Freshman Guide to Nightlife at Conn


Connecticut College may not be your typical party school (by any stretch of the imagination); however, partying is a part of the college experience no matter where you go, and Conn is certainly no exception.  Sure, everyone has different ideas of how to have fun in college, but whether or not you choose to partake in the party scene, understanding the nightlife at your school is just as important as choosing a major and figuring out how to get the most out of your career services center. (Okay, maybe not JUST as important, but it’s up there.)  The good news is, whether you threw the high school rager everyone is still talking about, or have never been to a party in your life, the nightlife at Conn has something for everyone.  Read on for the honest rundown of everything you need to know about going out at Conn.

Thursday and Saturday

Few classes run on Fridays anyway, and at Conn, the weekend starts on Thursday, regardless of your schedule.  Thursday and Saturday are by far the biggest nights for going out, with Thursday almost exclusively a bar night, and Saturday usually the biggest night for on-campus parties.  Fridays can be a little hit or miss, but you can usually find something if you’re interested.  The rest of the week, the party scene is definitely a lot tamer, which isn’t uncommon for a school the size of Conn, so you’ll want to make the most of your weekends.

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Where’s the Party?

Of course parties can happen anywhere, but there are a few hotspots where you’ll probably be spending the majority of your Saturday nights. The South campus dorms – in particular Freeman and JA – are well-known for having an active party culture.  However, Conn’s biggest supplier of nightlife entertainment usually comes from the Ridge and the Winches – two apartment groups located off the main campus across Route 32.

Cro Dances

After graduating high school, you may have thought school dances were a thing of the past, but not at Conn.  The SAC (Student Activities Council) hosts a number of dances at Cro, the student center, throughout the year.  School-sponsored dances may not sound like the epitome of college party life, but trust me, Cro dances are not your high school homecoming.  These dances are a big part of the student culture at Conn, and you won’t want to miss out on them.  You’ll probably still want to spend the first half of your night pregaming in South or at the Ridge, but after midnight, the Cro dances really do start to draw a crowd – not to mention the infamous visits from our neighbors at the Coast Guard Academy.

Bars

Thursday night will almost always be a big night to go off campus, with most students heading to one of the bars in downtown New London.  Some of the most popular bars for students are Exchange, Tiki, and Octane, but there are plenty of others in the area that can attract Conn students on any given Thursday.  The student run Facebook page Thirsty Camel is usually a good resource to see what the off-campus move is for the night.  Check it out here.

Fake IDs

Fake IDs are pretty common among underclassmen at Conn, and if you’re interested in participating in the Thursday night bar scene, having one is a must.  Don’t worry if you don’t have one yet though.  In general, people are usually willing to lend out fakes to friends, and the bars in New London are typically pretty lenient even if the picture isn’t a perfect match (unless you catch them on a bad night).  Not everyone shows up to Conn already the proud owner of a fake ID though, so there will probably be plenty of pools going around early in the year if you want to buy your own.

What to Wear

Sure, parties are great, but much like prom, getting ready is at least half the fun.  Between asking friends to help you choose an outfit, watching last minute makeup tutorials, and helping that one friend who’s already a little tipsy straighten her hair, some of your best weekend memories will probably be made right in front of your own dorm room mirror.  Everyone at Conn has their own style, and this diversity extends to the nightlife too.  Any given night out at Conn, you’ll see girls in everything from black leather and heels to boyfriend jeans and Converse.  Going out clothes are all about embracing what makes YOU feel sexy.

What if I Don’t Drink?

It may seem like EVERYONE at college is drinking, but in reality, there are plenty of people who choose to avoid alcohol for many different reasons.  If you don’t drink, don’t worry.  Conn has plenty of non-alcohol related activities, including plays, concerts, movie screenings, bingo nights, etc. Plus, there are tons of fun things to do around New London besides the bars as well.  There’s also nothing wrong with just having a relaxing movie night in your dorm room or going out to dinner with friends.  Don’t write off parties completely though just because you don’t drink.  Although being sober at parties can sometimes end up boring or awkward, if you go with a good group of friends you can still have plenty of fun at a party without drinking.

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Bottom Line

Whether you’re a scholar, musician, athlete, or artist, chances are you didn’t choose Conn for its party scene.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a thriving nightlife.  Partying is an important part of the Conn community, and in a lot of ways, the party culture at Conn actually benefits from the small, close-knit population.  There’s really no party like a Camel party.

Campus sunsets 🙌 #redskyatnight

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Kayla Kibbe

Connecticut College 2019. English Major.

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