Students who live away from their families are generally housed in dormitories at least for their first year.
Men and women often live in the same building,though they may live on separate floors.
Some dorms have a theme, like an international house,where students can learn about other cultures.
In language houses,students try to avoid speaking their native language.
The idea is to learn a different language.
Many colleges and universities have a Greek system that students can join.
This is a social system with fraternity houses for males and sorority houses for females.
Members take part in campus activities and volunteer work,and may also live and go to parties at Greek houses.
Colleges and universities often have many clubs that students can join.
These include political, religious and service clubs,as well as groups for activities like singing, dancing, cooking, even learning how to juggle.
Schools may also have intramural sports clubs.
These are for students who do not play for a school team but want organized sports with other students.
And schools will often recognize a new club or activity if enough students are interested.
But one activity that legally is only supposed to be for people age 21 and over is drinking alcohol.
Some college presidents and others have suggested that a lower drinking age could have the effect of reducing alcohol abuse.
Others disagree and point to a study just published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Researchers found large reductions in heavy, or binge, drinking in young people between 1979 and 2006.
They said this was likely a result of the legal drinking age being raised to 21 and other policy changes aimed at reducing underage drinking.
But they found little improvement for college students.
There was no reduction in binge drinking for college men.
And college women 21 to 23 had bigger increases than non-students in that age group.