You can find a group for pretty much anything, and if you can't, you can start one. (My friends and I founded the Yale Jazzercise Association our freshman year.) Theater, a capella, community service, and publications are big on campus. A fair number of students are involved in Greek life, but frats are a bigger deal than sororities, and most frat parties are open to all students. Other than extracurriculars, though, I'd say residential colleges are a huge aspect of social life on campus, since they determine whom you live with and whom you see most often.
Uuuuuuuu im getting sick of writing this there are somewhat popular athletic events, namely when we play Harvard (sidenote: fuck harvard). The biggest recreational activities are drinking and that’s it. well that’s not true theres always activities and shows and stuff, and you can always just get high and play video games, but drinking’s the name of the game, which is probably normal for a college. If I am a wake at 2am on a Tuesday I am definitely studying or trying to fall asleep after getting wired on coffee because I was studying.
Only at Yale would the traditional Halloween activity be to get in costume, have a few drinks, and go to see the Yale Symphony Orchestra's midnight show in which they play a student-arranged soundtrack to a student-made movie in which the Yale Dean makes an appearance in a plaid skirt. Yale is AMAZING! I love that my a cappella group was all the brotherhood of a fraternity, but based around singing instead of drinking.
A capella is pretty big, and we think highly of ourselves :-) Frats exist, but they're pretty small. There's amazing theater, both undergrad and at the Yale School of Drama. I didn't date much at Yale.. It was okay. There are a decent amount of bars to go to, if you're into that sort of thing. Ping pong in the common room, yeah!! I met my closest friends through classes, a capella and theater.
Acapella and theater are huge. For some reason, Yale has the most talented students in arts. Even if you aren't a part of it, it's wonderful to know such talented students and also to benefit from them enjoying their arts. Also food! It's huge, with amazing dining halls and multitudes of restaurants in New Haven, food is a big one at Yale. Make sure to try New Haven Pizza- amazing.
There's so much to do on campus! On any given weekend, I am torn between seeing one of five plays, one of four dance performances, one of three a cappella concerts, one of ten sports games, or attending one of a dozen parties. There is something for everyone, and the problem is always narrowing down your activities rather than not finding enough to interest you.
The social life at Yale is pretty limited, since we are kind of isolated. Everyone goes to the same clubs, bars, and restaurants. I really like it because I run into people I know from all different types of groups. Yale does a really good job at hosting events for students, which I think a lot of school don't do.
Dorm life is interesting but certainly not the foundation for social life. Most people meet people through activities. I was involved in a newspaper and political debate but there is a large array of activities.
Partying is a choice at Yale, which I love. My advice-- find friends who like to party the way you do. There are all types here.
I cannot imagine anyone having an interest they cannot continue to explore. We even have a juggling club.