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Social Pressures at Dickinson

jesslivinglifejesslivinglife Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2011 in Dickinson College
I really love Dickinson but lately I've been hearing a lot of negative things about the party scene. Many people have said that it is difficult to fit in if you don't drink. I heard the school is even nicknamed "Drinkinson" by the students because alcohol consumption is so prevalent.

Are the rumors true? Is there that much pressure to drink at Dickinson? I didn't think it was a party school but the things I've been reading have been proving that assumption wrong.

Of course I know that there is partying at every school, but I also know that I need to be in an intellectually stimulating environment where the majority of the students take their studies seriously and are at college first and foremost to learn.

If anyone has any feedback, I'd greatly appreciate it :)
Post edited by jesslivinglife on

Replies to: Social Pressures at Dickinson

  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,463Registered User Senior Member
    My D is a junior at Dickinson, and pretty much a non-drinker (less than one drink a month is how she puts it). She has a really vibrant social life without it. She did go to a couple of parties with drinking when she first got there, but thought they were boring and has not gone to more. She has a lot of friends, and is super busy when she is on campus. By her sophomore year, every phone conversation was sort of rushed because she had some kind of club meeting or was going out to a movie with friends or swing dancing or... you get the idea.

    We were a little worried about this before she went, too. In fact, we talked about her living in the substance free dorm. She did not do that, and still has a crew of friends who do not rely on drinking for a good time. Is it available? Of course. Are there some people who overdo it? For sure. Will you be left out if you don't drink? No, absolutely not. Hope this helps!

    By the way, D has found Dickinson to be great academically. She loves almost all of her classes, works hard, and has a very good GPA. She has a wonderful internship though a Dickinson program off campus this semester, too. She is getting everything we had hoped out of the academic side of her Dickinson education.
  • jesslivinglifejesslivinglife Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    Wow, thanks so much for the reply! That is very reassuring :)

    I'm glad both you and your daughter are happy with the school.

    I've been considering the substance free dorms just because I thought it would be easier to find people like me who are more interested in alcohol-free fun, but it's nice knowing that I'll be able to find that either way. Thanks again!
  • jesslivinglifejesslivinglife Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    Intparent answered my question wonderfully - but as a follow-up, I was wondering if there were any Dickinson students who do live in the wellness dorms or parents of students who do who can tell me what it's like. Now that I'm about 80% sure that I'll be attending Dickinson, I think some opinions would be great! :)

    Like I said, I don't drink/smoke and am by no means a party-animal, but that doesn't mean I don't like to have fun! I love being loud, blasting my music and dancing as much as the next person.

    Are the rules in the wellness dorms really strict? And by rules I mean pertaining to loudness, etc. Of course I know that it's important to respect other people and to be quiet when there is sleeping or a lot of studying going on, but I also like to have a good time. What I'm trying to ask I guess is whether or not the wellness dorm inhabitants tend to be uptight. Also, I know that at a lot of schools, the people who live in the wellness dorms are the butts of a lot of jokes. Are people who choose to live in them stereotyped/shunned by other students? I don't want to be living in a bubble or feel excluded from the rest of the campus.

    I know I have a ton of questions but any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated! :)
  • yaeger07yaeger07 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    I think the only thing people assume about you if you live in Longsdorff is that you do not drink/smoke/use substances. There isn't really other baggage attached to that. Also, the sub-free people seem to have a great time together! I don't think it's particularly strict in ways other than no substances in the dorm. Longsdorff is located right near a bunch of freshman dorms, so you wouldn't be excluded at all.

    The college quiet hours are 10p-8a on weeknights and 12p-10a on weekends. Whether that's really followed is up to dorm residents and RAs.
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,463Registered User Senior Member
    I asked my D about this, and she said that the people who live in the substance free housing are a really tight group. Not in a bad way, just that they all hang out together a lot (even though they are different ages), and they seem to have a lot of fun like yaeger07 said. D said she wouldn't have minded living there at all (and did consider it when applying for freshman housing, but wasn't sure before going to campus whether it would be too weird, etc.). Now she says it would have been fine.
  • jesslivinglifejesslivinglife Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks to the both of you for the input :)

    Still not sure if I'll choose to live in the substance-free housing, just because of other things I've read about it on this board (that the dorms aren't quite as nice, that a lot of people aren't there by choice but just because there was no room elsewhere, etc.) But thanks again for the info! It's all very helpful.
  • yaeger07yaeger07 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    I would advise you not to make your decision based on the suggestion that the dorm is not as nice. It's about average for freshman dorms and since you don't get to choose, you could end up somewhere worse. Also, even if some people don't get put there by choice, there will be more students committed to that kind of lifestyle than there would be in any other dorm. But of course feel free to make whatever decision you are comfortable with!
  • jesslivinglifejesslivinglife Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    You're right, yaeger. I think the fact that other current students on this board advised against staying in the substance-free dorms is making me lean towards not doing so.

    Also, it's not so much the condition of the dorms I'm worried about but the overall environment. I'm concerned about the mixed ages factor. I don't really know what the other dorm buildings are like - are they all mixed ages? Obviously I want to make friends with all ages but I think it would be easier to make friends/bond if I was with a lot of people my own age - I don't want to miss out on that.
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,463Registered User Senior Member
    I did ask my D about that specific issue, and she said that she thought the older students were very welcoming and inclusive to the freshman in that particular dorm.
  • rubberducky333rubberducky333 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    I am a current student and was in the same situation as you. The people at substance free are incredibly nice and the upper classman are welcoming and supportive. I did not live in the sub free housing this year but wished I did, so next year I am actually going to be living in the substance free house. The dorm, Longsdorff is actually a really cool dorm. There are two huge common rooms and one has a kitchen in it. In my opinion the dorm atmosphere in Longsdorff is more like a house and less like a dorm. In the past people who did not waqnt Longsdorff did end up there because of housing but that has not happened in a while. Also, ther rules are not strict. I would actually say that Longsdorff is one of the most bubbly outgoing dorms on campus! They love just hanging out and listening to music. This year they also celebrated everyones birthdays as a whole dorm. Like other have said they are a very close group of people. With that said, some of them do choose to not live in substance freee after their second year. They do this not because they did not like it but because the other people they want to room with may not live substance free lives. I encourage you to not let what other people say discourage you. I encourage you to make the decision based upon what you think. If you fell that you would be more confident in a regular dorm, then live there but if you think you will feel and fit in better in the sub-free then live there. Vut, remember that no matter where you live you will always be welcome in any dorm because that is the way Dickinson is. So if you live in the regular dorms and hate it, then the sub-free people are very welcomeing and you relax there as much as you want or the reverse. Good luck with your decision.
  • jesslivinglifejesslivinglife Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    Hey rubberducky! Thanks so much for the response - both the info and the advice. For a while I had been leaning towards choosing not to live in the sub-free housing but now that I've heard some other input and read an article about it on the Dickinson website, I think I'm going to go for it!

    It sounds like a community I'd fit into well :) And I think it will make my college transition a whole lot easier.

    One quick question - I know that Longsdorff is mixed ages but will I still be roomed with a fellow freshman my first year?
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