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College kids fall neatly into a small number of stereotypes. The college touts the wide range of backgrounds, nationalities, talents, and interests of its student body, and suggests that its programs lead to greater understanding that will discourage cliques from forming. Given this, it is astonishing that there are stereotypes at all. But it is also undeniable. Brief study will help you understand the other kids at college and, when you realize you cannot coexist without protection, decide which clique you should join and how best to become a stereotype yourself.
Frats are students who attend college by virtue of trust funds or their parents' money. To them, the goal of college is not to acquire knowledge or understanding, but rather, cronies from which they can get a living after graduation, often by reminding those cronies of events that took place before graduation.
Accumulating cronies also guides the Frat's selection of a college. They do not look at accreditation or curriculum but start to imagine how many famous people and children of famous people they will be able to rub elbows with.
It also guides the Frat's behavior once inside college. This means he does whatever he has to do to join one of the college's fraternities. He will go on panty raids, steal all the barber poles in town, dig up the parking meters and put them in the Dean's front yard, or even streak through the street.
Once he has been accepted by a fraternity, the Frat can finally turn his attention to the real business of college: pussy and beer. Unfortunately, these two work against one another. The sex life of a Frat is short, as after the third year of weekly keggers and daily cheese-crust pizza, he morphs from Eric “Otter” Stratton into Bluto (John Belushi).
The Frat's stay at college itself faces obstacles. There is a small chance of actually flunking out, and a larger chance that the parents, who might have been willing to pay for a Senior year, will not be willing to pay more bail for public intoxication arrests.
The female version of a Frat is the sorority chick. They spend more money on their tits than their textbooks. They are in college because a degree and even a teaching certificate is "something to fall back on" in the event that they do not manage to snag a husband out of one of the fraternities. Sorority chicks carry a set of birth control pills in their purse. However, close inspection reveals them to be a matrix of 28 Mini SweeTarts, as they do not want to avoid pregnancy but to convince their Mr. Right that they are avoiding pregnancy. Sorority chicks are not "air-heads." That is simply a show they put on to repel boys whose parents don't, at the very least, own a private ski lodge.
edit Fine Arts students
The college is tasked with serving all different types of student, including students who cannot do simple "academic" tasks such as memorizing, taking notes of things they cannot memorize, and working from premises to conclusions. However, "a customer is a customer," to quote Col. Harland Sanders. (Or, to quote Ray Kroc, "Millions Served Daily.") The college caters to the special needs of these tousle-haired tuition checks with the Department of Fine Arts.
This does not mean that what they lack in cognition, they make up for in artistic skill. Anyone who has attended a college recital or exhibit knows that art and music students suck at art and music too.
What draws them to the Department of Fine Arts is the fact that the professors are different and more human, eager to stay late after class to discuss profound topics, resume the colloquy at the tavern, share houses with them and usually a bed, or merely feel them up in the orchestra pit after hours. Remarkably, this never leads to favoritism in grading, nor even accusations of it.
Fine Arts majors display regular tantrums to confirm their "artistic temperament." They always carry a thick picture book, listed in the New York Times Review of Books, that the rest of us would simply put on our coffee table and not claim to have read. Fine Arts students, by comparison, neither read it nor even bought it, but checked it out of the library, where it is overdue, because Fine Arts majors cannot be expected to tell whether the current date is before or after the due date.
edit Art students
Art students usually dress like hippies. They wear garish clothing, such as brightly knitted wool hats that would be gauche if a Gamer wore it. Art students often wear thick-rimmed glasses, the same as Remedials. Art students are similar politically to Lefties and discuss homeopathic medicine and vegan cuisine. They take in niche foreign films, while the rest of the student body views porn, which turns out to be the same thing. Art students sport facial hair (males as well as females) and experiment with drug use.
Art students are boring and awkward. They buttonhole other students to explain their art, never understanding that art that needs explaining is as bad as a joke that needs explaining. They do not want to hear that from someone who is obviously either stupid or a willful kill-joy. Art students want to hear that their creations are "nuanced" and "thought-provoking," or else their next piece of work may be in red lipstick or blood all over your bathroom mirror.
edit Music students
Music students are always rehearsing in a college band to be like Marty McFly. They run around acting like a celebrity by virtue of being a college choir member. They might wear a scarf on a sweltering summer day, as it guarantees that someone from a record label will recognize them and sign them to a multi-album deal.
Music students who are completely tone-deaf have several options:
- They can join the college symphony, where they can be the third or fourth chair, so that others of the same instrument will drown them out.
- They can join the Marching Band, so they only perform at half-time of football games, where no one came to see them nor cares if they are out of tune.
- They can join the theater troupe, and gravitate to an important though unseen job hauling ropes on the wings of the stage.
- They can join the color guard, twirl batons or flags, and claim to be humming though unable to carry a tune.
Music students are essentially music consumers. They attend a rock concert every week, and eventually turn every conversation to the musicians they have listened to. By the time their college years are over, their entire personality will be a bask in the reflected glory of one or more real musicians. All they will remember about those years is the time Freddie Mercury asked them directions to the washroom between sets.
These students enrolled in college after they saw in the brochure that all the dorms had broadband and a full cable package. Apart from the four-year paid vacation from reality that attracts other kids, Gamers see it as a perfect place to play endless games of World of Warcraft. A typical grade-point average is 1.90, but most are WoW at Level 85.
Gamers are all on the Internet but none have anything as social as a Facebook page. However, they may tweet, as this lets them exchange location and give simple yes/no responses without worrying about things getting too profound.
Gamers have dates every Friday night. This means a dozen of them take over the computer lab and have pizzas sent in. Many co-eds hope to get dates, and look past the Gamers' Mohawk haircuts, stretched earlobes, Coke-bottle glasses, and face-piercings, until they find out how little room the Gamers have for females on their "dates."
edit Anime nerds
A related niche for students who do poorly at pressing buttons and operating joysticks is the anime nerd. This revolves around the fascination for Japanese things, such as Toyotas and Shigeru Miyamoto. They compulsively collect Pokemon and Manga, sleep-talk verbatim from Naruto, and own the entire collection of Cowboy Bebop DVDs (in Japanese and uncensored), which they claim to have bootlegged off the Internet.
They claim to "study Japanese." This means that, if a non-Japanese word is written in katakana, they can sound it out. (It is already translated.) This impresses other students.
It is hard to distinguish an anime nerd from other types of gamer, but it doesn't matter. You will never meet one, as they don't like to be around other people. The reason they picked college over home web coursework? High-speed broadband, same as the other gamers. You do not want to date an anime nerd, as you neither want to eat raw fish or watch him do it.
These people are notorious for pushing the lethal and highly toxic drug marijuana. Most marijuana smokers die as a result before they are out of secondary school, with only secondary smokers making it to college. The dangers of marijuana smoking include catching HIV from sharing needles, eating one's own fingers as a result of "the munchies" and being shot by the police.
Stoners are the hardest-working college students so that they can go on to graduate school and eventually increase their marijuana intake by becoming professors. They can then motivate the next generation's marijuana enthusiasts to follow in their footsteps. This cycle is why marijuana is often called a "gateway drug."
These abound in rural Community Colleges, but are even in the Ivy League, provided the college has a football team. The redneck superficially resembles the frat boy, whom the redneck asks to buy beer for him, but rednecks wear more camouflage and rearrange their schedule for hunting season and major NASCAR events. They can list the hundreds of fellow students who are also their cousins and siblings, and prefer them as dorm roommates.
Redneck dorm rooms are plastered with anti-Obama posters and NRA bumper stickers. They were lucky to be admitted on a full athletic scholarship, because inbreeding put an academic stipend out of the question. They are well-informed on current events, thanks to FOX News, but remedial reading programs will help these students take in an actual newspaper by the end of their sophomore year.
edit Adult students
One of the ways that the budget-minded college invents new services to cater to students who don't really belong there is Continuing Education. This happy phrase assumes that the adult student started getting educated to begin with, and that returning to college will result in more education. There is no reason to believe either thing. However, a trickle of adults in their forties or fifties who got laid off from their job will — instead of filing for Permanent Disability or the many programs that benefit those displaced by imports, computerization, or ever-earlier sunrises — voluntarily return to college to get good at skills that the world actually needs, now that there are neither typewriters nor shoe factories outside the Third World. College promises to give them new directions for their lives.
Adult students usually know more than the professor, although on topics that ceased to be relevant twenty years ago, but that doesn't keep them from arguing with him. Economics courses are particular magnets for adult students, as the laid-off adult knows he needs a better grasp of budgeting and accounting — and to explain to the professor how the current weak economy is George W. Bush's fault.
A subtle additional draw for adult students is the Frat life. Adult students often wear a letter jacket from high school (acquired at a flea market) and a motorcycle helmet that he takes out of the trunk just after parking his Ford. Adult students long for dates with a few of those creamy, jiggly co-eds — because one of the things that ceased to be relevant twenty years ago is how handsome they used to be back then. That is, the average adult student is in the middle of a mid-life crisis and the pinnacle of his year or two back in college will be realization that he is too old for casual hook-ups, and probably for any Continuing Education.
These are the Gifted Students. (Yes, binge-drinking is also a gift, but its practitioners are never referred to as gifted.) They are on their way to remaking the world, but for the time being are stuck in a four-year program learning the principles of computing that may explain the computer they built from spare parts in Kindergarten.
While they wait, the only challenge for them is to be on the President's List each and every quarter; or failing that, the Dean's List or perhaps the Paramedic's List. They are never seen in the library or even just outside smoking a cigarette.
On rare occasions, they will get a grade of B rather than A. Usually, this means they promptly switch to a different major.
Lefties are students who are on the political left wing. They have a prepared spiel about how they are in college to expand their horizons and broaden their mind, provided nothing challenges the assumptions that they arrived with. Senior Lefties watch MSNBC and CNN, listen to NPR, and read the Huffington Post, just as they did when they were Freshman Lefties. They are fine with keeping pornography on the college cable system, provided FOX News is removed.
Broadening the mind allows for a large exception when the Leftie encounters a student on the right wing, for which "Hello" is a "microaggression" that will make the Leftie organize a protest outside the Administration Building to be given Safe Zones and have their molesters expelled.
Lefties use social media, primarily to find the time and location of the next accusation that a football player raped a co-ed (which means an accusation that a male student might be a football player). The college's thick policy manual calls for these accusations to be decided according to due process. This means that all the womyn on campus gather and chant at the accused. The most serious charges, such as verbal rape, are handed off to city police.
Lefties are overwhelmingly enrolled in the college's numerous Grievance Studies programs. These teach the Lefties how to evaluate a phenomenon, such as a white man staying late at work, from the standpoint of the enduring legacy of slavery. After four years of this, their only qualification is to attend for four more years, and then ultimately become college professors themselves. At this time, "the circle is now complete," to quote Darth Vader.
Right-wing students? At a college? What a quaint question. The college does have a chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom, though it can't book a conference room at the Student Center, as the administration says their meetings might attract protests that could turn violent. The chapter was organized by a professor who was proud to back Goldwater (though the Reagan thing went awry). He and a handful of students discuss the valor of the conservative philosophy — which they will not even try to explain to the 99% of students getting Federal Aid to help with the inexplicably high tuition.
Any college administrator will tell you that the institution has a "mandate" to deliver services to all who can benefit, and a few who cannot. There is no link between this mindset and the public debt, and the college even trains a new generation to "pay it off," by teaching them how to explain it away.
Consequently, there are many people on campus who the unenlightened may think do not belong there. They are sometimes in courses whose name ends in 101 — a few make it to 102 — but they spend most of their time in courses named after themselves: Remedial Reading, Remedial Math, and Remedial Personal Hygiene. It is remarkable that, alongside the College of Business and College of Women's Studies, the institution has set up a College of the Ninth Grade, but it's there, and its employees will drive to the legislature to ensure that it never goes away.
It is hard to recognize a Remedial in class. The Coke-bottle glasses are the same as many gamers wear, they dress credibly, though the shirt is sometimes backwards, and they never give themselves away by trying to ask the professor a question. Even their distinctive smell vanishes by the second semester.
The basis of Remedial courses is that, after a year of it, the Remedials will be ready to take their place alongside normal college students, as they should have been before they came in. Remedials will then have a full year of credits and be only three years of real work from graduating with the same four-year degree you are sweating for. Each Remedial would then have to pick a fallback clique. But it doesn't matter, because they all wash out. Remedials become supermarket baggers, each planning a bank heist to get back at society for promising them a college education and then not delivering.
edit Affirmative Action Annies
High on the list of facts that college seeks to Remediate is the fact that many blacks have little use for college at all. Happily, this, like everything, can be corrected by a sufficiently large bureaucracy.
Affirmative Action Annie, apart from amusing alliteration, is sexist. The modern term that spans
both all nineteen sexes genders/preferences is "Homiez."
The difference is that Remedials come to college to stop needing remedies, while Homiez come to college to learn how to get through life as a Homie. This makes it easy to identify Homiez. Half a dozen will enter your Political Science class, march to the front, and start chanting about what haterz everyone else is. This means that nothing more gets done in class except that the professor gives a reading assignment and promises to email the location of the next session.
No less than the military, it is not enough for the college to open itself up to Homiez. It has teams of statisticians whose job is to ensure that an equal proportion of them graduate. For them to wash out like Remedials would mean that someone is a racist. How they do this is beyond the scope of this article, but it explains why, when you list your degree at the Job Fair, all the interviewer wants to see is how you hold a broom.
Like "Affirmative Action Annie," the term "LGBT" (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or just Thinking about it) is obsolete. There are a dozen new initials now, and they are all wrestling to be closer to the front.
LGBTs seek to imitate the success of Homiez in making college less about college and more about themselves. LGBTs are easy to identify: Even if not introduced as LGBT, they will tout it within one minute to everyone they meet. For this reason, it is said that "LGBT is the new Jew." Having the same all-expense-paid four years as other students, and having found something more important than History and Calculus, LGBTs spend the four years exploring dimensions of their own sexuality (like navel-gazing, but a bit lower), including:
- How society needs to change to accommodate them
- Whose fault it is that they have to go to college at all, as LGBTs should just get everything for free
- Whether you are sexist or closed-minded to claim you have an appointment rather than listen to the story of their sexual evolution.
Actually, in the case of the Frat, it is also about four all-expense-paid years of promiscuity. The difference is that, each time the Frat lays a new cheerleader, there is no social message you have to hear.
Ensuring that college treats LGBTs fairly is even beyond the skills of the college's teams of "bean"-counters. This is because the "L" Freshman (a female who dresses like a male but sleeps with females) may by the Senior year be a female with a prosthetic penis who dresses unisex and now prefers males.
edit Bland college student
These are the kids whose photos are in the college brochures. They go home on the weekends to eat fruit and vegetables and get their laundry done. They mind their own business, brush their hair and teeth in the morning, and hang out with actual friends, as opposed to teammates or accomplices. These kids are into studying and getting top grades, rather than destroying their liver, brain cells and parental sanity. They are usually in at least 9 or 10 clubs or societies and can be found in a lecture hall with a lecturer at the front, learning stuff, reading textbooks and taking notes at the same time.
Bland students have horrible fashion sense. They generally look as though they bought their clothes from Macy's or Kohl's during a close-out sale. However, they don't mind, nor even care how much ridicule they get from other students. A bland student knows that, five years from now, he will be their boss or dentist, and able to get perfect payback via a mediocre annual salary review or a root canal where the anesthetic shot landed a bit off. Many business students are good examples of the bland student. In off-time, they are hunched over a laptop sorting out their CV, doing groundwork for job interviews, and listening to Jack Johnson, Bach, or self-actualization podcasts.