You know — the kind that paint one’s teenage and young adult years to be a montage of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, that emphasize cliques and exaggerate social dynamics between students, that pit the nerd against the jock and the emo against the cheerleader (American Pie, Animal House, and Mean Girls to name a few).
Well, I’ve watched a few of them recently, and they reminded me of some of the wild stereotypes I’ve seen in the media—specifically on T.V. shows and in the movies. Below is the list I came up with (these are not my original thoughts, trust me):
10 Inaccurate College Kid Stereotypes as Portrayed by the Media:
- The Athlete: Traditionally, this student is dumb as a stump and unmotivated unless the task at hand involves squats, dead lifting or protein shakes. If he’s playing football or basketball at a D1 school, this guy thrives on the hero worship that he receives from his less athletic peers. It seems that all his flaws are forgiven just because he can put the ball in a hoop.
- The Frat Star: This guy is usually a business major—wealthy by inheritance—who makes use of his parents’ monies to fund themed keggers for the hot girls on campus. He’s generally a pretty boy, a chauvinist, misogynistic and strangely popular as a result of these personality traits. He wears backwards hats, patterned blazers, and colored pants (and pastels, definitely pastels). He plays women and gets praised for it by his frat bros.
- The Sorority Girl: On Wednesday’s, she wears letters. This girl is generally more interested in documenting her “good times” in scrapbooks and on social media accounts rather than actually having a good time. She wears ball gowns to athletic events and hosts floozy car washes “for charity.” She’s tan and gorgeous and has perfect hair and teeth and probably was a cheerleader in high school. Chances are she’s in a sorority because mom was during her glory days thirty years ago.
- The Over-Involved: This is the kid who went to O-Fest and signed up for 72 clubs, yet unlike the rest of us, she actually participates in all of them! If a student organization hosted something hugely successful on campus, it’s pretty much a guarantee that she’s responsible. She’s going places in life, and she never fails to make you feel embarrassed by your resume or lack thereof.
- The MRS Degree: This girl is at the university for one reason and one reason only—she wants the ring by spring of her senior year. She’s determined to get wifed up, so she’s on the prowl. She has no real interest in working after college, so if you’re pre-Dent/pre-Med or blessed with good inheritance, you’re her type. Boys, if you are single, she will find you and make you the father of her children.
- The Stoner: Although this person can party like a Frat Star, she generally prefers a chill setting that oozes cool vibes. She does neat things like play the harmonica and writes pottery. Her iPod playlists consist largely of Jack Johnson and Bob Marley-esque tunes, and she’s no stranger to Colorado if you catch my drift.
- The 4.0 Student: This is self-explanatory. This person is a studier to the max. He frets about any and every academic assignment, and his dedication to his school work always pays off with very high marks at the end of the semester. He laminates his papers before handing them in and spends his Saturday nights hitting the books. He visits his academic advisor’s office at least once a week for no real reason and is buddies with most of his professors because they admire his mental acuity.
- The Jesus Freak: This is the Bible huggin’, street corner preachin’, “Kumbaya” singin’ Christian fundamentalist that you can find in the church choir or in the first pew on Sunday morning. He is ostracized by his peers because he fails to acknowledge the merit of any opinion that strays from his own, and his radically conservative views seem rather out of place at most academic institutions.
- The Freshmen: They travel in packs everywhere—to the dining hall, to house parties, to class, to the library, heck, even to the bathroom. These little lemmings are overly enthusiastic about all campus activities and unnecessarily stressed out about their academic endeavors. They embody characteristics of both the Over-Involved and the 4.0 Student at times.
- The Resident Assistant: They’re pretty much merciless dictators out to kill fun and squelch any spark of joy. Clipboard in hand, they are feared by any undergraduate under the age of 21.
I don’t think any Marquette student fits a single one of these stereotypical molds. Our sorority sisters are compassionate, multi-faceted, intelligent and unique. Our athletes are determined to succeed in virtually all of their academic and athletic endeavors. And RA’s are regular people, too!
In fact, the only two that might apply to more than a few of our students are The 4.0 Student and The Over-Involved (not the worst stereotypes in the world, am I right?). MU students and college kids around the country, I think it’s time that we stand up to the media and prove cultural misconceptions wrong! We are not our stereotypes.