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St. Olaf Social Scene

410627410627 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited February 2012 in Saint Olaf College
I'm currently a senior in high school and will be making my college decision in a few short months. I'm very interested in St. Olaf, mostly because I'm interested in becoming a choral director. The school sounds absolutely perfect for me, except for a few things. I'm a very social person and I'll admit to being a little deterred by St. Olaf's small size and the size of Northfield. I live in a very big city and am used to having nearly any resource available to me within 30 minutes (except, say, the beach). Can anyone who is attending/attended St. Olaf tell me about the social/party scene?
Post edited by 410627 on

Replies to: St. Olaf Social Scene

  • cbugcbug Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    Christas -- Where are you from? Do you know that St. Olaf is only 30-40 minutes from Minneapolis/St. Paul — one of the biggest metro areas in the U.S.? It almost sounds like you haven't visited. Have you been accepted yet?

    Additionally, you say that you are worried about St. Olaf's/Northfield's small size because you are very social. Depending on how you define "very social," I think you can be just as social at an LAC as you can at a large university. Some might argue that you can actually be more social because you know a larger percentage of the student population. I know a number of kids that attend STO and all love it.

    Northfield is incredible. Almost all of the shops and boutiques are very unique and stylish. There are some very fun little coffee houses, bars, bistros and what have you. And there is almost always a music venue, play or other cultural venue to attend. As you may know, Northfield is also home to Carleton College — one of the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S. Consequently, the two great schools combined bring a very artsy, intellectual vibe to the area.

    I would say if you are looking for a hard partying atmosphere, you're probably looking in the wrong place. But if you're ok with students who are academically serious but who also like to party on an occasional basis, STO might be right for you. Besides where else would you attend school to become a choral director that would have a big party atmosphere?
  • 1bie7921bie792 Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    I think that a social person could perhaps having an easier time meeting friends in a 3,000 student college than in a 30,000 student college. It's all about how many are like-minded and friendly.
  • 410627410627 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Hi cbug! I'm from Dallas. I have been accepted to the college, but I still have to audition for the music program in several weeks. And no, I have not yet visited (although I'm very excited to) but I will of course during the audition. I've definitely gotten the vibe from what I've read that just about everyone seems to love it and St. Olaf is definitely my top choice.

    Interestingly enough, Florida State University has a fantastic choral program (and music program overall) which I am also seriously considering. FSU, at the same time, has a big party school rep.

    Thanks for the insight! If you have any other comments about the college, I'd love to hear them!
  • Got2BeGreenGot2BeGreen Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    If you want to go somewhere with the traditional "big party school rep" then St. Olaf is probably not for you. With no Greek life or Division I athletics, you simply don't have that crazy atmosphere. Furthermore, St. Olaf is technically a dry campus (although apparently it is really more "damp" than dry. . . but as a parent I'm not supposed to know this!). Parties certainly happen, but it seems that many students favor other kinds of entertainment.

    There are tons of things happening on campus every day - movies, concerts, laser tag, giant twister, open mike nights, etc. For those with access to transportation, the "big city" is less than an hour away. There are more than enough clubs and organizations to fill your spare time. Students are friendly and make strong bonds, and there are plenty of opportunities to be social.
  • cbugcbug Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    Christas - I think the weather may end up being a factor. Are you prepared for a Minnesota winter? Most people adapt just fine. But, compared to winter at FSU, it could be an issue for you.

    The other concern might be in St Olaf's favor. Think very hard about deciding on a school because of the party scene. I went to a large party school -- highly ranked in Playboy mag. even. It was intensely exciting and very tough all at the same time. The first and second year it was fun but by the third year and after it had gotten old for me. It was a distraction that many people couldn't handle. Often it's a sink or swim atmosphere at a large party school.

    If I had it to do over again I would go to an LAC for the nurturing atmosphere and the potential for personal growth. My large university did not nurture at all.
  • stolaf12345stolaf12345 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Christas- I am a First Year student at St. Olaf! I have absolutely no complaints about the social scene here on campus. I haven't had dull weekend yet. There are usually activities and events catered to St.O students about every weekend like concerts and comedians. There is also a pretty fun off campus party scene in the honor houses. I know a lot of kids who go to Carleton parties, and I've seen Carleton students at St. Olaf parties. The cities are easily accessible via Northfield Lines if you don't have a car.
    I actually think I've gotten to meet more people at St. Olaf than some of my friends who go to large universities. At a small school like St. Olaf you have the opportunity to interact with people outside of your niche.
This discussion has been closed.