Characteristics of a Wash. U. student

| Forum Editor

What does it mean to be a Wash. U. student? After two years in college, I feel compelled to confront myself with this question. Perhaps I need this space to let my thoughts flow; perhaps I crave a more specific identity. But I also think that with pre-frosh about to descend upon campus in droves, it helps to take a look at what would make them like us. So, in what ways are Wash. U. students similar?

Knowledgeable: Well…duh. Last time I checked, getting into Wash. U. wasn’t easy. You need great grades and great test scores, and once you’re here, the academic demands become even higher. The funny thing is that we are all knowledgeable in our own ways. Ask me about German or food, politics or the environment, and I’ll talk your ears off. Art history and anthropology? Not so much, but my peers can pick up the slack.

Which characteristic worst describes Wash. U. students?

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Apathetic: Yes…No…Maybe. You see, I think Wash. U. students care about a variety of issues, but there isn’t enough time to care too much. Instead of apathetic, I feel more comfortable calling myself passionate about specific things. Other students are passionate about other issues, and everything combines into the “problem” of over-programming on campus.

Overworked: Obviously. If you’ve ever been to the library late at night, you’ll know that too many of us have too much to do. Wash. U. is hard, though I’ve heard they’re more gentle in the Olin Preschool.

Stingy: Hard to say. It’s no secret that we, on average, come from wealthy families willing to fork over a fortune for a great education. And on top of this are the expenses for Estrogym passes, fraternity or sorority memberships and dinners on the Loop, most of which we accept. But when the computer lab in Eads decides to charge for printing, suddenly four cents a page sounds like an awful lot of money.

Talkative: A definite yes. If you can hear yourself think at lunch in the DUC or Holmes Lounge, you’re lucky. I would argue our verbosity reveals itself through text messages as well. The endless tick-tick-tick in class and the stream of passersby with eyes glued to their phones show we crave communication.

Mature: This is probably the toughest to gauge. On the one hand, we live our own lives away from the (over-)protection of parents, handling the daily requirements of adulthood. We engage in meaningful discussions on serious issues such as sexual assault and racial discrimination. On the other hand, there are the shenanigans of Friday and Saturday nights.

Every category fits a lot of Wash. U.’s student body, but then again, I have found plenty of differences and exceptions. I guess we aren’t easy to describe; we aren’t human bulletin boards to which you can tack the same label. You aren’t a Wash. U. student so much as you are…you. Hmm, how refreshing.

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