A stereotype is basically a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image/idea of a particular type of person. Here at Maryland (UMD) there are over 24,000 undergraduate students! You may be wondering, "Is it even possible to stereotype over 24k people?!" Well, IT IS! First and foremost, as a student at UMD every single individual falls under the same stereotype: a terp! From the time that a student receives their letter of acceptance to UMD they are considered to be a terp, and they automatically become a part of something bigger than themselves. With this in mind, there are certain stereotypes amongst the College Park population. -Greek life is HUGE at UMD; when walking around campus on a typical weekday you will see both guys and girls repping their sorority or fraternity's greek letters on sweatshirts, bags, hats, etc. These organizations have, in many ways, formed their own social circle where the different groups plan events and party together. If you're a part of greek life you're immediately stereotyped as a "sorority girl" or "frat boy" (frat star). Those who are not involved often have a negative view of these students, but in reality they're a lot of fun and just the same as non-greek members! (This negative stereotype isn't true!) -Athletes are grouped together as the second most common stereotype. They all wear Maryland swag provided to them by their teams, the majority attend UMD on sports scholarships, and they seem to be their own "elite" social group. (You will find that this stereotype is totally accurate.) -Maryland students are also stereotyped as being extremely school-spirited, but having terrible sportsmanship (and this is totally true, as one would see in the Student seating section at any home football game!!). -Other common stereotypes include nerds, super-smart Asians/Indians, and pot smokers/serious drug users. In general, I believe these stereotypes are very representative of the UMD student population but remember, stereotypes are simply that...just stereotypes!
Honestly, before coming to the University of Maryland, I didn't know much about any stereotypes of students here. I knew that it was supposed to be a 'good school', but what does that really mean? Well it turns out that it means that the classes are hard and that even the biggest partiers, stoners, and frat boys, care about their grades! This isn't a bad thing at all though. As I found out shortly after starting my undergrad careers, even though Maryland is NOT and Ivy League school, it is looked at by most grad schools (including vet and med schools) as having classes as hard as Ivy Leaguers. This means that even though you might have gotten a B in Organic Chemistry and Physics, a student from another school who got an A in both of those still might be less appealing for a selection committee. All in all, for the party crowd there is always something to do, every night of the week. However, I have not met one single person here who does not care about their grades and I would by no means call Maryland a 'party school.' If I had to label UMD it would be "Great Academic School with a Social Life to Match!"
What makes the University of Maryland-College Park such an incredible school is the diversity among the staff and students. I can't say that any stereotype can accurately describe our student body. We have it all. Geeks, Jocks, Frat stars, potheads, heavy drinkers, community service junkies, intellectuals, smooth-talkers, and many more. Attracted by the University's soaring rankings, interactive living-and-learning programs, and the low cost of attendance, the University of Maryland - CP student body has created over 275 student groups - based on a vast array of interests (sports, community service, religion/spirituality, military, pre-professional societies. There's even a cooking club!). With about 12% of our student body involved in fraternities/sororities, there is a very active Greek life here. The diversity of our body ensures that you will find your niche while also gaining exposure to a plethora of new viewpoints.
The stereotypes are that many people come from the suburbs and are rich. It is also believed that many people wear northface jackets and uggs all of the time. There is also the belief that many people do not study and wait until the last minute to get work done and that the Universit of Maryland is an "easy school". These stereotypes are not true; there are people on scholarships for their academics and people from diverse backgrounds come to this University. People wear a variety of clothing and there are many people who chose to express themselves this way, wearing shorts when it's cold or simply wearing a jacket they think is cool. Finally, Maryland is definitely not an easy school. The classes are challenging and the professors try their hardest to impart thier knowledge on thier students. Students constantly go to the library to study and durring the spring and early fall months, many students can be seen studying outside.
At the University of Maryland, College Park, most students are stereotyped as nerds. I would say that the stereotype fits for the most part. However, who says that being a nerd is a bad thing? Here at the University of Maryland, we have a wide variety of nerds. First, we have the frat and sorority nerds. These nerds are one of a kind nerds. You will tend to find these nerds wearing "jersey clothing"; big watches and yoga pants are all the rage. Second, we have the nerd jocks. These nerds know how to keep up on the court and in the classroom. You will tend to spot these individuals walking around campus sporting a backpack with their number on it, because they want you to know who they are. Lastly, we have the true nerds. These nerds are one of a kind. They stay in the library like it's their job. From morning till nighttime, you will find these nerds amongst other fellow nerds drawing out math equations on dry erase boards.
The University of Maryland is a hard school to stereotype because it is honestly as diverse as it hopes to appear. To mention a few of the generalizations though, people sometimes think there are a lot of Asian and Jewish students at UMD. This is true to a certain extent, there are many of these students at UMD but it must be appreciated that there are a lot of most every kind of student as well. Maryland is a huge school and thus there is a group or niche for everyone. Maryland also has a very prevalent Greek community which can sometimes get a bad rep as loud, rowdy, and exclusive. Of course there will be some students like that, as there will be anywhere, but UMD actually has one of the leading Greek communities as far as Greek life being more than glorified drinking clubs. The bottom line is that UMD is a big school with many diverse students and groups that provide something for literally everyone.
We're all here. Jocks, frat boys, nerds, stoners on stoners on stoners. This place is huge and you can always find what you're looking for. One thing I find scarce here is people with a global mindset. Students here dont seem to care much for global matters, foreign affairs, travel, culture and the like. This is not to stereotype, you will absolutely find exceptions. Ethnically also, groups tend to be homogenous. For the most part, students that aren't white hang out in circles of their own background. Remember this is a choice, and though I come from an international background I choose my friends based on their personality, not what their moms cook. If you enjoy having that sense of community and the culture of your background, Maryland is a great place to connect with it. There are large student groups dedicated to all sorts of races, religions and cultures. Good stuff.
One of the stereotypes you may find at Maryland is the sports fanatic! Maryland students are proud to be Terps in their red, black and gold emblazoned t-shirts, whether it's at a football, soccer, field hockey, or basketball game. Students rush to get the team sports posters at the beginning of each season, and heckling is one of the most fun parts about being a student spectator--it makes you feel like part of the game! On the other hand, one of my favorite things about Maryland is that students come in all types! There are the outdoor recreation fanatics at the climbing wall, and then the loyal members of the marching band, with a thriving Greek community and the cooperative housing folks hosting their potlucks every Sunday. No matter what you're looking for, Maryland has it.
There is a stereotype that University of Maryland is a big party school and that everyone is really involved in Greek life. I've found that the school is big enough that you truly can create your own lifestyle. Some weekends, I'll go out to parties with friends, but on other weekends, I'll go into DC or have movie nights with friends. Not everyone goes to parties every night, and not everyone is involved in Greek life. In fact, only 13% of students on our campus of about 27,000 undergraduates participate in Greek life. What I love about University of Maryland is that there is something -- if you want to party, you'll find plenty of opportunities, but if you're not into that kind of scene, there's plenty of other options to pursue as well.
The University of Maryland is known to be a party school with a great variety of fraternities and sororities. Maryland students are known to study hard during times of final exams (long hours in McKeldin library) but they sure do know how to party once Friday night arrives. Route 1 is the central destination for night life in College Park. With the plethora of restaurants and a few bars along with the many frat houses and off-campus apartments (i.e. "Knox Boxes"), UMD students find themselves studying hard and partying harder! From personal experience, I believe these stereotypes are true.