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Reality and Mythology of Student Life

student lifeStudent life, just like the life of any group of people united by occupation, is subject to a lot of speculation, mythologizing, correct and incorrect assumptions and so on. However, it gets much more attention than almost any other group because, well, students and former students are far more numerous than, let’s say, IT specialists or doctors. In this article we are going totake a look at some commonly held views on students, their life and habits, and compare them with actual facts.

Assumption 1: Students Drink All the Time

If college comedy movies are to be believed, students spend most of their time drinking, drunk or suffering from hangover.

However, statistics show that it is nothing more than an unhealthy stereotype. According to the latest surveys, more than 30% of students don’t consume alcohol at all, and those who do spend not all that much money on booze. In fact, it turns out that students drink about as much as all the other social groups, and sometimes less.

Assumption 2: Oxbridge Prefers Candidates from Private Schools

Oxford and Cambridge have long ago turned into the epitome of elite educational institution peopled by students from high-class backgrounds. And it is only natural for them to welcome candidates from private schools, where children from the most prominent families are being educated.

And the evidence supports this assumption: according to the latest data about Oxford admissions candidates from private schools are about 9% more likely to be admitted than students from state schools with similar marks. So yes, this one happens to be true.

Assumption 3: The Majority of Students Live in Dorms

Another long-held assumption is that almost all college students live in halls, while those who rent living space outside the university grounds constitute a negligible minority. The image of student community as a geographical one is so deeply enrooted into our collective subconscious that it is hard to think of it in any other way.

Perhaps it’s the way things were at some point in the past, but today nothing can be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, only about 40% of students live in dormitories; the rest rent flats or rooms, whatever their budgets can afford.

Assumption 4: ‘Freshman 15’

It is often said that students tend to gain about 15 pounds during their first year in college due to drastic changes in lifestyle, lack of time and possibilities to look after their health and other more individual reasons.

In reality, one can more or less safely assume that it is an exaggeration. Students are no more likely to gain weight than people from any other social group – at least if they are reasonable, don’t live solely on pizza and burgers, eat regular meals, try to workout at least from time to time and so on. Academic success is important, but you should find enough time to look after your health, no matter how heavy your workload is.

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