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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Quite the opposite, in fact. First of all, RPI isn't exclusively engineering anymore. The students are a diverse population, and we cover a wide range of majors, from many types of engineering to management to mathematics to electronic arts. We also participate in a huge selection of activities, including but not limited to Greek life, sports organizations, and humanities clubs. Students at RPI must have an interest in science in math, as those are core requirements for all students, but we're not necessarily all geeks. I'll admit to it, proudly in fact, but you might be surprised to know that I actually get a lot of strange looks and comments when I mention my love for Stargate, or that my fiance and I play Lego Star Wars like madmen. After all this discussion it should be clear that the majority of us do have social lives, and we do have a rich selection of events to attend and sports or clubs to join. It's actually a bit like a bell curve--the extremities being those who aren't geeks at all, and those who do hole up with their laptops each night to go on guild raids. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

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All of the stereotypes are rooted in truth, but not EVERYone is super nerdy, and a lot of them (in my experience) aren't even that smart, especially when it comes to common sense. RPI has an array of students just like any other school, with the exception that a larger portion can neither write well nor spell. There are some girls at RPI that lean towards the "I'm a girl at RPI so every guy wants to date me," but many of the ones I've met are not like that at all. And the only reason there would be nothing to do at RPI is if you're really lame. There are malls, movie theaters, restaurants and parks close by, and there are TONS of outdoor activities that are not too far away. Plus, if you want to play sports, we have fairly decent facilities to use. Also, there are A LOT of clubs on campus. We have a bunch of intermural sports teams, and clubs for almost anything you're interested in. And if there isn't one, it's not too hard to start it up yourself.

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Most of this is false. Yes, we are all geeks and/or nerds (I'm not really sure what the difference is between the two). However, we're not antisocial or social outcasts, we make really strong friendships, we don't lock ourselves in our rooms playing videogames and tinkering with electronics, and we're not all technologically proficient. I'm a biology major, I know absolutely nothing about electrical engineering or computer coding, and I didn't even know what an RPG was when I got here. Sure, we have groups of people that do that sort of thing, but it's not all of us! And, the guys here are really cool. They don't all have thick glasses and greasy hair, like the stereotypical nerd. Just 'cause there's a lot more guys than girls doesn't mean that they're all antisocial. That was the biggest stereotype I got coming here, and it's just not true.

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Most of these stereotypes aren't really accurate. A good percentage of the school is male, but with the freshman class that just came in, the school is 25% female. Although that still may seem like a small amount, the guys here that ARE gamers/computer geeks (there are definitely a large number of them) usually hole up in their room, so the ratio seems a lot more even. There are definitely more than just engineers and scientists here. There's a strong digital media/communications program here, as well as intensive architecture, and management programs. Those who ARE engineers and scientists aren't just into that kind of thing - there's a huge number of people here interested in music, sports, and other extracurriculars. After all, we all needed a little something extra to get in here.

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Generally speaking, RPI students are pretty nerdy. Some are socially inept, but you don't really see those people much anyway. The social ones go out and find their crowd- there are plenty of opportunities to find this. There is a friendly group here for everyone. As for the women specifically, the guys like to complain that the women are unattractive, but really, I've seen some pretty beautiful women here. There aren't many of them- that is the problem- but RPI is working on improving this.

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These stereotypes are not accurate in the slightest! I see plenty of girls whether it be when I am walking to class, attending class, eating at the dining halls, or just hanging in the dorm. As for the TAs, all of them speak English, some may just be harder to understand than others. Nevertheless, they are all always willing to help. And while some of the students may fit the stereotype of Weird Al's "White and Nerdy", most of us are just down-to-earth students.

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While Rpi is a very technically based school and a majority of students may tend to keep to themselves I'd say that at the same time the student body is comprised of a very broad range of students and teachers and it is very easy to find one's own niche where you will feel confortable to grow and develop.

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Not entirely, but that's not to say that only a small percentage of the student population is stereotypical and the rest are fine people. The rest of the student body really isn't fine people - they just don't match the "nerd" stereotype.

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to some extent but there a good amount of people who actually are outgoing mixed in with the normal math geeks. There are much less girls but the ratio is usually controlled at parties buy allowing certain guys in and all the girls in

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Yes, but they are not a downfall of the college. If you are socially capable of being normal, you can have as much fun as any college student, and even more because so many of the students at RPI are all genuinely like you.

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