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Social Life

annagraceannagrace 5 replies1 threads New Member
edited December 2010 in Women's Colleges
I'm applying to 3 women's colleges (Smith, Wellesley, and Scripps) but have a special interest in Smith. While I'm completely sold on the value that an education at these institutions will have for me (the academic life), I am still unsure about the social aspect.

A bit about me: I have not had many close female friends in high school, and have had a boyfriend for 3 out of 4 years. I'm interested to hopefully gain more confidence in my friendships with women, and even my ability to form them. I am slightly ostracized because I do not go to parties with people from my high school. I love to dance, but the party scene at my high school revolves around huge amounts of alcohol and drugs, and not necessarily the "go-out-and-see-friends" type of fun that I enjoy. I'm not straightedge, but the stories you hear about kids blacking out and throwing up all over the place just does not appeal to me.

I'd like to get some feedback from people who have attended (or I guess just know a lot :]) women's colleges (preferably the ones I'm applying to) about the social life- Is there a lot to do? Are there good parties on campus (do men attend?), or do I have to leave to find fun parties or events? Even though women's colleges' social lives are a lot "tamer" than say, a huge state school's, is there still a prevalent attitude of drinking to get as drunk as possible and then crash?

Thanks for your help!
edited December 2010
4 replies
Post edited by annagrace on
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Replies to: Social Life

  • Eternal IcicleEternal Icicle 480 replies33 threads Member
    Hey annagrace,

    I'm a current Scripps students, so here's my perspective on Scripps' social life:

    When we talk about "On-Campus" here, we typically mean "Somewhere on one of the 5-Cs" because the social life is spread out on all the campuses. Because there are different personalities to all the schools, I've found that the events they throw allow for a lot of diversity. CMC is the more alcohol/beer-pong oriented school (what you would think when imagining a typical college party), while Scripps tends to do more concerts and events like movies on the lawn/ all-nighters at the field house. Mudd is where I go when I want to dance. There's drinking, but it's usually mixed drinks instead of cheap beer, and the attitude is much more about drinking if you'd like to, and just to have fun (not for the purpose of getting drunk). Pitzer has some dance parties as well, but also drum circles and reggae fest. Good people watching in my opinion. There's also ballroom dance social events, like Salsa on Fridays, Blues or Swing on Saturdays. Almost all the events here are 5-C, and so are a pretty good mix of guys and girls.

    My friends at home still do the kind of parties you describe, which usually leaves me frustrated. I've found that having my choice of social functions here, and choosing ones that are dancing/music-centric, leaves me much happier and more satisfied.

    Each Thursday, Scripps students receive an email that outlines different events happening on the campuses over the weekend. Just to give you an idea of what social life looks like, here is the (abbreviated) email from 11/18:

    THURSDAY

    BEHIND BARS: PRISONERS TELL A STORY—THURSDAY, NOV.18
    7:30 @Balch Auditorium, SCR

    This evening in Balch Auditorium, eight former women prisoners are coming to speak about their experiences getting to, being inside, and being released from prison. There are also two prisoner rights activists coming to speak as well.


    D.R.E.D: DARING REALITY EVERY DAY—THURSDAY, NOV.18
    7PM @SCC Rose Hills Theatre, PO

    "WHEN SHE WAS KING"
    This is a performance by world-renowned drag king, MilDred (the artist formerly known as DRED), who describes her one woMan show as "a progressive, funky, fly, supernatural-high, poetic, thought-providing, Haitian-American, and musical performance on gender-fluidity and freedom." In this show MilDred shares her unique expressions and monologes of P.Diddy/Lil'Kim, Shaft, and Superfly, to name a few.


    FRIDAY

    MilDred's DRAG WORKSHOP—FRIDAY, NOV.19
    3:30PM @The QRC, PO
    MilDred's Drag Workshop. Learn to Drag! **RSVP ONLY**
    To confirm a spot in the workshop, email removed with your name and meal card number (for dinner). Attach a song to your email that you would like to use in developing your drag character.

    DRAG PARTY!!—FRIDAY, NOV.19
    6PM @The QRC, PO

    Drag Party! Open to everyone: Come dressed as/performing a gender different from what you usually identify as. Mocktails and snacks!

    BAR MITZVAH PARTY—FRIDAY, NOV. 19
    9PM-1AM @SCC Dom’s Lounge, PO

    “The Bar Mitzvah Party is back!
    Dom's Lounge on Friday 11/19 from 9pm - 1am!
    Bringing you all the 90s and early 2000s hits we listened to when we had our Bar Mitzvah's or went to friends' Bar Mitzvah parties. Only this time, college-style. Everyone is welcome. 5C IDs required or register guests at ASPC. Alcoholic beverages will provided for those 21 and over.

    KSPC BLOWOUT—FRIDAY, NOV. 19
    9:30PM-12:30AM @The Grove House, PZ

    Join us at the Grove House for another KSPC Blowout, with performances by Hip-Hop artists El Prez and J. Lately
    Come for BEER and great underground HIP-HOP!! and BRING YOUR OWN CUP, or be prepared to pay $3.


    SATURDAY

    5C DANCE COMPANY FALL SHOWCASE—SATURDAY, NOV. 20
    6PM @Garrison Theatre, SCR

    See stunning pieces ranging from Hip Hop to Salsa (and everything in between) and support the dancers in the Claremont Colleges. The show is FREE for all and will start at 6:00PM sharp at Garrison Theatre on Scripps' campus. Don't miss this fabulous show and invite your friends!

    WILD WILD WEST PARTY—SATURDAY, NOV. 20
    9PM-1AM @West Dorm, HMC

    West Dorm's annual 5C western themed party will be this Saturday—The music will be loud, the bull will be mechanical, and the cowboy hats will be ubiquitous.


    EBONY & IVORY—SATURDAY, NOV. 20
    9PM-1AM @Gold Student Center, PZ

    DJ SPEC mixing the best of Hip Hop, Reggaeton, and R&B!
    Arrive early to see a special performance by the 5-C Hip Hop Dance Team, REVERB! This is a classy event for the grown and sexy, so please dress accordingly in black and/or white colors only!


    A-TEAM BOWLING NIGHT—SATURDAY, NOV. 21
    6PM-8PM @Brunswick Bowling Alley, Upland

    FREE ENTRY—FREE SHOE RENTAL—FREE FOOD
    FREE DRINKS—FREE TRANSPORTATION (meet at Honnold Gate)


    SUNDAY

    CREPES FOR A CAUSE—SUNDAY, NOV. 22
    9PM @GJW 1st Floor Kitchen, SCR

    All this month CFC is collaborating with Cultivating Dreams, a student-run nonprofit organization that oversees an organic garden inside the California Institution for Women (CIW), a prison in Corona, CA. The garden is maintained through the collective effort of the women inside and volunteers from the Claremont College community. The fruits and vegetables grown in the garden are sent in the prison’s main kitchen or intensive care unit. For more info: cultivatingdreams.org Cultivating Dreams is in the running for $25,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Campaign.

    Fillings this week:
    Nutella, Honey, Pecans, Whipped Cream, Melted Sugar, Chocolate Sauce, and you can BYOB(anana) or other fruit from the dining hall!
    $3 for 1 Crepe, $5 for 2, and BUY 4 get one free!

    P.S. I apologize profusely for my grammar- it's late and I'm tired....
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  • annagraceannagrace 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you so much for your response, Eternal Icicle! This is so helpful.
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  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud 3012 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Wow, great post, Eternalicicle!

    I went to Smith (if that was not clear...), and I would agree with EI, women's colleges offer a lot in terms of social life. Smith is a little different, because while we are in a consortium, our think ours is not as close as Scripps (the schools are more spread out so it takes a little more planning to get around). It's not better or worse, it's just different. I found my social life at college was very Smith-centric, with a very close knit community on the campus and lots of people spending time on campus or in town on free days.

    I definitely never felt bored or like my social life was lacking. We had tons of things to do on campus: big carnivals to start and end each semester (bouncy houses, cotton candy, sumo wrestling, the works), free on campus movies, plenty of art shows, concerts, and theater both on campus and off. Northampton attracts a lot of amazing bands to the area, especially if you're into indie music and there's at least one major concert on campus every semester (Feist, Boys Like Girls, Vampire Weekend, were ones I remember), plus the performances from student groups. Northampton also has great restaurants and coffee shops, so when you get tired of campus food you have things to do. There's also swimming in the river, boating and ice skating on the pond, hiking trips etc.

    In terms of parties: Smith has two basic types of parties. House parties (in the houses) and Campus Center parties. The usual pattern is to do some drinking in your own house and then go out for dancing at the party. How much drinking kind of depends on your house/your style. I would say mixed drinks or shots are more popular than beer, and people don't get super wasted mostly just buzzed enough to feel ready to dance. Some of the house parties serve beer, but I rarely drank at the party, as most people go to dance vs. standing around drinking. The parties though can be hit or miss. Sometimes you have a really great band/DJ and a good mix of people, including Smith students and students (read: males) from other campuses. Then it's really fun, everyone's dancing, having a good time. Sometimes they can be not so well attended, but usually there's at least two house parties per weekend, so you have a choice of where to go if something's not great. Certain houses are known for throwing certain parties every year that draw a big crowd, such as Comstock's Lei party and Lamont's infamous Immorality party. Also there are official "party weekends" each semester (Spring Weekend and Winter Weekend), when every house throws either a house party, a cocktail/mocktail party, or some kind of event. It's a more formal weekend, people dress up at least for the cocktails and invite significant others from out of town, Smith a capella groups pair up with all-male a capella groups and they make the rounds at the cocktail parties and then we all go out dancing afterwards.


    I definitely knew girls who went to parties off campus every weekend, and that's available, but that was not really my thing.

    I did like to go to the other campuses for hockey games and sporting events or just to get a break from Smith for a bit, but UMASS and Amherst parties tend to be very typical college frat party, drinking, loud music, lots of sweaty people all jammed together. Fun sometimes, but not every weekend for me. Hampshire "parties" tend to take place with small groups of friends gathering in Hampshire dorms and often involve drugs (usually weed), so again, not really my thing. However, Hampshire does have an amazing party once a year called Hampshire Halloween, where they shut down the campus and have tons of bands and Halloween stuff and people basically drink, dance, and frolic in the woods. It made some national list for top college parties in the country, and is definitely fun for a big Halloween blow-out. I never went to Mt. Holyoke parties because I assumed they were pretty close to Smith parties and Moho is hard to get to from Smith in the evenings.

    I would consider my friends and I normally social for Smith. We didn't go out to party every weekend, we didn't get totally wasted all the time. But we liked to drink occasionally and have a good time, we liked to go out and have fun. Sometimes we met guys, sometimes we just danced together. If it was too cold to go out, we sometimes hosted little parties in our own houses or rooms, usually with some drinking and eventually drunken dancing. Or we would not drink and just play Wii or order a pizza and watch a movie or go for ice cream at Herrell's (you should do this a lot) or have epic Cranium games or go to a concert, play reading, show, exhibit opening. Mostly our own campus satisfied us, though it was nice to know that the other schools were out there for when we wanted to go further afield.
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  • annagraceannagrace 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks, Smithie! This is really helpful. Luckily, I won't have to decide until next year, but I figure it's good to do some research.
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