Does living the academic life really change THAT much?
You may have heard these clichés before. You may have tried to argue with others who have claimed these clichés are true. You may have even believed some of the clichés yourself. But how true are they really? Well, here are my thoughts on the matter:
“Alcohol is their world.”
The consumption of copious amounts of alcohol is obviously going to be high up on many a student’s list. This isn’t going to go away. Do you honestly think that many 18 and 19 year olds would want to miss out on cheap drink down the Student Union?
Nevertheless, only the most die hard of drinkers will claim alcohol to be the single wonder of the academic world. For most others, it’s part and parcel of uni life, just like lectures and studying are. They might not always be the best thing, but you know it’s usually worth it in the long run.
I’m not your Dad, fair enough…But remember to stick to your limit and don’t go crazy. So what if one of your mates can drink for Britain? So what if he chooses whisky for his mouthwash of choice? It doesn’t mean you need to follow that path. If you’ve had a bit too much to drink, stop before it gets worse. Don’t fall for the peer pressure. If you’re going to look a dick either way, you might as well make it a more sober dick. You’ve got more chance of redeeming the night that way…trust me. I’ve only ever managed to redeem myself from a completely drunken state once. It was just luck.
“It’s just an excuse to get off with loads of people.”
Sometimes I look back to university life in the same way some people look back to the 60s. There was an air of free love and excitement and carefree ways.
But this cliche really does depend on the person.
In previous posts, I’ve already explained that I continued a long-distance relationship throughout my entire time at uni. That doesn’t mean I don’t have hundreds of stories to tell. I mean, it was impossible to get away from sex, romance, naked bodies, flirting, and everything else related to sexual relations. It was university, after all.
So I suppose, in general, some people did use their time as an excuse to get off with loads of people. And some of the most unlikely and prudish of people lost their virginity under strange circumstances at uni. I’m sure my place of study wasn’t the only one in the UK to have that kind of thing going on. In fact, I know it wasn’t, because peeps I knew from other unis had similar stories of orgies and romps and ‘things that go bump-bump-bump-bump-bump in the night’…
“They sit around all day, not doing any work, and watching daytime TV.”
This is just a rubbish slur from people who don’t understand. If you’re a student and you don’t have a study period at some point in the day, there’s every possibility you’ll be sat down in your room, in the kitchen, in a friend’s room, at the refectory, or a million other possible places where there happens to be a TV on. That doesn’t mean all you’re doing is sitting around not doing any work and it doesn’t mean you’re properly watching the TV. The majority of adults work during the day, so of course they aren’t going to experience the soul-destroying confrontations with daytime television. They should count themselves lucky, rather than talk like they’re jealous.
Anyway, Neighbours teaches us about other cultures and Countdown helps boost our English and Maths skills… Erm, you do believe me, don’t you?
“Students are messy, lazy, untidy, unclean, loud and ignorant.”
This is another misconception. Some are, some are not. And why are very different negative words invariably used together to create a picture of horror? If you’re a bit loud, it might not make you lazy. If you’re untidy, you aren’t necessary unclean. Bad personal hygiene doesn’t automatically suggest that your room isn’t neat.
And university is a continuation of your academic life. So how can that make us so wrong?
Luckily, this kind of cliche is making less of a nuisance of itself. Thank goodness for that.
“At night, they cause trouble through their drunken states and end up stealing traffic cones, roadworks signs, and estate agent boards.”
The majority of students DO NOT do this. A small number of students are always going to find this the funniest thing to do. Be happy that it’s nothing worse.
The reason why it seems like so many people take these signs is because those few people who DO take them, don’t mind doing it regularly and in batches. When I spoke to a campus warden about the situation, he said he caught one person red handed as he walked back on campus with 3 estate agent ‘for sale’ boards. The warden stopped the student and asked what he thought he was doing.
The student replied, “This is the first time I’ve done something like this. I’m drunk. Sorry.”
Why he had been doing this on his own, I don’t know.
Anyway, they walked to the student’s room and the warden told him to go in and stop being an idiot. The student apologised again and opened the door to his room. Being drunk, he hadn’t thought about what was inside his room. The warden glanced inside and saw a room covered with traffic signs, estate agent boards, cones, flashing warning lights, warning signs, part of a shop front, and an actual set of traffic lights.
Maybe he’s the only person doing this in the UK, but he’s giving students a bad name…?
“Students are all poor and scrounge off the state system.”
Okay, well this is dramatically changing. Fees and loans are ripping through half this cliche in a big way. Now the truth is nearer to ‘students are all poor’ and leaving it at that. If you’ve got all the monetary support you could need, then you’re a very lucky individual and you’ll wonder why you have so many friends that you don’t recognise…especially when you’re down the pub. Your round…