ones are. There's groups for theater, investing, salsa dancing, pre-med, politics, stand-up comedy, kendo, ultimate frisbee, butter churning (seriously - not making this up), mock trial... everything. There is greek life although it's not overbearing. If you join it, cool. If you don't, you're not going to be lacking a social life in any way. It would be downright bizarre if you could not find something to do with people who share interests with you.
Even though the students here aren't muscled and huge, many people do work out and are on club or intramural sports teams. I do club tennis, which is huge here. The team has about 60 members, even though only 6 to 12 people can generally go to the tournaments. The tournaments are awesome, and we go to other universities about five hours away and stay at hotels for a couple of nights.
The football team is terrible, and nobody goes to the games.
The dating scene is a lot more prevalent than random hookups. People pair off quickly, and since our school isn't huge, it can be annoying for those single and ready to mingle.
Some notable events are W.I.L.D., in which students literally go wild and go to a concert by a mildly-famous singer or band, and Vertigo, which is a huge dance party with a light-up dance floor made by the engineering students.
Social life at Wash U is fantastic. Freshman and Sophomore social life is heavily dependent on the fraternities, while Juniors and Seniors tend to venture into St. Louis more. If the frat thing isn't for you, there are always other things going on, like movies, hangouts at Ursa's (a great late-night eating place with tons of flat screen TVs and board games), or even water fights (which turn into mud fights...)
St. Louis has a bad reputation, but the area Wash U is in is fabulously wealthy (I think the average home price in Clayton is around $600k). A short walk from campus is the Loop, which is a cool, young street with bars, fro-yo, restaurants, and shops. The Central West End is an upscale area with great places to go as well, and the MetroLink (which is free to Wash U students) has a stop there and one right by campus.
The weight room and gym.
Volunteering is big on campus. Greek life does it, we have a community service office, and there is a place called the Campus Y that has 20 different programs to volunteer through. I am invovled with the Campus Y as well as play club frisbee (Wash U Women's Ultimate- WUWU) which invovles practicing three times a week, going to tourneys all over the Midwest and South, and partying together on the weekends. Everyone seems pretty invovled and 30% of the campus is in Greek life. At the beginning of each semester there is an activities fair where you can find out about and sign up for everything on campus. There are guest speakers every week (called the Assembly Series) and of course many departments have speakers come and you get on the email list to find out about those.
The dating scene- plenty of people are in relationships, plenty are just "hooking up", and plenty are single. You will find a variety. I think as you get older, you may be more inclined to be in a relationship. People can meet in classes, activities, parties in Frats, other parties, or at the bars.
People tend to party on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Some people go out on Tuesdays as well. It all depends on you, your friends, and how much you devote to studying and how much to partying. Frats and Sororities are definitely noticable on campus but only 30% are invovled and you are not excluded if you are not part of Greek Life.
If you don't drink or party, you can certainly go to concerts in St. Louis, go to the movies, go to the Loop, etc. While many people seem involved in partying, there is definitely a mix and you can find other things to do.
One of the great things about being at a school with such dedicated peers is the broad offering of activities and groups available. There are many, many organizations on campus that are active doing whatever floats their boat. WashU does a great job of promoting this through funding. The school basically gives out over 2 million dollars every year to fund student group events.
Most parties happen Thursday through Saturday, though there's things going on all the time. St. Louis has a decent nightlife, and students (mostly upperclassmen) like getting off campus to clubs or bars. On campus, especially during freshman year, most students will find themselves at frat parties. Sure, it may not be original, but it's a good time.
What I've found impresses friends from other schools the most is that the eater by the dorms is open to 3am on weekends. Most students don't appreciate it until they're starving at 2:30, but then they realize what a gift from God this is.
there are lots of groups on campus, it's kind of insane, there are lots of people who play sports. people get to be really close with the people who live on their freshman floors where a lot of people keep their doors open, in upper class men dorms less people keep their doors open unless they know each other already but people are all about meeting new people on their floors. i met my closest friends during transfer orientation (i'm a transfer student), i hung out with only transfers first semester but second semester i became really good friends with he people on the floor of my dorm (most lived together the year before) and now i'm dating one of them. if i'm up at 2 i'm probably doing homework because i was hanging out with people for too long. we have a concert where everyone gets drunk all day and then hangs out twice a year and a giant water balloon fight every spring. i usually party on weekend nights unless i have too much homework or a test coming up. if you don't want to drink i'm sure you'll make friends with other people who don't want to drink and you all hang out
I'm on the cross country and track teams. Even though WashU is a Division III school, the sports are pretty intense. We practice at 6:45 am in the fall. Many of our teams are really good. In the 2007-2008 season, our men's basketball and women's volleyball teams were national champions. Our women's cross country team was #3 in the nation. Women's outdoor track is currently ranked #1 (the season is still in progress). Considering how talented many of our athletes are, it is kind of sad that athletic events are not very popular among the general student body.
I live off campus and attend the KSA.
Greek life at Wash U is awesome! It is not as cliquey or intense as bigger state schools. It's really easy to find the sorority or fraternity that is right for you. There are ton of Greek events like Greek week in the fall and building facades for thurtene in the spring. People who are Greek are also really accepting of students that aren't greek. it's really easy to mingle across group lines.
The only athletic events that are very popular are men's basketball and women's volleyball. But those games are really fun to attend if you like sports. This school doesn't really have the school spirit through athletics though.
Most students go out and party on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday nights. Fraternities are popular hang out spots for underclassemes and apartment parties or the bars on the landing are popular amongst upperclassmen. Morgan street is the place to be on thursday nights if you're 21.
Dating doesn't really happen at Wash U. Most people are either hooking up or in a relationship. Lots of people at Wash U are also in long distance relationships with people from home and most of them seem to be pretty succesful if they last past freshman year.
There are so many activities to get involved in at Wash U. I think there is a club for anything a person could possibly be interested in from student government and community service to juggling and cooking. My favorite campus activity is the Campus Y. They have like 26 different service programs! They also have a really great space on campus to hang out. There are couches, a tv, a kitchen, and the entire Y staff is super friendly!
The location of Wash U is really beautiful. Perhaps people from green areas might not find it that special, but I am from a dry area of the country and I am so excited by all the trees and the beautiful fall colors. Wash. U is right beside Forest Park which is an enormous green park full of trees, a free art museum, and the free St. Louis zoo. It's a great place to wander around in when you're sick of studying. In fact, last month, there was a big hot air balloon event and my friends and I went and saw all these huge colorful hot air balloons getting lit up. Now, I hope I do not sound falsely positive about Wash. U... I just am enjoying being here so much and I really haven't found anything bad about the school. I never expected college to be so inspiring, full of so many good smart people, and so beautiful. The academics are extremely challenging, but it helps to be in a place that constantly reminds me that I am getting an super excellent education.
There's a ton of EC's here, more than 200, each benefiting from the Student Union's budget of about $2 million per year. It's pretty easy to start up a club if it doesn't exist when you get here. NCAA athletics aren't that popular here; this is a D-III school with only a few really competitive teams, like volleyball and soccer, and students generally don't go out to sporting events that often. The social scene here is good; students tend to work hard during the week and then go out and have a good time on the weekends.
There are tons of things to do in Forest Park, downtown, on in The Loop. The MetroLink is going to open two stops on campus in 2006 on the route to the Galleria Mall. It also goes to the airport for under $5; a cab is over $20.
The Greek system here is BIG. As a non-Greek, its hard to fit in sometimes. For younger students who aren't 21 and cannot go to bars, you pretty much only go to frat parties. The frats here are surprisingly nice compared to other frats at other schools I have seen-they are clean and new. They are fun-lots of dancing and a lot of free beer for those who drink.
I love going out to eat, and St. Louis luckily has a pretty good restaurant scene, with places within walking distance of campus.
Yes, students leave their dorm rooms open. There is not much of a dating seen...more hookups than anything. Athletic events are not very popular at all... basketball gets the most attention. Greek life is pretty popular, and most social life revolves around it. WILD is a big weekend.
People like to party at the frats on weekends, which can offer a pretty good dance party. Other than that, WashU sets up a bus to a different club in St Louis every Thurs night which is pretty fun seeing as how usually these places are over 21 only. Frats and sororities are prevalent, but people not in them can still be "cool" and have fun on campus. There is a pretty big drinking culture, but definitely niches for people who don't want to participate.
The fraternities are the root of the social/party scene. There's some drinking in the dorms, but most people head over to frat row for the fun.
Most popular groups?: Red Alert, Dance Marathon, Relay for Life. Campus Y. Ac capella groups
Group I'm involved with?: the Catholic Student Center, I sing in the choir and attend mass/events there regularly. I love it!
Do students leave their doors open?: Some do, some don't.
How popular are athletic events? Guest speakers? Theater?: I've never gone to an athletic event, but that doesn't mean people don't go. Some guest speakers are pretty popular. Some theater events are really well attended, particularly the cultural dance shows.
Dating scene: I found some one! But i think there are lots of hookups (that's the stereotype at least)
Meet Closest friends: In the dorm.
If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday... I am writing a paper.
Annual Traditions/events: Thurteen, Bauhaus (both carnival type events) Dance Marathon, Relay for Life.
How often do people party? Every weekend, starting Thursday.
How important are frats/sororities? Fairly important, though I don't belong/haven't been.
What I did last weekend: Participated in Easter Sunday events at my Church (sang in the choir) and did art homework.
What can you do on Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking? Hang out, watch a movie/play video games.
What do I do off campus? go to the Galleria, to the Loop (a fun street with college friendly restuarants/ entertainment
The most popular groups are intramural sports and some social justice/advocacy groups. I love the Alliance of Students Against Poverty and Amnesty International. Students sometimes leave their doors open. Athletic events aren't very popular. Guest speakers are popular, but theater isn't. The dating scene is okay, but great for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I met my closest friends in the dorm. There is a lot of partying. WILD (a huge concert), Bahaus (costume party), and Thurtene (largest college carnival in the U.S.) are the biggest traditions/events. Dance Marathon and Relay for Life are two HUGE fundraisers. Frats/sororities aren't that important. I chilled last weekend in the dorm. There isn't that much official activity for non-drinking people on Saturdays. I see movies and go to sporting events off campus.
Men's soccer team is popular, relay for life is popular, thurtene is popular. the Formula SAE motorsport program is a completely student run organization that aims to fully conceptualize, design, and fabricate a race car for competition with teams from around the world. Students leave doors open. Athletic events are not popular, speakers are popular, theater is not popular. People date and mess around, it's college. Met my closest friends in my freshman dorm. Frats/Soros are important to some, not to others, I'd say it's a 50/50 split. Last weekend I worked, studied, lifted weights, worked on a race car, did a few problem sets, and drank a jack and coke. Saturday night you can go bowling, karaoke, throw darts, study, go for a drive/ride, arm wrestle, see a movie, watch TV, play Call of Duty 4, or simply gorge yourself until you can't eat another single grape. Off campus you can go to a bar.
Team31 - puts on a concert every semester
In freshman dorms, yes
There is a dating scene?
Talking with my friends or spending time with my boyfriend
Definitely weekends; more often at times
ELEVEN MUSIC MAGAZINE ROCKS MY SOCKS.
And everyone's awake at 2 am on a Tuesday. In fact, it's 6:28 am right now, and I don't plan on sleeping anytime soon (no, I did not just wake up).
they are tons of groups to join. you're sure to find people with the exact same interests as you do regardless of how wacky it may be. there are things i didn't even know existed that have groups for them. its crazy.
i'm in a lot of Christian and cultural groups and i very much enjoy that.
people come to hear guest speakers or see shows and games. its alright.
finding a hot guy here is a challenge, especially if you're not white or asian and want a guy to date in your race. but going off campus(if you can handle it. i wouldn't recommend it for everyone) has more options.
greek life exists but its such not a big deal. i knew this girl since sept (its march now) and i literally JUST found out she was in a sorority. if you want to pledge, you'll have friends to do the same thing. if not, don't sweat it. you can still go to their events.
there are so many parties( in fact most if not all except for frats) on sat or any night that don't involve any drinking or smoking at all. its just a bunch of friends dancing or hanging out or whatever. its completely up to you if you want to drink and if you do how much and with whom. there isn't a crazy amount of pressure and you can even opt to live on a sub free floor (like me!) or in a sub free suite ( me next year hopefully)
off campus you can explore the grand city of st. louis. shop, go to museums the zoo art exhibits, plays, movies, restaurants you name it! its a city do what you want!
Greek organizations are popular, as are the student government groups. I'm involved in a fraternity, and it keeps me very active. Everyone in my dorm seems to leave his/her door open. Athletic events are somewhat popular, but there could be much better attendance. Guest speakers seem to be very popular. WILD is probably the most popular annual event. The dating scene isn't bad, but you pretty much have to drink in order to take part. I met most of my friends on my freshman floor. At 2am on Tuesday, I am doing homework. People party every time there is an excuse to get drunk it seems. If you don't want to drink on a Saturday night, you can go to the library, or make fun of the drunk people. I don't do anything off campus because I don't have a car-- thanks for that, WashU.
I rarely go off campus. Now that I have a car I do go off campus more, but it's still at a minimum. It's strange because the entire city of St. Louis is at our backdoor, but it is still a big effort to travel downtown for events frequently.
The dorm life at WashU is really lax. Many people prop their suite doors open which is comforting because it means that people are inviting you in. When I walk down halls where all the doors are shut it feels like a cold environment.
I'm in Alpha Phi Omega which is a national co-ed service fraternity. It is a happy medium between being in Greek life and not part of it at all. APO is not associated with Panhel and you're not given a "bid" but you prove that you want to be part of it by completing all the requirements in the pledging process. It's a more accepting environment than the actual greek sororities and frats.
It's tough to say what the most popular groups are on campus with over 200 of them. Student Union, the student government controls a budget of over two million dollars a year so they have a huge impact. Acapella draws a large group of students as well with over ten groups. Students do leave their doors open in dorms and it's a great social dynamic as people come and go freely. I met my closest friends on my freshman floor as well as my clubs. If I'm awake at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, I'm either working on an essay or having philosophical discussions with my floormates.
Athletic events aren't that popular though the men's basketball team has seen a surge in support. Students go for free pizza to some athletic events hosted by our school spirit group, Red Alert. We get tons of guest speakers from the famous such as Alberto Gonzales to people who are not as famous like comedian Margaret Cho. We had Cascada here for a concert not long ago. There are three theaters here, a performing arts department and several student theater groups so there is always a lot happening. Lots of outside groups come to perform in our theaters.
Traditions and events each year begin with WILD which is a huge concert held each fall and spring. WILD which stands for Walk In and Lay Down is intense.
Another big event is the annual Thurtene Carnival with dozens of groups building booths. Relay for Life attracts hundreds of participants each year.
There's a big divide as to how often people party. Some just don't. Others party from Thirsty Thursday to Saturday. Some drink from Tuesday to Saturday.
Sororities don't have houses on campus so frats are where the parties are at. If a party isn't at a frat it's usually on somenone's floor.
Last weekend, I went to a free a capella concert,did work and went shopping off campus. Off campus, I explore Forest Park, go shopping at the Galleria or watch one of the several professional teams here.
-I'm involved in community service groups which are widely popular on WashU's campus; students developed interests and passions in high school through community service and apply them to college life. I am a weekly childcare provider at a womens shelter and I take therapeutic dogs to visit nursing homes around St. Louis with Campus Y.
-Greek life.. definitely a part of WashU social life.. however, I am not in a sorority and have never felt "left out" or "outcast" from the social life of WashU.
-drinking.. drinking goes on at WashU just like it goes on at every other college campus. however, at WashU there is a lot less pressure on you if you don't drink- there are plenty of other people that will not judge you or force you and will instead go to a movie with you or out to eat
-I love going out to eat with my floormates, we try different restaraunts every week pretty much
WU Basketball, Divali, WILD.
Greek Life is very welcoming and fun, and not your traditionally state school frat scene at all. That said, the administration is still wildly against it and trying to curb its influence, even when they say otherwise.
Most kids probably don't drink n Saturday nights which is rather unfortunate since they're either studying, hanging out at Ursa's cafe playing checkers, or at some poorly attended a capella show. Acapella shows are fun though.
If you are interested in something, chances are Wash U already has a club for it. And if it doesn't, you can probably find others who share your interest and start a club yourself.
Ultimate frisbee is an amazing team here, the guys are a ton of fun to be with and laid back and we compete with many of the top schools in the nation.
speaker series is excellent as well.
i met my closest friends the the freshman pre-o: Wilderness project! it is an amazing program!
Fraterneties and sororities are whatever you want them to be, they are a great social outlet for a while but often become boring. many of my friends are involved but i have chosen not to be.
you can do so much that doesn't involve drinking: comedy, dances, concerts, dinners, speakers, religious organizations.
WUWU, Washington University Women's Ultimate, is our club women's ultimate frisbee team. I am a co-captain, and we practice three times a week and go to about five out-of-town tournaments each semester. We self-run our team, and the team becomes a big group of friends on and off the field. The reason I really like the team is because it's a very athletically demanding sport with reasonably good competition, but it's not a varsity sport, so I have time to be involved in other activities, too. Every year we teach the new team members the rules and basics of the game, so nobody needs experience to join the team. There are no try-outs. Simply come!
Overflow is a branch of the international Campus Crusade for Christ ministry, and this is how I met most of my closest friends. We meet every Thursday nights as a large group to sing worship songs, hear a speaker talk, and just spend time with each other. We also have smaller groups that meet various nights to study the Bible, get to know each other better, do service projects together, etc. While many of us come from very different religious backgrounds, my favorite aspect of the group is that practically everyone is really trying to be the person they can be, and I can talk to anyone, whether I'm having a great day or a terrible day. At the same time, many of us are involved in other activities, so our group continues to grow.
I don't know which groups are most popular. I'm involved with Safe Zones peer education, which trains students--mostly Residential Advisers--on GLBTQIA issues so that they can be sensitive to those issues when speaking with their residents and establishing themselves as safe places for GLBTQIA students to talk. Most students in dorms do not leave their dorms open. I don't think athletic events are very popular. I'm not sure about guest speakers or theater. I've seen a handful of friends dating, but there's no "scene" to speak of. I met my closest friend at Wash U mostly by chance. If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, I'm probably working on something for school, but I might be recording music or ironing clothes. A handful of events occur each year: charity dance marathons and races, a concert each semester by a more-or-less well-known band, and a rave produced by the Engineering school. I don't know how often people party. It seemed like a lot freshman year, but I'm a bit out of touch with the people I knew then. I don't know how important fraternities/sororities are in general, but they seem important to their members. Last weekend, I did a photo shoot with my roommate that started around 10 or 11 and watched a movie with Lindsay Lohan around 5 in the morning. I went to sleep at 7:30, went grocery shopping at some point Saturday, and spent Sunday writing an annotated bibliography. I'm sure there are plenty of things to do on a Saturday night that don't involve drinking: there are plays, improv comedy shows, occasional concerts, and film screenings. It's also possible to hang out with friends without drinking, which sometimes seems unthinkable in college. Everything I do other than go to class and work at the library is off campus.
Students in freshman dorms definitely leave their doors open the majority of the time they're in their rooms. People living on the South 40 have keycard access to all of the other dorms, so you don't have to call your friend to let you into their building to visit.
Very few students attend athletic events. I think I heard more people go to intermural games than varsity games.
Most people meet their group of friends on their freshman floor. Or perhaps thru a sport, fraternity or sorority.
Fraternities and sororities don't dominate the social scene. If you're not in one, there's no problem with finding friends or events. But if you are in one, it may dominate YOUR social life.
Most people only go off campus to eat. Some community service and exercise is also off-campus. Few underclassmen go out to clubs.
Freshman year almost everyone leaves their door open if they want to be social, but after that everyone has their own set of friends and aren't as open to meeting new people.
I met my closest friends on my freshman floor, through other friends, classes, and by living with people. But I'm also meeting new people everyday through extracurriculars and meeting my friend's friends.
Most kids at Wash U are on the typical late night, late morning schedule. Meaning we stay up late and then think that 8:30 or 9am classes are super early. Late at night during the week I'm usually studying or procrastinating and then on the weekend out partying. On that note, some people party every night of the week while others choose not to party at all. Its all up to you, and generally you find friends who have similar interests.
Even though academics hog up plenty of time, everyone has at least a couple other big things going on outside of the classroom. With the exception of women's volleyball and men's basketball, Wash U sporting events tend to be attended mostly by significant others and maybe a few townies, almost everyone plays sports. Basketball, soccer, and softball are all really popular IM and club sports, but you can do anything from arm-wrestling to water polo if you have enough people. The gyms here are absolute crap—crowded and stocked with equipment manufactured around the same time that Chuck Norris was an actor and not a punch line. This is unfortunate because St. Louis weather is notoriously uncooperative; there have been days when it was in the 70’s when I walked to class and sleeting three hours later.
Speaking of St. Louis, the city gets a bad rep—undeserved, in my mind. Your family will probably talk about how its one of the most dangerous city in America and your friends won’t know much more than the arch and the chorus to “Grillz,” but it’s really a pretty nice place to go to college. Forest Park, larger than Central Park and arguably more interesting, has a zoo, several museums, and an ice skating rink and is right next door to campus. Lots of famous bands—Red Hot Chilly Peppers, The Shins, Radiohead—play in nearby venues, and some lesser known but equally good—GZA from Wu-Tang, Band of Horses, Cascada—play in a basement venue on campus.
Acapella is big on campus, as is community service. Most of the community service projects are better at making students feel good about themselves than actually improving St. Louis, but there is no denying that most students recognize the need to give back. Tutoring is particularly popular, but frats and sororities and other student groups such as the annual Mr. Wash U ceremony have come up with creative philanthropy events that are fun, if not exactly far-reaching.
Weekends begin on Thursday when buses run underclassmen from campus to nearby clubs and upperclassmen go bar hopping or head to the Landing, a popping entertainment district in downtown STL right on the Mississippi. Wash U has a really fair—and by fair I mean lenient—drinking policy. There’s no need to hide alcohol from R.A.’s, who are more worried about safety than anything else. You have to try pretty hard to get in trouble—public urination is a safe bet, as is dropping your pants when the police try to arrest you at a Girl Talk concert. The latter student got tasered three times in the ass, so I’d particularly recommend keeping clothes on.
Friday and Saturday nights aren’t state school crazy, but there’s always frat, dorm, and house parties going on simultaneously so you’re bound to find something to do, or at the very least drink. A good third of the students here seem to almost never go out, but other students more than make up for them. About a forth of all students are in a frat or sorority, and while both have a very visible presence on campus, Greek life never really overwhelms other aspects of campus life. The fraternity here vary a lot in character; the stereotypes run the gambit from the “gay” frat—a mischaracterization—to the frat that one of the writers of Animal House lived in that still seems to stay pretty true to its roots. Almost all frat parties are open to everyone, but after the first few months of freshmen year, you discover that those shindigs are only worth the walk if you know people in the house.
By winter, the party circuit can get stale and the cold weather puts a damper on the festivities. Fortunately, there are kinds of events on campus and in St. Louis, with everything from comedians to plays to Blues hockey games for cheap entertainment. And when all else fails, there’s that pillar of college life: hook-ups. Some people like to complain a lot about the relative attractiveness of Wash U students, and while they have a point, a few seconds of careful self-reflection would reveal that they are probably kidding themselves. A better way of thinking of things is to understand that your average Joe or Jane will have no trouble finding a kindred spirit, while those that are above-average come to Wash U and suddenly find themselves treated like demigods. The bottom line is that there are plenty of cute faces in the crowd and finding someone for a five-minute hook-up or long-term relationship is not all that difficult.
WashU social life definitely does not revolve around the sports realm. Although athletics tend to socialize together, other students are typically not involved. Unlike at state schools, WashU's sports scene is low-key and understated. Though sporting events are open to the campus and the public, partying and hanging out revolve more around greek life and other campus organizations. Some of the largest organizations are the Student Union, Relay for Life, Jewish Student Union, Ashoka (Indian Student Association), Dance Marathon, and Association for Black Students. These all tend to be centered around campus legislation, philanthropic events, and multi-culural celebrations. Theatre and music at WashU also play an important role with events such as a cappella concerts, musicals, and Carnival. Greek life is also popular at WashU. Sororities do not have houses, however, so the scene is a little more low-key than at many state schools.
The most popular organizations on campus are the A cappella groups and the basketball team. My favorite group that I'm in is club softball. It is not as big of a commitment as varsity sports, but I practice 3 times a week and we travel. Students leave there doors open. Athletic events are not well attended except for the basketball games. There are many speakers and the theater always has plays. There is not too much of a dating scene. The most common thing to happen is on a Friday or Saturday at the Frats or apartments to drunkenly hookup with somebody. I met my closets friends by living on in the same building as them, and at parties. Tuesdays at 2am I am usually at a party. My favorite tradition is WILD (walk in lay down). WashU pays twice a year for famous singers and bands to perform. Most people party on Saturdays and Fridays. The fraternities are the big party scene amongst the freshmen. But being Greek is not that important. Last Friday I went to a basketball game, went to a dorm party before going to a frat house. On Saturday, I went to an a cappella party off campus. You can hang out with other people that don't like to drink, there's a good number.
The nightlife scene at WashU is great. Rarely is there a night with nothing to do on campus, even though those nights are occasionally warranted. The university’s policy is that once you are here, they treat you like an adult. Therefore, drinking is highly prevalent. The last time I saw a cop on campus and I was holding an open beer in my hand, he told me to “chug it or chuck it.” People typically party 3 times a week, maybe 4 depending point in the semester. Greek life is right around 30%, making it noticeable but not overwhelming. Generally, there are better parties in off campus apartments and houses then in the frats. There are also plenty of things to do that don’t involve drinking. The City Museum is a place downtown where an old industrial factory was turned into an adult playground made out of sheet metal. It contains slides, caves to crawl through, and a giant ball pit as well. It is open late on Saturday nights which always proves to be fun.
There are many on campus events that take place as well. WILD, or walk in lay down, is an all day festival complete with headlining music acts that takes place in Brookings quad twice a year. It is basically an all day drunk fest encompassing the entire campus. WashU also has the longest running, student run carnival in the country called Thurtene. It happens in April and is put on by the Greeks. Also there are many theater, dance, and musical performances on campus, including an all student run concert venue located in the basement of the student center. Athletics at WashU are secondary to academics. However, there is a major addiction to IM sports and there are varsity and club teams in almost all sports.
There are so many organizations to choose from that it is hard to pinpoint the most popular. In fact, if you have an idea for an organization that does not exist, it is very easy to start one. Student Life, one of the countries oldest student newspapers starting in 1878, is a popular read on campus. There are many other publications as well, including comedy/satire, political, literary arts, and a new music magazine. Overall, WashU provides students with an incessant amount of activities to choose from.
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