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University of Massachusetts-Lowell

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

I wouldn't say there are prevalent stereotypes that pertain to certain cliques, however, just like any young adult community, people are bound to gravitate toward what interests them most. Athletes will have a tight knit relationship because they are essentially always together; music majors will follow the sound and flock accordingly; fraternity and sorority members will be very interconnected (as a side note, frats and sororities are a wonderful place to meet people as a Freshman, however I'd strongly advise against joining any of them--they are not like how the movies depict, trust me); but after a certain point everyone gets coagulated into the mix. Personally, I have friends on nearly all the sports teams (boy's soccer, hockey, baseball, and basketball along with girl's soccer, field hockey, and volleyball), but I also have friends that are really into music theory, art, literature, engineering, and nursing. UMass-Lowell is nothing like high school--there is no fine line that distinguishes where one stands. The university is a student community, but it's more a family. The people you meet here will be your friends for the rest of your life. That being said, there is one stereotype that I find to be semi-accurate: Umass-Lowell is a commuter university. When I was a Freshman and Sophomore at the university students tended to go home on the weekends. This made things very dull. However, as time passed the university developed more student housing, better student events, and more activities students could participate in. I like to believe that Umass-Lowell is an up-and-coming university. I experienced it's weaker days, but now I'm a part of the stronger days.

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UMass Lowell is quite a melting pot of all sorts of different breeds of "stereotypes". Music is a big deal here, and the students on campus reflect this. Long haired metal heads are in line at Subway, right behind the punk rocker with a two foot tall pink mohawk, who happens to be in front of the classically trained piano player. If you like music, you'll love UMass Lowell's diverse student body. Tolkien would be proud of the amount of geeks we have at UMass Lowell. Most literature students are deeply drawn to amazing works of fiction and fantasy. Students can be seen going over old prose in our courtyard, and a good sized group of role players will be going over dungeon ideas in the student lounge. Pair that with the vast amount of computer game enthusiasts and programming students, on campus and you have a geek paradise. I've never seen so many students talking about what Warcraft raid they were planning to tackle after class that day. The best part is, anyone here can be a geek!

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Every school has stereotypes, UMass Lowell included. Some of the stereotypes are that the South Campus Majors are stupid and the North Campus Majors are smart loners who spend all day in labs. Although the majority of the engineering and science majors are on North Campus it does not mean that all the smart people hide in the North Campus libraries and all the lazy students hang out in the Starbucks on South Campus. Both campuses offer difficult and challenging courses depending on your major. Other common stereotypes at UMass Lowell include, any girl that goes to hockey games is trying to sleep with the hockey team, not true. All frat kids are a part of honors classes, not true. The majority of frat houses at UMass Lowell are exactly like the frat houses portrayed in movies, kegs, loud music, and girls.

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The stereotype that really haunts the University of Massachusetts Lowell is the idea that it’s a safety school – a place that prospective students choose if they’re unable to get into the school that they initially chose. In some cases that happens to be true, but in my experiences talking with students and listening and learning from them, UMass Lowell has become a second home and an experience that they wouldn’t trade for any other university they could imagine. The educational opportunities and the campus life offer students so much, and the Times of London and US News and World Reports recently ranked the university in the top 200 tier internationally, which basically means one thing: this “safety school” is an internationally renowned, world-class institution.

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At the University of Massachusetts Lowell, there are a variety of stereotypes. For example, music and art students are easy to spot, since they are often seen carrying large instruments or portfolios. I feel as though the athletes are somewhat more difficult to find, since nearly everyone sports some sort of clothing representing the school at one point or another. You'll also see people gathered by the entrances to buildings, smoking cigarettes. Geeks are pretty common, too, especially during the Humans vs. Zombies season. However, it is normally difficult to predict a person's stereotype based on their appearance. There are many more stereotypes in addition the few I mentioned, some more subtle than others, but they all contribute to UML's diversity.

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When I tell someone that I attend UMASS Lowell, the reaction is always the same. Oh. For some reason, everyone seems to think that UMASS Lowell students are slackers that ended up here because they had no where else to go. Typically, UMASS Lowell students are thought to be party animals, stoners, slackers, etc. Going into UMASS, I also thought some of these things. Boy, was I wrong. Of course there are parties (it's college!), but truth be told, I see a lot more studying and tutoring than anything else. It feels like everywhere I go is a great homework environment. So yes, UMASS Lowell can be considered a fun party school. But be warned, if you think we party hard, we study harder.

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I do not necessarily see groups of kids that all fit into one stereotype hanging out together on campus. There is always the occasional student that seems like a jock or a geek. The ones that seem to be very much into fitness I assume to be exercise physiology majors and I also tend to be judgmental of them, thinking that they are probably not that smart. In this I have been proved wrong more than once. My conception of stereotypes based on visual cues is still reminiscent of high school. However once I actually start talking to people my preemptive biases are usually found to be inaccurate.

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There's a wide variety of students at UMass Lowell ranging from "hipsters" to "geeks." I've found that you find different types of people in certain classes. For example, the music department contains students who play instruments that could fall into the "hipster" or "punk" category. The nursing or physical therapy department has students that fall under the "jock" category. If you're in an engineering class, those students tend to fall under the "geek" category.

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The stereotype at UML is that it is full of guys, more specifically "bros." Bros are athletic guys that have high egos and little respect for others. I feel the stereotype is all wrong. Although the male to female ratio is tipped slightly towards males, there are a fair amount of females attending the university. Also, the males at UML are not all bros. There are many at UML, but there are far more dedicated students that respect others and the school.

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The common misconception about Umass Lowell is that just because it is inexpensive it is a bad school. This could not be more untrue, Umass Lowell has been called 'The poor man's MIT' because of its exceptional value. Despite being a state school Umass Lowell was ranked 56th in the entire nation by the NY times.

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