I think a lot of people thing WashU is mostly made up students who didn't get into an Ivy League school. I'm sorry to say thats about 50% accurate. The population is mostly made up of students who either fell in love with the school and applied early, or students who didn't get into schools like Brown, Penn or Columbia.
I'd say that the stereotype of WashU students are that they are friendly, collaborative, smart students and just generally great people. I am so glad to say that this stereotype is 100% correct! The warmth and personality of the university is present everywhere, from the kindness of the staff in the dining halls to the students, who never fail to hold the door open for others.
My School is broken down between its 3 schools, at least in terms of demographic stereotypes. I have the most experience with the engineering school and the business schools. The engineering school is pretty typically asian, and very geeky, with several of the majors involving pretty intensive amounts of studying. I would say that the engineers are not as socially inept as one might expect, but hold true to the impression they spend a great deal of time in the library along with their med school peers from the sciences. The business school is often mocked with the term "B school, Pre-school" and is thought to be the easiest of the colleges paths, with fridays off from class and a pretty hefty population of partiers. Greek life at the school is existent, but not out of hand, and you will not see hazing or excessive raging on campus, and most of the partying takes part on north campus, away from the typically freshmen and sophomore housing. Business school students are often placed into teams for projects, and tend to work better with others and have classes that teach social skills, and tend to be more openly friendly and engaging, dispute having an apparently lesser workload.
I think every group and every stereotype is represented at Wash U. There are a lot of people who go to the Frat parties and there are also a lot of geeks. But, in the end everyone here is pretty much a geek because we all ended up at Wash U. But, everyone is still super friendly!
Since Washington University has such a strong engineering department and a world-renowned medical school, the typical stereotype of a Wash. U. student is a science nerd. To be fair, we're all a little nerdy at Wash. U., even those of us who are not majoring in science-related fields. We have your typical stoners, jocks, sorority girls, and frat boys, but underneath it all, we're all pretty geeky. The academics are top notch so expectations are high, but anyone who applies and accepts enrollment at Wash. U. knows that ahead of time. Just because we're nerdy does not mean that we're socially awkward, though. Wash. U. students live by the "Work hard, play hard" mentality. Sure, we work hard -- we want to work hard -- but at the end of the day, we know how to have fun.
The students at Washington University in St. Louis are widely known for being very enthusiastic about the school. Many high school students have said that this was the first thing they noticed when visiting, and this noticeable love for the school was a main deciding factor for many of the current students.
People think most Wash U students are nerds and they work very hard. They think we don't party much or have fun since we are very academic and we are in St. Louis, a place of nowhere. I think the stereotypes are partly true. Wash U students do work hard. Most of us treat academics seriously. Workloads are typically heavy. However, one distinct feature of Wash U students is that we value cooperation much. Instead of doing cut-throat competitions, I feel more like learning by cooperation. It has a very cooperative environment here. And the notion that we don't have fun is not true. There are many restaurants, theaters, pubs near Wash U. And also, we have Forest Park, which is even bigger than Central Park in NYC. Moreover, we do have lots of activities going on on campus every day. For the party thing, it is actually quite popular on the weekends. And also, just give a fact, that more than 30% Wash U students go Greek.
The typical stereotype of WashU is that we are all a lot of pre meds. Although there are undoubtedly an abundance of students pursuing medical school at the university, they are by no means the majority. One of the great things about WashU is the diverse student body with an array of interests.
The stereotypical WashU student is perceived (both by outsiders and by WashU students alike) as living in a sort of bubble. The campus is beautiful and certain residential areas feel like small, contrived ski villages in that you never really need to go anywhere because life on the Forty (the very modern residential area for freshmen and sophomores) has everything.
Now, is that true? Yes and No. People do go out, students have lives that revolve around things off campus. Additionally, there is a lot to do outside of the campus which abuts Forest Park which, as someone from Pennsylvania I honesty had never heard of, is astounding in the sheer magnitude of things to do there. It's actually larger than Central Park in NY and is jam-packed with all manner of fun stuff. Additionally we are very close to "The Loop" - a funky shopping, eating, and hanging out sort of place two blocks north. Finally, there are two metro stops and many bus routes on campus that make it convenient to go to stadiums, theaters, and just into St. Louis in general.
In one sense people do go out. A lot, too. However there is always the return to "the bubble" and the day-to-day experience of being on campus, going to classes, etc... is conducive to getting trapped in what can only be described as, well, the WashU bubble. The lines which delineate the boundaries of campus are abundantly clear and if for no other reason than it honestly does feel like you're walking into a different world once you step inside. This is neither good nor bad however it nevertheless is undeniably true.
The most popular characterization of WashU students is that we're all of preppy, white rich kids. Although this stereotype certainly holds some merit--Uggs and boat shoes reign the campus--the student population is somewhat diverse. The University often tries to overcompensate for the plethora of white kids by emphasizing the importance of diversity and culture, with events like "multi-cultural weekend" to lure in prospective students. But students here often embrace our stereotype, especially with groups like "WashU problems" on Facebook, a group that posts problems that could only be considered problems at a school as spoiled as ours.
The general consensus is that WashU students lack school spirit when it comes to sports of any sort, which I fully concur with upon attending a basketball game with lower attendance than those at my high school. Jocks are a rare breed here, and the few and the proud who actually can play sports are equally as intelligent as the rest of the students. It's always unnerving to see a muscled boy quote Shakespeare like the best of them. Only at WashU, right?
That brings me to the stereotype of our nerdy student body. It's definitely true that the library will never, EVER be completely empty when it's open. With that being said, the party scene is probably bigger than it gets credit for. WashU kids like to study, but we also like to party! Work hard, play hard, and if that's not working, we just work harder and play harder.
The only real stereotypes here are:
1) If you're in Phi Delt (frat), you're a football player.
Both of these are generally true and not common at Wash U. Also, because we're one of the most expensive universities in the country, people assume we're stuck up.This is completely inccurate! We're the second most friendliest school in the country :)
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