Here's my post-1L Fall perspective: I am not into the "fratty" part of the "culture" either, but you will find plenty of people who are the same as you. You won't miss out on much if you happen skip Bar Review/drinking events every week - you will still make friends and no one is going to exclude you for making a choice not to drink. People may call it "cliquey" but every setting (school-work-sports-military) is going to be like that. What makes UVA great is that the cliques are "soft cliques" (for lack of a better word), and it's easy to make friends who are different than you and make your own group of friends. I don't think my classmates view me as a social curmudgeon or weirdo for not getting wasted with them every Thursday night. Honestly the only people I've ever heard people talk about in a "negative way" are people who never hang out with anyone - e.g. never go to softball, never hang out in between classes, never go to section dinners/non-alcoholic events.TheSpanishMain wrote:Question about UVA culture.
So, to my surprise, I was admitted yesterday. I'm a veteran and was previously planning to go to W&M in the hopes of reentering the military as a JAG officer. UVA was a huge reach for me, so I was pleasantly surprised. UVA for free (GI Bill) is hard to pass up.
My wife is still active duty and is stationed on the east side of Virginia, about 2 hours from Charlottesville. We've discussed the possibility of me just renting a studio apartment crash pad in Charlottesville, and then coming home on the weekends/whenever possible.
I know some people describe UVA as having a "fratty" drinking and softball culture. Are people who sort of opt out of this social pariahs? I'm going to be 30 when I start school, and as a married guy, I'd much rather spend my weekends with my wife as opposed to softball leagues and doing shots in bars. I'm not judging or opposed to that (I was there once myself), but I don't see myself really diving in to that aspect of the school. However, I also don't want to be seen as the class weirdo or curmudgeon. I'm pretty social and friendly, and would happily get a beer with someone on a Tuesday night, but my weekends would almost exclusively be spent away from Charlottesville.
Also, softball is during the week after or in between classes for the most part (I'd highly encourage participating - it's only one hour during the week, no harm in having a little fun/exercise each week).