The Introvert’s Guide to the UNH Social Scene
What can I say about the social scene at UNH that Paul has not already said? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot actually, because my UNH social experience is not the same as most UNH students. Paul did a really great job talking about the party scene at UNH, and since I’m woefully inexperienced with the party scene myself, I’m going to talk about the opportunities for social get-togethers outside of parties.
I’m an introvert. That means that I like to spend a lot of time by myself and that being in large crowds of people I don’t know makes me extremely anxious and uncomfortable. So I’ve never been much of a partier. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no opportunity for worthwhile socialization for me at UNH.
UNH is definitely perceived as a party school. Most state schools are. The truth is, it’s hard to ignore the party lifestyle at UNH. From Thursday to Sunday night it’s pretty much right there in your face a lot of the time. Being the square that I am, I often find myself cursing the partygoers outside while I’m trying to go to sleep at eleven o’clock on the weekend. People like to party, but more than they like to party, they like everyone else to know that they’re partying.
However, I’ve found that UNH’s social scene is created more by clubs than by parties. Clubs are a great place to socialize because the very fact that you’re there together means that you have something in common with the people in attendance, therefore avoiding the fear of awkward conversation that introverts like me hate the most.
The same goes for the people you meet in class. Still, there’s a huge difference between socializing in class and socializing on your own time. But here’s the thing, partying isn’t the only way people socialize with their classmates outside of class. Classmates get together all the time to go over work, complain about their professor, or even just to hang out and watch a movie. I think social groups at UNH are definitely created by what major you’re in also. People with the same major often have the same interests, the same goals, and the same classes so those people generally end up becoming friends.
Another way the social scene at UNH is formed is through dorm activities. Participating in dorm life is a great way to make friends. RAs and hall directors are constantly organizing “socials” and those can be as low key as getting everyone on your floor to come to the lounge to play Apples to Apples, or as exciting as competitions for the entire dorm to take part in. Because of fun activities like this, people living in the same dorms share a bond that can often create the feeling of a giant clique (without all the high school-ish drama.)
Or if you do feel the overwhelming need to get out of the dorms you can always head out to downtown Durham and grab some pizza or stop in the local bars. I think barhopping is popular around UNH because bars can create the same kind of aura as a party scene without the added stress of forced socialization. You don’t feel obligated to stay and have a good chat with everyone at a bar the way you might at a party. Although on the surface UNH might seem like a town pretending to be a city, if you hunt around and explore everything it has to offer you’ll never be bored.