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Howard University

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What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Howard University and its students harbor various stereotypes. The most known stereotype of Howard is the idea that it is the “Black” version of Harvard University. Howard University is full of scholars, intellectual thinkers, and activist, giving it the reputation of having some of the most intelligent Black people in the nation. Most students at Howard take their education extremely serious, and many times having the best grades, internships, honors, or being in the most organizations becomes a sort of competition between students around campus. At Howard people don’t necessarily praise the athletes or jocks, the intellectuals seem to get the most praise around Howard University’s campus. Although Howard students pride themselves on getting a good education it is true that Howard is a big party school (perfect example, Howard University Homecoming). It is very rare that you can walk around campus and not hear music or see people dancing. When it is warm in DC, the middle of the campus called “The Yard” is full of students and loud music. Howard is also known as a fashion school, students take pride in the way they dress. Howard represents students from all over the nation and even outside of the country, so the school shows many different styles and fashions, making the student very critical of what themselves and others are wearing. At Howard students are not afraid to break the norm when it comes to fashion, and it is not strange to see a female walking up a hill on campus for an 8am class in six inch heels. The last stereotype Howard students have is that we are stuck up and think we are better than other Blacks. This stereotype is one that is very absurd, many Howard students do represent the middle class Black, but each student is just there to get an education, have fun, and give back to the Black community.

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The common stereotypes for Howard students are that we are stuck up, very fashionable, and exclusive. I have not met an alumni who has not been proud of their attendance at Howard. Most people rep Howard for life, and I know this first hand because my grandparents, most of my aunts and uncles, my mother and her friends, and other friends/relatives have attended Howard. When I got accepted, many of my African American coworkers and peers were really supportive and "wowed" that I got in. Bison pride never dies. Moreover, if you were to walk through campus during the week, you will see women and men dressed up just to go to class. Not everyone does this, but it is not uncommon. Women will wear heels, jewelry, skirts, dresses, etc, the latest fashion is always exemplified on campus. What surprised me the most was the men wearing bow ties, polos, nice shoes, and looking very clean cut. I kind of like how the fashion culture keeps me from wearing sweats and pjs to class. I'm almost never wearing the latest trends, but I definitely spend some time on looking good (except on days when I don't go anywhere). It keeps me from getting too lazy, and who doesn't want to look good? Finally, Howard is very exclusive. It is so easy to get caught up in the Howard life and not explore DC at all. Howard has so much diversity, many activities/organizations, and culture that people may deem is unnecessary to go anywhere else. However, I recommend expanding your horizon and getting into the DC life as well. There is so much out there that will complement your Howard life. It's as simple as getting on the metro. Don't wait for your friends to finally get around to going places besides the club; going places by yourself sets you up for meeting others easily. That means more contacts and networking down the road...

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When most people think of Howard University they think, "Oh their parents must be rich to afford that school". In some cases, this is a true statement, but not all of us have that luxury; we also work for our education. You do have the few people that are stuck up and strictly come to school to put on a fashion show and flaunt all the new Apple Products, designer bags and blah blah blah but for the most part that is just a typical day on the yard. You will see several fashionable people and you will see several fashionless people (if we can even call that a word) and this is coming from a Fashion Merchandising major. Uhm yes! there are a good amount of stuck up rich kids, there are a lot of stuck up people in general but you can find them anywhere, especially living in DC. Other than the fact that we are the real HU, we are your typical everyday college that I have grown to LOVE!

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One of the largest stereotypes of Howard University is that is is known as the black version of Harvard University. Howard is a well accredited historically black university which prides its findings on the higher education of students. Our school of business is AACSB standards which is the same accreditation as Cornell, Stanford, and Yale. (Harvard recently changed their accreditation standards to fit a different format). In addition, our school of business allows students to have hands on experience in the business world starting freshman year with the 21st century advantage program where freshman work with fortune 500 companies including Google, Verizon, Bank of America, and Deloitte. Most students at the university pride on academic success and happen to be of Black or African-American decent, so in regards to being "the Black Harvard" the stereotype is accepted.

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Stereotypically speaking Howard students represent the Black "elites". They were more than likely class president, football captain, cheer captain etc... in high school. They more than likely were members of Jack & Jill. Many of their parents are successful businessmen, politicians, entertainers and philanthropists. They take fashion relatively seriously compared to your average state school. Although all of the above is true it doesn't represent the essence of Howard University. Being that Howard is a private institution located in the middle of the Nation's Capital, the student population is very diverse. People often ask how can the university be diverse when the school is an HBCU. Geographically, ethnically, culturally and academically, the students vary. We all look, talk, and dress differently.

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When I was about to start my freshman year of college, one thing my mother told me was that I better not come back thinking I'm better than everyone. From her experience and from the reputation of Howard, a lot of people who graduate from the school look down on other people. While I will say some students leave with a feeling of superiority, the majority of us do not. We work hard while we're here and you learn a lot that prepares you for the real world. You will also find that most people tend to join groups that are closely related to their career interests.

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Some positive and negative stereotypes about Howard University are that we are fashionable, opportunists, Greek, political, nerdy, party animals, alcoholics, and more. The most common stereotype is that Howard students are uppity or pretentious, which is only partly accurate. We strive for the best in everything we do and are confident in our abilities and worth.You will find every possible stereotype here, but even more amazing people that don't fit the mold.

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The stereotype of students at Howard University is that they are stuck up and not very personable. For the most part, that is untrue. The way I see it is this - in the real world there are many different types of people. There are people who expect others to worship the ground they walk on, and there are people that realize they have to work for everything in life. While there may be a few stuck up people at Howard, the majority of students are not like that.

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Students at Howard are often stereotyped as just going through the motions and no one here is really educated or receiving a quality education. Also, because our school is predominantly African American, every student is perceived as the same. This couldn't be farther from the truth as Howard University students are a very diverse group of people from various backgrounds, whether it be financially, culturally, or geographically.

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The most common stereotype about Howard University students is that we are stuck up. However, this rumor is not true. While many people come from affluent families, there are still others who have not, even so, Howard University students are hard workers who value their education and take it seriously. I was welcomed with open arms by many my freshman year. The Bison family is definitely a close knit one.

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