Break free from college stereotypes

By Annastazia Camarena

When most people think of college, the first things that might come to mind are very stereotypical: wild parties, sexual experimentation and ramen noodles. This might be a reality for some, but for most of us it is far from how students spend their college years.

My mom and grandma never fail to ask about my eating habits, which I find to be hilarious. I think my grandma imagines I am devouring yellow ramen noodles fresh from a Styrofoam cup of or eating beans straight from a can. In reality, I am constantly eating and can frequently be spotted in any one of NIU’s dining halls. In fact, I eat more at school than I do when I am at home in Chicago. Parents will be parents, and they will worry you are going to starve and wither away.

Another faulty assumption my friends and family have is all college students are party animals. My mom suspects I have plans to go out and party when I tell her I am not coming home for the weekend. As she claimed I go to wild parties, I chuckled and explained I had a volunteer opportunity with my community service group or a paper to write.

When it comes to friends, they too think I am out doing keg stands at outrageous frat parties. My days at NIU are far from their imaginings: Most days I can be found in the library, hanging out with friends or exploring the town.

People also believe college students are very sexually active and indulge in promiscuity. Junior sociology major Brian Heredia struggles with allegations of a stereotypical nature, as well.

“My sister thinks I’m partying and sleeping around; my friends from home think I sleep around, too,” Heredia explained.

He said he spends most of his time “in the library, being lazy at home and watching TV” or going to campus events with friends.

Most students I meet at NIU are very busy, and while they like to go out to social events they have other priorities. Many students are pursuing degrees, have jobs, are a part of Greek life or are involved in extracurricular activities. Many have foun college life is more than just ramen noodles, parties and sexual experimentation, and those people spend their time keeping up with their own personal college demands.

When compared to the stereotypes, my days in college may seem like a bore, but they really aren’t. I have been enjoying my time at NIU, and I try my best to take advantage of the campus events, organizations and academic demands. My college life is far from what is portrayed in any college movie, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.