We’ve watched shows like Mean Girls and Riverdale and we know the typical high school stereotypes — The Queen Bee (aka head cheerleader), the Nerds, the Class Clown etc. Perhaps they even existed in your high school here in Singapore.
Well, sad to say these stereotypes take on another form when you get to University.
From the “Wild, party-crazy Media majors” to the “Nerdy, anti-social Math majors”, you surely would’ve heard some outrageous stories about the colourful characters you’ll meet at University. Get ready to have some of these stereotypes debunked and some, surprisingly, confirmed.
Disclaimer: All opinions are crafted by personal experiences and encounters by the author.
Stereotype: Business majors are all smooth-talkers. They are driven and ambitious, which works to their advantage in the cutthroat nature of their course. But these traits might sometimes lead them to become manipulative, even resorting to “back-stabbing” so that they can achieve the best grades.
How to spot them: Always dressed in a formal white blouse and tailored pants/pencil skirt.
They are not all manipulative back-stabbers. Sure, I might’ve heard some horror group mate stories, but Business majors are mostly a really friendly bunch.
Most of them are indeed eloquent as they have no choice but to be so, given the vast number of presentations they will be graded on in a single semester… which also explains why they are always seen in formal attire, though they do throw on some casual clothes from time to time.
Stereotype: They are party-poopers; uptight and high-strung individuals who insist on always following the rules. They probably chose this course so that they can enjoy the “school holidays” in the future too.
How to spot them: Grey knee-length dresses with absolutely no cleavage showing/long pants with shirts always tucked in.
Can’t blame people for thinking that Education majors are a buzzkill — after all, they are going to become teachers. But all work no play makes Jack a dull boy and these students (not teachers yet!) sure know how to cut loose from time to time. And of course, they aren’t donning drab potato sacks all day. Education majors are allowed to dress like normal students too.
P.S. Teachers do not actually get the summers off!
Arts (Humanities: Language and History)
Stereotype: These people aren’t going to find a proper job… unless they become teachers (Education major: “Job stealer!”). They love reading Shakespeare and Shakespeare only — comic books are for the dim-witted.
How to spot them: You can’t. Their faces are always hidden behind a book.
No, they do not only read Shakespeare, though it is true that their faces are often buried in a book because of all the “light reading” their course requires them to do. Also, in the light of the growing Arts scene in Singapore, the demand for museum curators might just rise! Bet you didn’t know that a Humanities degree could actually land you a job in the writing and research department.
Arts (Social Sciences)
Stereotype: Psychologists, Sociologists, Economists, and Philosophers just love analysing, analysing, and more analysing. People, society, money, and life are just puzzles to be solved. They are creepy (especially the psychologists) because they will stare at you for a little too long sometimes, making you wonder if they can actually read your mind.
How to spot them: They frequently have a blank look on their faces as if they’re daydreaming or pondering over existential questions.
I don’t think they’re creepy but I do get a little wary when they ask weird, deep questions (the first question a Philosophy major once asked me was: “What is your greatest fear?” #neverforget). Well, the basis of their course is analysis so you can’t exactly blame them for making a habit out of it. Also, I do occasionally chant “You are fat. You are fat.” in my mind when I’m talking to Psychology majors, just to see if they would react. (They never have, thank goodness.)
Arts (Media: Communications, Film, Art, Design)
Stereotype: These lazy-ass Media majors are just taking the easy way out! All they have to do is draw, take videos and talk! They even have time to dress up to school every day. They are always so loud and obnoxious with their high-pitched giggling and pretentious Instagram stories.
How to spot them: Boldly-coloured clothing, outlandish accessories (like berets), floor-sweeping dresses and perfect cat-eyes (men included).
Debunked! (to a certain extent)
As a Communications major, I can assure you that NO I AM NOT TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT. Talking and taking videos becomes stressful because we are graded on the quality of our content. We dress up because the nature of our faculty demands that we be exceptionally well-groomed and it’s hard work because this bed-hair doesn’t curl itself, buddy. We are not loud and obnoxious (I prefer the word vivacious), but it is true that most of us are Instagram addicts… #TeamInstagram
Mathematics and Science
Stereotype: Home of the geeks. All of them wear specs and can do amazingly quick mental sums. They collect weird plants and insects to study them and are always dreaming of creating a chemical that can turn them into superheroes.
How to spot them: Flannel outwear with khaki shorts paired with velcro-sandals and a bulky haversack.
Well, I’m not sure about their dreams to become a superhero in a lab accident, but not all of them are weird and geeky. Ever heard of the hot geek? Yes, the one that’s a math whiz but still has 6-pack abs. Those do actually exist.
Stereotype: If you thought the Science majors were nerdy, these students bring nerdy to a whole new level. Only boys can be found in this faculty and the majority of them spend most of their time cooped up in their rooms sleeping and playing video games. That is, until it’s final exams period when they will study from dusk to dawn, downing cup after cup of black coffee.
How to spot them: Towards the end of the semester, you can see them shuffling into exam halls with bleary eyes, reeking of coffee and cigarettes.
Engineering majors are known for their massive end-of-semester workload because of the number of papers they have, not even counting the practical exams! Most of them also seem to love their coffee black, probably because they desperately need the caffeine kick.
P.S. Females can be Engineering majors too!
By Rachel Lim