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Bucknell Through a Current Student's Eyes

roboguy12roboguy12 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hello, I am a current student at Bucknell University, and I hope every student who is considering to apply to Bucknell reads this, because it is true and I wish I had read something like this before I decided to come here. I looked at many other schools besides Bucknell, including Colgate, Lehigh, Lafayette, Cornell, and The College of New Jersey (as well as many others). I chose Bucknell because I loved the campus, as well as the academic prestige that it offered. I never had that "it felt right" feeling, but I chose Bucknell because it seemed to have made the most sense at the time.

However, I would have valued this priceless information before attending here, because it would have greatly affected my decision. While there is the quaint town of Lewisburg within walking distance, as well as shuttles to Wal-Mart and the nearby mall every weekend, and occasionally there is a movie playing somewhere, there is a bottom line to be drawn. IF YOU DO NOT DRINK/SMOKE THERE IS NOTHING TO DO. I am somebody who has chosen not to drink or smoke or engage in any type of drug at all, and I'm having quite possibly the worst time. I am generally a very outgoing, quirky, funny, and random person, and I have a very large group of high school friends with whom I still act myself. However, the fact of the matter is that, at Bucknell, I am merely a shadow of my true self, and mainly because I do not fit in anywhere. There are many frats on campus (I learned yesterday that one is known for its cocaine usage), but the trouble does not stop there. Freshmen like to throw parties in their dorms, and I know of several people who have already been caught (a girl was handcuffed the other night, too). There is a CHOICE group (substance-free living), but the guys who are members of it are the decidedly "weird" kids, no offense to those who are a part of it.

I went home this weekend and visited my family and my girlfriend (she attends The College of New Jersey), and I cannot express enough how happy I was...until I had to leave because the thought kept looming over me that "I have to go back there". This, to me, is entirely unacceptable because college is supposed to be the best time of my life, but currently it consists of me counting down the days until I can return home.

That all being said, the school is fantastic academically. I am currently taking Calculus II, Physics, Latin, and a foundation seminar (every incoming freshman is required to take one). I am doing well in all my classes due in part to my academic perseverance, but also sadly due to the lack of activities or friends with which to do them.

In conclusion, Bucknell is good and you should attend if you under specific situations:
1) If academics are very important to you, and you don't care as much about the social aspect.
2) If you enjoy parties and are a heavy drinker.

Do NOT attend Bucknell if you are:
1) A guy planning to make friends while also abstaining from alcohol/drugs. (I have found that girls have a much easier time making friends because it is the stereotype that guys are the ones who always drink.)

There will be people telling you that "drinking is everywhere" and "you can't escape it", but if you do not, please do not attend Bucknell with the goal of making friends. I am friendly with many people on my hall and in my classes, but that acquaintance-ship extends as far as playing videogames and grabbing a sandwich once in awhile. I am almost constantly alone at Bucknell and can safely say that I am having the worst time of my life here. I am right now, as I write this, looking up transfer information because I do not know how much longer I can live like this.

Best of luck to you in your college search, but keep the above description in mind when you are choosing, should Bucknell be on your list.

P.S. A little tidbit which is alarming to me and should serve as an adequate warning for anybody like me - search 'House Party Weekend' on UrbanDictionary.com and read the student-produced definitions. And keep in mind that, during Orientation week, the Orientation Assistant (who by the way told us about his drunken escapades and the number of times he's smoked marijuana) for our floor told us how proud the guys on campus were when the first definition was added, and that the excitement grew as more were added. Just a little glimpse of what I have gotten myself into and what you should try to avoid.
edited June 24
7 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: Bucknell Through a Current Student's Eyes

  • morrismmmorrismm 3390 replies182 threads Senior Member
    First of all, I have to say that I am sorry you are so unhappy. Maybe transferring is your best option.

    I am curious, what would you be able to hopefully do at another college that you cannot do at Bucknell? What will exist that does not exist at Bucknell for someone like you?

    Clearly Bucknell has students that do not engage in drinking or smoking. You said there was a CHOICE group, but you did not like them. Did you give them a chance? Have you tried to get involved in clubs, athletics, theater, newspaper..etc? Maybe you would meet some people you could connect with.

    I would have to say that it comes across that you are very homesick at this early stage of your freshman year and you miss and want to be with your girlfriend back home. You also do buck the trend of college students by not imbibing in alcohol or drugs. Good for you. But I'm not sure you would be happy anywhere except the College of New Jersey, where your girlfriend is.
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  • purplegirlpurplegirl 167 replies36 threads Junior Member
    I am sorry too that you are having a hard time. As a parent of a junior at Bucknell (girl) who doesn't drink she found plenty to do besides drinking/frat parties. Maybe it's different for the girls so I don't know if it helps or not but if you are a freshman, she's noticed that the drinking becomes less attractive to kids as time goes on and as she entered spring of her soph year some kids turned around. She attends some frat parties because of her soriority mixers but she stays about 10 mins and I would agree that there is alot of alcohol related frat events. She's never seen drugs. For her social life, she enjoys going out with her friends, none drink/party, to the events on campus (concerts, comedians, etc), the movies or just hanging out in their rooms playing games. She will go on Calvin&Hobbs sponsered events and some of her friends live in Choice (Kress) dorm. I think that no matter where you go to college there will be some level of an alcohol dominated social life but I think if you look hard enough you will find many like-minded kids, they are just harder to find at first. The party/drinking stuff is discouraging but I am glad you don't participate in the alcohol scene. Try not to go home too much because then it will be harder for you to find your social network. Look for other clubs/sports/etc to join and maybe that will help. If you stay at Bucknell, consider living in Kress next year, the kids are not as "weird" as you think!
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  • ericatbucknellericatbucknell 744 replies14 threads Member
    theres a school study out there somewhere in which 27.9% of bucknell freshmen claimed to drink an average of zero nights per week. another 18% claimed to drink one night per week. and thats not counting the substantial percentage of students drinking more frequently while hanging out with friends, eating pizza and watching a movie... exactly what theyd be doing if they werent drinking. (something like two thirds of freshmen reported typical intakes of five or fewer drinks... so its not like everybody is out there binging until they black out.)

    to me, the real difficulty in the college transition is leaving a very strong circle of friends, with friendships developed over the course of a decade, and entering a situation in which you know no one. if your initial social circle (basically, people on your hall) arent great social matches for whatever reason (and their drinking habits is certainly a perfectly acceptable reason), finding that those matches can be difficult. but short of transferring to a school in which you have friends from high school who have also chosen to abstain, im not sure transferring at this point makes a ton of sense. theres no guarantee your new hallmates and classmates will have different drinking habits... and to make things worse, they wont be college freshmen actively looking to make new friends, either.

    in that light, my suggestion would be to get involved in as many clubs as humanly possible. they may not be particularly interesting, but if you havent met 'your' people yet, you just have to continue taking initiative until you do. that doesnt mean you cant have a less than ideal social circle in the mean time. but its just something you have to learn to do. after all, youre going to have to do this over again in a few years when youre in graduate school or take a job in a city where you dont know anyone. and then probably once more after that before you get married and start a family.

    i can say from experience that i only ended up being really good friends with one person from my freshman hall... and we certainly werent really good friends in september. i met two other really great people in my foundation seminar, one of whom i only got close to as a result of a labor-intensive final project. im not sure i knew the names of any of my other eventual friends a month into my freshman year. so give it time... and do anything but sit in your room.
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  • bibbistbibbist 107 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I am a parent of a sophomore at Bucknell, and am sorry to hear you are so unhappy. I concur with the other postings: join clubs, teams, groups, activities and you will find kids that have similar interests to yours. Bucknell is a fabulous school with intense academics, great athletic teams & arts programs, and a vibrant student body. Some kids drink, some kids don't - but everyone I've met seems involved and I think being involved in a club or sport is vital to success on any campus. Do yourself a favor and take the good advice thats been given - and recognize that you own your happiness. If you sit in your room and spend your time venting about your unhappiness, it is only your time wasted!
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  • nyc2013nyc2013 428 replies5 threads Member
    As someone who received their acceptance letter today and has been spending hours digging through anything remotely related to Bucknell out of excitement I have to say how glad I am I found this. It was one of the MOST COMFORTING things I have ever read. To know that despite having immense difficulty at the school you still found "the school fantastic academically" is exactly what I wanted to hear. I have always been a firm believer that the purpose of college is to learn, and that even though extra curricular activities and social activities are highly important, they do come second.
    Bucknell has an extremely high Greek population (especially when you consider how skewed the facts are because freshman aren't allowed to join) which is something any student applying should be aware of. Because of this students should already know there will probably be lots of greek parties and that because it's the middle of nowhere PA these parties are likely the hub of social activities. However, it's also possible to go to these parties, have fun, and not drink (or at least not out of moderation). I do plan on joining the Greek system and whatever clubs interest me (and hopefully make a particular varsity sport), but from what I've learned about Bucknell, academics are always a high priority for most students.
    I am thrilled to be leaving for Bucknell soon, if anyone sees this and has info on the school, stories they'd like to share or advice I'd love to learn more through replies here or PM's.
    Thank you!
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  • morrismmmorrismm 3390 replies182 threads Senior Member
    Congratulations nyc2013. Imo you are going into Bucknell with the appropriate and best attitude. Academics do and should come first.

    My D is returning to campus this Spring after a semester abroad. She will be doing an independent study to do research with one of her professors next semester. He contacted her, while she was studying abroad, to ask her if she was interested. This is the kind of stuff that happens at Bucknell.

    My D choose not to join a sorority. It is not her thing. That has proven to make her social life a bit more challenging. But she does go to frat parties. But there are also alternative things to do as well.

    I hope yopu love Bucknell nyc2013, as so many people do.
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