Nightlife doesn't really come alive for ISU students until the magical day when they turn 21. Until then, Iowa State students just don't have a lot to do, in terms of clubbing and bar-hopping, unless they go to Iowa City or Des Moines. But there are plenty of parties around, and the social scene is definitely alive. There are things to do if you are not 21—you just have to look a little harder for them.
For students who aren't as comfortable with the bar scene, activities and concerts in the Memorial Union are available, and there are always movies to see at one of the movie theaters. The dorms clear out a lot on weekend nights, with students either going home or going to parties. So, if you don't party, find others who don't either, and get together and watch movies or play games. Otherwise, weekends can get really lonely. For most students, though, nightlife is just fine. Students who are 21 seem to be very satisfied with the nightlife in Ames. If you enjoy rowdy parties, Iowa State is right up your alley!