by Emily Hussey
Like any group of people, college students have a stereotype. They are perceived as Netflix-binging alcoholics living in a world saturated with hook-up culture and all-nighters. When I arrived at college, I tried (and failed) to embrace the stereotypes because I thought it was what I was “supposed” to do. I have since learned that trying to pigeonhole oneself into a stereotype is not a healthy or authentic way to live. Although I am a college student, the stereotypes of a college student do not accurately describe me, and that’s okay. Here are five reasons why.
I do not really watch Netflix in college. I have schoolwork, a sorority, friends, and various campus activities. I feel vastly unproductive and uncomfortable if I’m watching Netflix instead of fulfilling an obligation. I don’t mind binge-watching Netflix on school breaks, but during the school year, I don’t really like it.
I actually get sleep. My roommate and I had 8:00 classes my freshman year, so we would turn out the light around 11:00. Sometimes, if we were feeling particularly ambitious, it would be 10:30. We both valued our sleep because we knew that we needed it to function properly.
That being said, I have never pulled an all-nighter. It is counterproductive to me. I recognize the importance of a good night’s sleep; I prioritize it. I am not saying I don’t procrastinate, but I do always make sure to work on a paper or study for a test far enough in advance so that I don’t have to stay up too late the night before.
I go to every class (unless I am really sick or have a valid reason not to.) My parents graciously pay for my college, and I am very aware that every class I attend costs money. The main reason I go to college is to further my education and ensure a successful future post-graduation. It seems pointless to me to skip class just because I “can” without “getting in trouble” (although most of my professors do take attendance – Millsaps for you.)
I try to look at least somewhat presentable for class. It makes my day tremendously better. I hate rolling out of bed five minutes before class starts. I relish in the routine of getting ready at a gradual pace while sipping my coffee as I mentally prepare for the day.
I am not in any way condemning the typical college kid stereotype, but there is no point in pretending it fits me just because I am, in fact, a college kid. Stereotypes exist for a reason – there are certainly people out there who fit at least one of the stereotypes I mentioned, and if that works for them, great. I encourage everyone, especially college students, to embrace who they truly are. It is much more important to do what makes you individually happy than worrying about fitting a stereotype.