10 Colleges Where It’s Hardest to Party


The stereotypical college party frequently inspires one of two extreme reactions — delight or disgust, with motivations as varied as the people holding them. How frequent and how wild these gatherings get sometimes impact whether an applicant deems a campus right for them. Discussions about the best schools for tailgating, Greek life, house parties, and other events which vary from the responsible, low-key enjoyment of alcohol, tobacco, and sex to raucous bacchanals worthy of the eponymous god’s visitation always pepper discussions of higher education culture. But rarely does anyone peek into the institutions where these opportunities prove the least likely to present themselves. While parties do exist on these campuses, and students do head off to enjoy the surrounding cities’ sights and sounds, the shape of the happenings in question differ from the expected experience.

Of course, the students here ought not receive any sort of chastising for their decision to attend these schools. They’re autonomous adults studying various different degrees – real estate, public administration, psychology, nursing, counseling, etc. – capable of making up their own minds about what environments would prove most conducive to their personal needs, and gravitating toward or shying away from traditional party atmospheres for any reason remains their prerogative. So be excellent to one another in the comments section, OK? OK.

  1. Patrick Henry College:

    Journalist Hannah Rosen chronicled the atmosphere of evangelical Christian Patrick Henry College in her God’s Harvard, and its heavily political bent means students keep themselves away from anything too scandalous. Fans of low-key parties without alcohol or tobacco products or the promise of walking away with a fetching new co-ed would get along just fine here, though, as both the substances and premarital sex are off-limits to students both on and off campus. Administrators, faculty, staff, and students, for the most part, project their religious beliefs through these and other guidelines, leaving more time to maintain Patrick Henry’s famously high academic standards. As the book points out, some enrollees rebel by sneaking off campus for a more traditional party experience, but getting caught means serious social and scholastic penalties.

  2. United States Military Academy at West Point:

    An effective military is a disciplined military, so it makes perfect sense that one of the premier training grounds for Army personnel would restrict cadets’ private lives more than the average college. That’s not to say they don’t party; they do, but students here still experience a regimented existence, including mandatory athletics, Friday night study periods, drug testing, and other activities meant to instill a sense of honor, duty, and other military values. West Point does allow for leisure time, of course, though for the most part enrollees (particularly the “plebes,” or freshmen) must absolutely stick with the requirements. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action, which might even mean a dishonorable discharge in more severe cases.

  3. Brigham Young University:

    In accordance with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, both Brigham Young University campuses (in Utah and Idaho) restrict sexual activity and the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee in their housing facilities, be it dorms or apartments in other parts of the city. “Preserv[ing] the quiet enjoyment” of all residents is one of the highest priorities, making the school a particularly effective environment for studying with minimizing distractions. But for students who love guzzling beers from a keg during tailgate parties, football games, and fraternity events, BYU probably won’t prove a snug fit. Off-campus, however …

  4. United States Naval Academy:

    “Even plebes have free time on weekends,” but West Point’s maritime rival still sticks with staunch restrictions and requirements of its cadets. Their days come planned from 5:30 in the morning to either 11:00 p.m. or midnight (depending on rank), and permission (“liberty”) must be granted for any nonscheduled time off. Anyone receiving town liberty may not stray beyond 22 miles of the Yard and wear the appropriate uniform, and other restrictions apply based on standing and rank. That’s not to say parties don’t happen, of course. Like most military colleges and universities, revelry involving the usual hedonistic pleasures isn’t banned so much as it is regulated to permitted times. Spontaneously inviting friends over for late-night drinks and fraternizing, a common occurrence at most schools, probably doesn’t happen much here.

  5. Liberty University:

    Jerry Falwell himself founded this evangelical institution, and its student body voluntarily refrains from participating in more traditional college experiences, like the archetypical late night drinkathon or sharing a few glasses of red wine while dissecting the satirical nature of Robocop with snarky film enthusiasts. Alcohol is, of course, off-limits on campus, and the curfew sits at midnight for most weekdays, 10:30 p.m. on Thursdays, and 12:30 a.m. over weekends. As for movie night … feel free to hold them! But what gets popped into the DVD or Blu-Ray player must not come packaged with a PG-13, R, or NC-17 rating. Even some PG-rated films are considered off-limits, so choose wisely — if things get a little too feisty, the RA may pop in at any minute and exact justice. Like Robocop.

  6. United States Coast Guard Academy:

    By this point, readers have probably figured out that they shouldn’t apply to the military-oriented colleges and universities out there if they desire the freedom to pop in and out and party as they please. The United States Coast Guard Academy is not an exception proving the rule, with cadets tackling a life the school admits is “relentless,” though “the rewards are invaluable.” Participation requires intensive physical, mental, and emotional discipline, with every non-liberty hour scheduled until 10:00 p.m. lights out (midnight with special permission) on weekdays and Sundays. It isn’t that the usual trappings of college partying are outright barred here so much as there exists little time in which to participate in them.

  7. Oral Roberts University:

    Students at Oral Roberts University must all sign pledges declaring their abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and premarital sex — among other things, of course. And these vows extend to their on- and off-campus behavior, meaning their partying experiences won’t prove less fun than their public school peers’ so much as merely different than stereotype dictates. The University Discipline Committee doesn’t literally follow students around to ensure compliance with all codes, but it concerns itself with doling out punishments to anyone caught violating their pledge agreements, including yanking scholarship funds if necessary. Sneaking out here comes with some pretty high risks, so party and experimental types might want to look elsewhere so they don’t have to keep worrying!

  8. Hyles-Anderson College:

    This incredibly controversial (and unaccredited) college sits close to Chicago — where it holds many of its finest off-campus events — but its students can’t partake of the city’s more adult pleasures. Because of Hyles-Anderson College’s comparatively more separatist nature when compared to its evangelical brethren, many of the student behavior requirements extend to off-campus activities as well. That means the usual trifecta of avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and sexy times, but card games, gambling, dancing, Hollywood films, and other pursuits as deemed by the school are also off-limits. Partying here requires a little more creative flair, but it obviously can be done! Try a craft night or potluck.

  9. Asbury College:

    Drinking (even non-alcoholic beer and “virgin” cocktails), tobacco products, gambling, and sexual activity of all types are all outlawed for all Ashbury College students, and the school refuses to hold dances or allow any sanctioned organizations to host any on or off campus. For movie nights, RAs permit most PG and PG-13 films, provided they do not depict any behaviors deemed inappropriate. Anything with an R rating requires special permission, so students here have to ask before partaking of Robocop in all its droolingly dystopian glory. Interaction between male and female friends sometimes requires different levels of approval depending on the whats and wheres of their social time.

  10. Pensacola Christian College:

    Music buffs at Pensacola Christian College forego the use of headphones and ear buds, and are largely relegated to playing “classical, semi-classical, and good Christian music” when sharing tunes with friends; anyone caught violating this recommendation (not explicit ban) might see parts of their collection held for questioning and returned if approved. Both on and off campus, all students must keep away from alcohol, tobacco, consensual sexual activity (nonconsensual is, no matter one’s religious or nonreligious leanings, always an abomination), dancing, cards, and gambling. Renting and watching movies is also outright stated as prohibited, though despite the handbook’s warnings, they’re allowed provided they fall within the school’s approved guidelines. That means nothing with sensuality, sexuality, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, or occult and/or Satanic themes. Some of these restrictions unfortunately eliminate Robocop as a possibility.

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