CalTech is so small !!

<p>So apparently Caltech only takes in abt ~200 freshman students each year. Thats half as many people in my grade at my school! Doesn't that make the social life/extracurricular their kinda dull, with so few other people to choose to be friends with?</p>

<p>I was curious about that as well; I saw the undergrad enrollment and it was less than 1000... I thought it was a typo.</p>

<p>Not sure what the question is. Is Caltech's enrollment less that of other top rated institutions like HYPSM. Yes it is significantly less.</p>

<p>Is it comparable some smaller LAC's including Harvey Mudd? Yes it is.</p>

<p>Does a social life exist in CalTech? Yes it does? Is it dull? That depends on the eye of the beholder. CalTech attracts a different type of student, a person who is academically high performing, very much into science and math. While CalTech students play music or take part in athletics, no one comes to CalTech expecting to get into the NBA or perform at Carnegie Hall or even major is say English Literature. It is a small, STEM school and the students there are very focused. Also the curriculum is very hard, and students need to concentrate on their studies, so do not time have time for protracted partying. That said, the students have learned to have their own way of socializing and there is an active social scene, but it is very different from what you would find in a party school or a larger institution.</p>

<p>To me, the size of Caltech is one of its charms, and what helps make it great. Everyone at Caltech is a star, and the faculty know that. No one gets lost in a crowd. Classes are small, each student is noticed, and each student has amazing opportunities. There are research projects galore to take part in, if so inclined. There is little competition for such positions, and no one gets lost in the shuffle. The social scene is actually really good - people are very supportive of each other, not elitist or exclusive. There is a sense on campus of camaraderie, and a sense that we are all in this together.</p>

<p>Sleep, Study, Friends. You can't have all three simultaneously. @_@ People here do socialize, especially at the end of an academic term.</p>

<p>The advantage of going to a small school in terms of social life is that everyone knows each other.</p>

<p>The disadvantage of going to a small school in terms of social life is that everyone knows each other.</p>

<p>I'd hardly say that the social life is boring. Can it be somewhat claustrophobic? Sure. If you think a small school would be stifling, or if only hanging around science nerds would make you sad, then that's a legitimate reason to look elsewhere. </p>

<p>I'd say that visiting is the best way of seeing how far from boring we are. Each house has events, so if you were super easily bored (and finished work very quickly) , going to more than one houses' events would quickly solve that problem. The student body ensures that the events are super fun, and there's always lots to do, but you do know just about everyone. </p>

<p>If you are the sort of person who'd fit in at Tech, you'll have an easier time making friends here than elsewhere, because you can relate to almost everyone, particularly in your house. If you don't fit in at Tech, and really want non-science nerds, you'll probably realize you want to transfer after a month. I'd really recommend visiting before committing to a place like Tech, because of that.</p>

<p>The small size can get to people. But the people you meet are usually ones that match your interests or personality too. So at the end of the day, you have plenty of friends... it's just they know each other.</p>

<p>Social life here is quite...dead. People are busy all the time, so you won't feel like there is a surplus of time to do anything else. No doubt there are people here who are unhappy.</p>

<p>It depends on what you want. If you want football games, loud frat parties, drunken beer fests, and getting blasted several days a week, then Caltech is definitely not for you. Social life at Caltech tends to be quieter pursuits - movies in the houses, making dinners together on the weekends, parties that center on music and talk rather than beer, concerts and trips into LA. There is a lot going on, just smaller scale and less obnoxious than on most campuses.</p>

<p>Another thing to keep in mind is that while the Houses do have similarities, there is variety among the Houses. If you visit try to sample as many as possible. That is to say that despite the small size, your experience can be quite different. I would agree with most of the comments posted, but would say that for my situation at least they go a bit far. Weekends in particular tend to have parties or social events albeit at a scale commensurate with the size of the population. Also with collaboration the boundary between work and socializing can blur. While this doesn't sound good at first light, it does make you feel like you're working less.</p>