Posts Tagged ‘college students’

7 College Campus Stereotypes

Categories: College Life

I bet you all the spare change on my desk that when you get to college, you will come across at least five of the seven stereotypes I’m about to explore.

Nobody likes to be grouped into a stereotype, but sometimes, the truth just speaks for itself, and definitely in the case of a college campus. I’m not sure if it’s something in the soft serve of the dorm cafeterias or what, but there’s something about a college campus that universally produces these stereotypes in sleeper cells who, before entering college, showed little to no sign of the following stereotypes until after they fully move into their dorms and say ‘goodbye’ to their parents:

1. Library Sleepover Guy/Girl
This character is the one who strangely prefers the claustrophobic space under a desk in the university library over the down comfortable and padded mattress of their own bed. Why would this be? Good question, and it’s fairly difficult to answer, coming from a pro-bed disposition, but I believe it has something to do with the cozy atmosphere of a library, especially if you’ve been in there for hours. The soft whispers, the fall-leaf crinkle of pages turning, the hypnotic melody of your peers typing term papers, the asbestos in the walls, you know. It’s certainly enough to get you to doze off–not to mention that you’ve been in there for 29 hours already and have just gone mad and are confusing the library for your bedroom.

2. Guy Who says “Work hard; play hard” Way Too Often
This phrase should’ve burnt out with the 80s, but unfortunately, it’s going strong among a small population. This person likes to, well, work hard, and then play hard. They’re usually the ones somehow able to function with a level 5 hangover. Allowing them to, you know, workhardplayhard.

3. Mr./Ms. Moocher
Whether it’s another precious Diet Coke from your mini fridge, or notes from American Culture 101, there is always somebody willing to catch a free ride. Sure, one Diet Coke is nothing. But soon, the Diet Cokes add up and eventually you’re basically helping your friend slide through class without lifting a finger–or buying the text book! Did that metaphor get mixed up? You get it.

4. The Unexpected Party Animal
This person was on 24-hour patrol by their parents before shipping off to college. The freedom is often jarring and catapults this usually in-bed-by-9pm type into crazy party animal behaviors. Don’t worry though, they’ll get the balance sooner or later.

5. Wait, They’ve Found Signs of Life Outside the Greek Bubble?
What’s most interesting is that even though nobody’s born into the Greek system, a certain group of people completely disregard the life they led before going Greek and treat non-Greek people as if they’re lost puppies without homes. Let them live in their little dream worlds. It’s cute and stupid. But mostly cute. And also stupid.

6. The Unassuming Genius
This is the best one. You’ll be asking a homework question to yourself out loud, like “Wait, so what’s the dif between diamond and graphite?” And your roommate who happens to be watching Real Housewives of Orange County because that’s what she does ALL day, says, “They are chemically identical–completely carbon-based– but their bonding patterns, graphite being held together like sheets, and diamond created from 4 incredibly strong covalent bonds result in completely different materials. The graphite in your pencil is writing this all down because the sheets can slide off easily since they’re only held be weaker Van der Waal bonds,” she says without looking away from the television. Kinda nice to have on tap.

7. Person Who Thinks That They’re the Only One in a Hard Class with A Lot of Work
This stereotype cannot get it through their heads that they are not the only ones on campus to be in a class that requires some hard work. It’s really annoying, but usually these types have a bunch of other redeeming qualities you can concentrate on. Usually.

Any stereotypes we’re missing? What would you be considered on campus? 

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5 Ways to Write a Great College Paper

Categories: College Life

Over the weekend I  began going through the ever-growing tower of past schoolwork I’ve kept from high school and college. I read through probably a hundred different papers I’ve written over the years. With each one, a little flood of pride swept over me–Wow, I knew what ‘Defenestration‘ meant?–and, ultimately decided to keep a bunch of them (and by ‘a bunch of them’ I really mean every single one).

You’re probably reading this post as a cry for help from my secret hoarder life, but it’s not (it is), it’s really not (I had to tunnel through my hallways filled with every newspaper since 1987 just to get to my room filled with 48 cats).

No, we’re talking about great college papers. With hindsight being 20/20, I was able to see what made some of my college papers works of, dare I say, genius, and others just kinda lumps of complicated words that didn’t really add up to much in the end.

Here’s my words of wisdom, which include the comments scribbled in the margins from professors who’ve read my papers:

1. You need to stop procrastinating now!
This one’s a bit obvious. But hey, here’s the simple fact: If you start your paper 5 hours before it’s due, chances are it will not be thoroughly researched, thought through, or finely edited. I’ve had my share of “let’s watch this marathon Law & Order all day and start writing at midnight” experiences. It shows in the work. If you start your paper when it’s assigned, you’ll have a chance to write an outline, fine-tune your thesis, and even sleep on your ideas. Letting your ideas marinate a bit will help them grow stronger, or will help you realize what works and what doesn’t. Give yourself the gift of time!

2. I’m confused, what’s your thesis?
Sometimes the things our teachers told us in high school don’t quite sink in. If that’s the case with what they taught you about a thesis, it’s definitely time to learn what a thesis is. The thesis in your paper is the argument you’re making. It can be as simple as “Juliette was stupid” or “Hamlet was a nutjob.” You can argue whatever you want, but it has to be a strong and interesting enough argument to carry through your entire paper.

3. Do you even know what this word means?
Avoid trying to sound smarter than you are. You are probably a very smart person. Using words because they sound esoteric will turn your paper into something pedantic and alien. Your teachers don’t care how much you can impersonate an academic voice as much as hearing YOU argue your thesis smartly and thoughtfully.

4. Did you read the book? I’m seriously concerned you didn’t read the book.
Read the book. They always know when you don’t read the book.

4.5 Please never write an essay in 15 pt Comic Sans Again. Please, I beg you.

5. Where’s the proof?
Once you have your thesis, go back carefully through the text to come up with evidence. Think of yourself as a little Sherlock Holmes and gather all the evidence you can for your argument. The proof is in the pudding. And in this case, the pudding is the text, not your memory of it.

Do you have any tips for writing a great college essay? Leave a comment! 

Friday College Town Hall

Categories: Admissions Advice

In Friday College Town Hall, we post a question about college, and you leave an answer in the comment field.

Today, in honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, we ask this question:

In the decade since 9/11, many of the millennial children who were in elementary school during the attacks are now in college or beginning their college searches.

How has your memory of 9/11 changed through these ten years, and what significance has it had on your role as an American student?

Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet at @Cappex to chime in (we’ll post your answer below).