Much of what we know about college students come from movies and popular culture, as well as our own experiences. Students are often perceived as party animals who always procrastinate, struggle financially, party, and focus excessively on their personal lives.
Needless to say that these stereotypes are often exaggerated, contradictory perceptions of student life that are much more complicated and diverse. In this article, the WriteEssayForMe team discusses and challenges some of the most popular stereotypes about college students’ trips.
Stereotype #1: College Students Are Always Procrastinating
There is a belief that college students are always struggling with meeting their deadlines. They spend sleepless nights skimming through thick books and desperately trying to memorize things before the exam because they have postponed their assignments for the whole semester. In reality, even the most responsible and committed students have to work very hard at college.
Effective time management skills do not guarantee that a student will not have to choose sleep over study. The workload is high in many educational institutions, especially the most prestigious ones, so all students must work very hard to meet the demanding requirements.
Of course, some students are labeled lazy and procrastinating for a reason. They are not interested in studying and do not invest sufficient time and effort into studying. Some students may appear lazy when they struggle to adjust to the transition from high school to college. The latter problem is common and happens when students cannot get used to the increased complexity of the assignments and do not want to complete them at all for the fear of failure.
Stereotype #2: College Students Party All the Time
Another popular stereotype concerning college students is that they spend most of their free time partying. Many people think that all students do in their dorms is drinking alcohol and party. Students having large houses invite all their friends around and organize loud parties that end up with fights and drama.
Much of these perceptions originate from movies emphasizing the fun part of college life over the boring one. In reality, however, students spend most of their time attending classes, completing assignments, engaging in extracurricular activities, and working part-time. Having free time is a privilege for many of them because they have too many college and family commitments.
Even when college students do party, it rarely looks like parties depicted in the movies. Young people live to socialize, meet new people, and build friendships, so they normally meet on campus or in public places. However, for those serious about studying, this aspect of college life is definitely not the most important one.
Stereotype #3: College Students Have No Money
College education is an incredibly expensive thing. Even the smartest students having scholarships need to cover their electricity bills, pay for food and gas, buy clothes, etc. Books also cost a lot, and one often needs to purchase new ones every semester. It is not surprising that many college students struggle to make ends meet.
In many ways, the stereotype about the students that seek to save every penny is not far from reality. They indeed try to live on a shoestring, which may be particularly challenging for those who lack financial management skills.
At the same time, many students work part-time and learn to be financially independent. College is an opportunity for them to gain money management skills such as creating a budget, writing shopping lists, building up savings, cutting back on unnecessary spending, etc. Therefore, perceiving all students as being unable to handle their finances is a mistake.
Stereotype #4: College Students Focus Too Much on Romantic Relationships
Another stereotype promoted by popular culture is that all students are preoccupied with their love lives. Young people indeed spend much time on building romantic relationships and dating, but it does not mean that it’s all students think about when they are in college. Love life may play an important role in their college experiences, but it does not define them. As we’ve already pointed out, there are often too many things students need to invest their time in, so some of them may not even have free time to date.
Stereotype #5: College Students Are Goal-Oriented and Know What They Want in Life
One more stereotype worth mentioning is that college students have clear goals about who they want to be. However, very few of them know exactly who they want to become and what they want to do for a living. It’s not a bad thing per se, as the college gives young people an opportunity to learn more about their interests, explore their strengths and weaknesses, and gain experiences that may ultimately determine their career choices.