This article is based on my own personal experiences as a student at Hillsdale College, a small, private institution in far southern Michigan. Here are the top ten events to have on your college social calendar:
Colleges and universities put on plays in which talented theater students take part. I was in three college plays myself—Aristophanes’ Birds and a double pageant consisting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware and Christopher Columbus. My parts in all three were small but memorable, especially the first, in which the imaginative director cast me as a bird in an eggshell! (He also made many alterations so that it would appeal to a modern audience.) In the coming months Hillsdale will be putting on two plays by Euripides, as well as Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
Musical performances are also a regular part of college social life. They range from single-person shows to whole orchestras; pieces performed date from all periods in Western music. Hillsdale College also gives an annual performance of Scottish music and dances called Tulloch Ard. (For choir, see number 9.)
Fraternities and sororities—popularly known as “Greek letter societies” because that is what most of their names consists of—are a prominent feature of college life on many campuses. They hold a variety of social activities, including dances and parties. They also encourage their members to achieve high grades in their classes and to participate in athletic and other events. Some critics, however, believe that Greek letter organizations dominate college life and may even be undemocratic, as nonmembers are excluded from taking part in their activities.
Honorary societies, like fraternities and sororities, have Greek letters in their names. But unlike them, they do not have houses for their members, and a fee is required to join. They are for students who are majoring in a specific subject; ΣΔΠ, for instance, is the Spanish honorary society which I joined. They, too, hold social activities of all sorts; in my case there were parties at which everybody spoke Spanish and Latin American food was served.
Schools have clubs which students may join. Two of those in which I was active as a student were the International Club and the Equestrian Club.
The International Club was comprised largely of students from other countries—among them were Brazil, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Nepal, and Romania. Their activities included showing movies, slide shows, and exhibits of the individual students’ countries, and parties at which foreign dishes were served.
The Equestrian Club was started by a student who had been born and raised on a horse farm. We went on trail rides together, and took part in horse shows.
The works of many contemporary artists are often exhibited at college galleries, and each exhibition is preceded by an artist’s reception at which folks gather to hear to hear the person talk about various aspects of his work—what went into making them.
No discussion of college social life can be complete without mentioning athletics. Every college has its football and basketball teams, and soccer, volleyball, and other sports may also be played. (Hillsdale recently disbanded its soccer team, though.) Students love to attend athletic events and root for their home teams.
Numerous political figures have come to speak at Hillsdale College. They include Vice President Dan Quayle, Senator John Coates, and Margaret Thatcher. Writers like Rabbi Joseph Telushkin have also been guest speakers. The auditoriums are always crowded when such people come.
Choir is usually independent of the college curriculum; any student, whether or not he or she is taking music classes, may join. I was a member of the Hillsdale choir, which sings classical pieces, hymns, spirituals, and popular songs. In addition to their end-of-semester performances, they also sing at church. They also perform the alma mater at various college functions, including graduation.
Homecoming—the welcoming back of past alumni—is always one of the biggest events on campus. Sports activities, parades, and dances are held throughout homecoming weekend.
Katelyn is a social media blogger for free music download sites like BearShare.com offers free mp3 music downloads.