There's possibly a grain of truth to the stereotypes about the student body, but those stereotypes are so broad they may be true about any large group of college students. I mean, there's bound to be at least one Sorbonne rejected, heifer loving, fan of women's tennis at UVa as well. In reality, the amount of diversity is pretty surprising at Tech. You're going to find kids who are here to get messed up before football games, party afterward, and spend Monday morning sleeping off a hang over but you are going to find more kids who are very dedicated to their studies but still know how to make time to enjoy themselves. The most surprising thing however, is the diversity of academic backgrounds. A lot of kids do engineering simply because they know it will make them a lot of money after they graduate but there are many kids who do other majors. We have one of the best undergraduate architecture schools in the nation, a very highly ranked chemistry department, and a large portion of students doing psychology, political science, business, or double majoring in one of those areas. I've also met a lot of very talented and intelligent students here as well. Just because you didn't get a high GPA in high school because you didn't care about doing the homework for AP English in 11th grade doesn't mean you aren't intellectually gifted. On a more personal note, I'd like to throw in that everyone I've met who is not a math major at VT assumes that our math department is excellent. In reality, it is not very highly ranked. I think that goes to show how stereotyped our school is when it comes to academics. There is an instant assumption that VT has excellent engineering, math, stats, etc, but when someone finds out our architecture school was ranked number one last year they give a look of complete shock.
The football thing is just because we have a phenomenal amount of school pride and we absolutely love football season. Besides the fact that our team is good, it's a great social experience and we have, I think, some of the most spirited and active alumni around. It's really neat to have them come back to campus and be able to hang out with them. We love our sense of community between young and old, and football season is a perfect outlet to display and enjoy that. As for being a number, I think that's up to each student. There are a lot of people at our school, but if you want your professors and fellow students to know you, they will. If you want to keep to yourself and just be a face in the crowd, you will be. I think it's neat because it gives you the freedom to choose and it means that no one's holding your hand forcing you to participate in things you don't want to. It's more like the real world this way.
We are definitely crazy about football. We have more school spirit than any other campus I know. Some of the classes are huge (depending on level and major), all my teachers know my name this semester, and I've never had any trouble getting individual help in all my time here--in fact, teachers have always been more than willing to help and always want you to come by their offices. There is absolutely no way Tech is easier than UVA. I know for a fact that they do not need to earn nearly as many credits to complete a major; one of my friends has about half the number of core classes for her major as I do, and we have the same major. I've had a teacher explain to us how that cannot be true, as he was a graduate student and UVA and teaches English as Tech--he knows what everyone has to do and thinks that Tech gets you more prepared.
Ok, yes. We do have quite a fair share of your classic, fun-loving southern guys; drinking is pretty common; and football - come on, it's what we live for! If you're daring enough to enter into the world of Engineering, Architecture or Pre-vet, yeah, you're going to have work. A lot of it. But even though we complain and complain, it's really not terrible. As for the Virginia Tech t-shirts, don't worry if you don't own any now - you'll get some. You really don't even have to bring clothes with you when you move in. Really. They give away free/cheap t-shirts all the time. And we all wear them. All the time. It's awesome!
For the most part, the football does include many of the students at Tech, but there are still students who don't care about sports whatsoever and its not the reason they came to tech. For majors, all are hard and easy depending where your strengths lie - if you love math then go for being an Engineer and if writing is your fort-ay then go for Communications. And then with the shooting which is what Tech is now mostly known for it seems is there are a lot that weren't there but either way we were all either directly or indirectly affected.
These stereotypes are definitely brought from the shadows of Tech's reality. Sure, there are Engineers and Animal Science majors that roam across the drill field like everyone else, but they don't fall under these above mentioned extremes. Architecture and Biology parallel the popularity of the Engineer and Animal Science majors, and as for the clothing style and mannerisms of the student body, I would say we would fall on the scale as your average all-around good guys.
Despite VT's settings in a rural area, I don't claim these stereotypes to be 100% true. There are some students that are from rural backgrounds and the school does have a college dedicated to Agricultural studies; however, a majority of students come from Northern Virginia, Richmond, or Tidewater Area---areas that aren't necessarily rural. We're also ranked pretty high in the nation for academics in architecture, agriculture, and engineering.
Absolutely not-- there is diversity at Tech- I am involved in many different activities and a sorority and continue to meet new groups of people constantly who have different interests. The class sizes gradually decrease in size as you become more concentrated in your major. Lastly, we are not stuck up, it's just a lot of school spirit and pride.
We have parties, yes. We have a great football and I, myself am I season ticket holder. And personally I grew up in the area and am a little country---I may not be proof that the stereotypes are inaccurate but they really are. I've met so many different types of people that it is impossible to believe everyone here fits into that mold.
When it comes to hokie spirit, absolutely. A campus full of boring engineers??NO WAY! There is a diverse and amazing group of people here, with a wide variety of interests and majors. And the engineers I have come to know during my time here are anything but boring. They are just as involved and social as any other student.