i'm a ucsd freshman and i've seen a lot of questions about the social life at ucsd. i party pretty much every friday and sat, and can answer anyone's questions about social life, partying at sdsu, parties, frats, RSO's, etc. to the best of my knowledge.
This is what I have observed so far:
RSO's: Definately not as strict as sdsu, since i've never seen one there, but the rso's at ucsd are pretty laxed actually. i've been caught drinking 3 times and all let off, and my friend was caught smoking and made up a dumb excuse of burning weed incense and got off. the rso's were even quoted for saying as long you are not loud, they have no reason to investigate you for drinking, and my friends and i drink a lot in our room and have had only a few encounters with them when it was our fault (we left our door open).
sdsu: my twin bro goes to sdsu and i've partied there a few times. it's definately possible to party there and i've done i think 4 times, each time i've taken the bus and crashed at his place and bussed back the next day since i don't have a car. the parties are a lot harder to get into and you basically have to sneak into the good parties there, or go to a lesser known frat with a (not as good) party, which have way more guys than girls. the sdsu parties seem to serve mostly hard alcohol, while uc parties have a few kegs of beer. also, the sdsu parties usually have a dj with a dance floor inside, and people socializing on the outside. ucsd parties usually sometimes have dancing on the inside, but lots of beerpong outside and socializing both inside and outside the house. sdsu parties are almost always in frat row, while ucsd parties are house parties. sdsu parties also have strict doorman since everyone at sdsu wants to get into a party, while ucsd have usually no doormen and i've been able to walk into parties by the top frats with no problem.
parties: atleast 1 party every fri/sat night. i joined the sd board club and the surf club which each have a good amount of parties (especially the sd board club). also, open house parties come up on facebook and i usually snag a ride to one of those. the board club, plus surf club, plus open parties on facebook are enough to fill the weekends and so far there hasn't been a weekend-night without a party.
frats: i'm not in a frat, but my suitemate is and i plan on rushing one next quarter. the frats are much smaller compared to sdsu, and ucsd frats are about 60 men total.
cars: a car, or friend with car, is recommended for off-campus dining, concerts, house parties, etc. i dont have one, neither do my friends, and its been fine but taking the bus everywhere is a little annoying and frusterating at times.
sry i made a typo about the RSO's: the RSO's are more strict than sdsu since i've never seen one at sdsu, but sdsu has tons of cops everywhere, especially on the weekends. the cops at sdsu are pretty much right off campus, though one time my bro was caught skateboarding and the cop on campus saw him but he ran off and got away.
hey how do you like the board and surf clubs at ucsd. i live close by and walked the campus one day and talked with a guy from muir surf who talked about bonfires down at blacks. that doesn't sound too bad too me.
hey dmsurfr, i like both clubs a lot and am going on a snowboard trip with the snowboard club next weekend. they throw great parties, and all of the members are really chill. the surf club is cool too but isn't as active.
nextmikesays, maybe i understated ucsd parties? the parties are great and there obviously isn't as much parties to choose from as other party schools, but the parties are a lot of fun with plenty of alcohol. since i've been to sdsu parties (big party school), and ucsd parties, ucsd certainly isn't pathetic considering my bro (who goes to sdsu) and his friends (from sdsu) came to a ucsd party last night. it's not a pary school, but it definately won't let anyone down.
Compare the social life at UCSD vs. UCLA vs. UCB and it's sad that both are significantly better. I can't believe how dead that campus is once it's dark and the fact that it's basically a commuter school since a majority of the students live all over the place. Porters Pub on campus barely has anyone in it and if you compare that to the Bear's Lair in Berkeley, you'd find a much different atmosphere. It's sad that your one good day aka Sungod is most colleges typical weekend.
yep in a way, it's what you make of it. but in general, UCSD can get pretty dull...but the reason Berkeley's pub is rockin' all the time is cuz they have D-1 sports. Our lack of D-1 sports really kills the social scene. But at least there's sungod to look forward to. the social life isn't lacking..if you want to party it's definitely doable. but if you don't that's even more doable.