NC State Campus Life: How Students Like to Have Fun


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NC State is the biggest university in North Carolina, so obviously there’s a lot to do here. The campus itself is surrounded by some amazing restaurants and hole-in-the-wall hangouts, and the college is just a few minutes from Downtown Raleigh and a couple of hours from the beach and the mountains. If you’re a new student or transfer student, you’re going to love NC State!

Think you’re going to miss out on everything because you’re a commuter student? Think again! Here’s a peek at all the fun events, popular hangouts, and student traditions.

Sports, Festivals, and Other Events

As far as sports go, football and basketball are king at NC State. In fact, people are willing to show up hours early to wait for the best seats in either Carter Finley Stadium or PNC Arena.

Other popular events on and close to campus include Packapalooza (an all-day block party that’s hosted well-known bands like We The Kings), the North Carolina State Fair, the Krispy Kreme Challenge, and Art2Wear.

Hanging Out Around Campus

Location is part of the reason students come here. Downtown Raleigh — and all of its restaurants, museums, art galleries, bars, and clubs — is just 10 minutes from Main Campus. There are concerts, food truck rodeos, parades, and outdoor movie nights, and that’s not including all of the fun on NC State’s campus.

Brickhouse grill near NC StateBrickhouse Sports Pub on Hillsborough Street
fayetteville streetFayetteville Street in Downtown
lake near nc stateLake Johnson

The Food Scene is Awesome

If you’re craving sushi, burritos, burgers, stew, pasta, or even something fancier, you’ll find a nice meal somewhere close to campus. Off-campus restaurants include your run-of-the-mill fast food places like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, local chains like Cookout and Bojangle’s, and one-of-a-kind eateries like Mitch’s Tavern and Amedeo’s.

Completing the NC State Bucket List

Nowhere else on Earth will you find a college that actually encourages graffiti. NC State’s Free Expression Tunnel is essentially a public canvas that sits right in the middle of Main Campus, and painting it is a rite of passage for students.

Other NC State student traditions include taking a photo of the iconic Belltower, eating Howling Cow ice cream (which is made right on campus!), watching a movie at the Campus Cinema, and wearing red and white to sporting events.

You’ll Love Living Near NC State!

Even if you live off of NC State’s campus and commute to class, you’ll still be able to participate in all the campus life. Student life here revolves around athletics (especially football and basketball), around outdoor life, around the performing arts, and around North Carolina’s agricultural heritage. State’s culture has a little bit of everything, fitting for such a diverse student body at a large university.

So go ahead, experience everything it has to offer!

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