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Boston College

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Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Let me describe some qualities of the majority of the BC population. The first thing is that the student body is preppy. There is a large percentage of guys who wear polo shirts (with popped collars), chinos, and leather flip-flops all year round. There are also a great number of girls who dress like something out of an Abercrombie advertisement everyday. While this is very visible, there are still a great number of people who wear sweats and t-shirts 95% of the time, so casual wear is very common. If you are hipster, punk, or anything else outside the box, you will find others like you few and far between. I remember seeing people who dressed funkier their first months slowly dull down their personal styles to fit the general populous. The second characterization describes the student body as children of upper-middle class who are self-centered. For the most part the students do come from upper-middle and middle class families. This lends itself to children who went to good high schools and who haven’t been through any times of struggle, so it is easy to think that they are all self-centered. Although lots of people you will meet will be somewhat self-involved, they can still be great people. Most of my friends at BC had elements of self-centeredness, but if anyone ever gave me any trouble, they were always the first people to stand up and support me. In return, I would do the same for any of them without hesitation. With respect to everyone being from the Northeast, I would have to agree. Most people are from New England, New York, and Chicago. Despite this, I had good friends from California, Germany, Japan, Maryland, Missouri, Singapore, and Virginia, so the campus is somewhat geographically diverse. Also, BC is truly a sporty school. It is ranked one of the fittest campuses in the US and most students are big supporters of BC athletics. The football games are renowned and quite the spectacle (although we nearly never rush the field). Although I liked the sporty environment, I could imagine it would be difficult to enjoy BC if you dislike sports. Saturdays during football season are so focused on the game that everything else is put aside. I remember one girl who didn’t like sports at all and typically went home every home game weekend freshman and sophomore year. Since she never really connected with the environment at BC or too many of the students, she eventually transferred. The last stereotype of BC is that there isn’t much diversity. Speaking of the ethnic diversity at BC, I think that this statement oversimplifies it. There is a proportionate number of students from Asian and pacific island countries, but blacks and Latinos are underrepresented. These students may feel alienated because of this. BC’s AHANA Students Programs Office helps to support these students. They do a great deal of good work, but it is an ongoing effort. Another underrepresented group at BC are gays. The gay community is very small and excluded from receiving direct funding from the administration. The administration tiptoes around the gay students because supporting them would conflict the religious background of the school. Because of this, I think it unfortunately takes a more self-confident minority student to thrive at BC. Although I believe the school could do more for minority students, I don’t think the administration reflects the student body. Almost everyone is accepting and welcoming of any student regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

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Some of them are very true, although like all generalizations they cannot be fully true. BC definitely has a drinking culture that I think is out of control - for some drinking defines everything they do beyond academics, and yet some don't drink and others drink a lot less than some would assume. The hook up culture is also a phenomenon and a problem, but probably only a third to a half of BC participates in this culture and even then the vast majority of these are not satisfied with it, I mean who would be you are completely taking advantage of others and yourself. The other noteworthy thing is that some people actually date. There is a lot of academic pressure at BC most assume that everyone is studying and getting good grades and of course it is a competitive school so many are, but there are also those who would rather get dinner with a friend that spend hours in the library and others who struggle and don't get the great grades it seems like everyone receives. There appears in my eyes to be a bit of apathy that resonates when it comes to taking action on issues that students care about. Many students at BC do come from very affluent backgrounds, which perpetuates a problem because some of these students assume that everyone has the same experiences and upbringing as them when in fact most of the world and many at BC have not. There is a thin culture here, especially among women which perpetuates very unhealthy eating and exercise habits. And the problems and stereotypes continue.

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It seems ridiculous to imagine a school with B.C.'s reputation having the B.C. stereotype. Such an environment cannot produce well-balanced, mature, young adults for a increasingly globalized and diverse world. I matriculated to Boston College with the idea that the stereotype was just a poor generalization and could not possibly be true. I imagined that there would have to be a broad, if at least a interesting student body and the school itself would provide ample opportunities and support for any type of student. Yet, after going to Boston College, talking to a multitude of students from as diverse of backgrounds you will find at B.C., and spending time meeting people from other schools, I can honestly say the stereotype is completely true, both about the school and the vast majority of the schools students. At B.C., if you do not conform, or if you reject such a environment and the attitude that comes along with it, you will feel like a black sheep and not receive the best education you could.

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Although BC is vastly preppy, it is such a large school that this fact is diluted but the large student body. There is truly a group of every type, and more importantly, there are students that choose not to identify with any group at all. It is an easy school to find your niche. BC is composed of a very serious, intelligent student body and people that are not afraid to work hard. To add to that however, those same students are able to put their work behind them and take time to hang out and have fun. They are very well around and aren't afraid of the "work-hard, play-hard lifestyle." While many BC students are well-off and you will find the occasional snob, this by no means defines the student body. Those couple snobby kids find each other and go off and exclude themselves from the rest of the student body, which benefits everyone in the end. Overall though, there are many kids that are from lower income and on scholarships and it would never be known unless they offered the information.

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While many students fit into the J. Crew classification, there is more diversity at BC than it is given credit for. There are very distinct subcultures on campus, and while some may be more popular, per se, than others, all are certainly recognized and respected. For a school of this type, however, particularly one of Jesuit origin and influence, it is considerably more liberal than I expected. This is no doubt the case at just about any university, but the demographics would suggest a much more conservative landscape. As for the concerns with one's image, there really isn't a lot to dispute this claim. And while this certainly has its negative implications (i.e. $200 bags on the arms of 50% of the girls), it does have a silver lining--BC was deemed the third fittest school in America by a leading magazine last year. Intramural sports are immensely popular, and students will wait in hour-long lines to make sure they can register a team before schedules fill up.

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for the most part, they are. BC tends to be a little homogeneous, like most private Northeastern universities, but there is an innocence here that somehow makes it charming to be sheltered. many are involved in at least one activity on campus since its perhaps the best way to network among classes, disciplines, socioeconomics, etc. additionally, there is a bipolar culture here of trying to uphold the above mentioned traits while still maintaining an active college experience. this translates to a lot of drinking with/hooking up within service groups, a pseudo-frat culture among the performance groups, and a scene of social hierarchy in the more social-networking based activities (student government, orientation leaders, spiritual groups). in short, BC is a place where it is part of the "scene" to go to Church, where it is considered cool to appear flawless, and where frowns are rewarded genuine concerns for one's wellbeing.

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You do find that most students do dress in the "preppy" style but there are just as much people who will dress in sweats. There are some gym rats and it there is some pressure to look good. All students who attend were the best in their high schools so this carries into college. Everyone wants to be the best which motivates everyone. As hard as students work, they party just as hard if not harder. Drinking is very popular, but there are mixed answers if you ask "is there pressure to drink?" I guess it depends on the crowd you're with. I never felt pressured, but sometimes you find it's just less frustrating and more fun to go with the crowd. Volunteering, especially service trips, is very popular. Applications are necessary for some trips which can be very frustrating, but in the end very rewarding.

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On the surface most of the stereotypes about BC are true. When I first set foot on campus I wasamazed by how beautiful and how wealthy everyone was. Everyone just looked insanely put together. I was like, what about going to class in your pajamas? However, once I learned the names designers jeans and why cashmere is better than cotton, I also learned that BC students are the most down to earth and friendly kids out there. Somone will always hold the door for you or offer you advice about classes and what teachers to take. There is a tremendous sense of community on the campus, and all of the students have a sense of pride in the school.

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Well, some of them. Sure, you have those kinds of people around, but that's going to be the same as pretty much anywhere. I never had a problem finding people I could easily get along with, and I feel like I meet new people every weekend. And for those people that you're not a big fan of, you can easily avoid them. It's a big campus with a lot of students. Personally, I am not religious. Going to a Jesuit university hardly has any impact on my academic career. The only actual difference I can see is that our classes are sometimes taught by Jesuits, and you get a longer Easter Break.

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For the most part, the stereotypes are accurate. A friend of mine once said that he hated people-watching at BC because everyone looks like the same person. There plenty of students on campus who own neither Ugg nor Northface apparel and who couldn't care less what the football team's record is. While BC students may initially appear to be materialistic consumers, a major part of the student body is dedicated to community service both in Boston and abroad. Don't let the preppy clothes and wild sports cheers fool you-- most of the students at BC are friendly and caring individuals.

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