Ethnography Report - Second Draft

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Christian BestRobert ArnoldUWRT 1101Ethnography ReportCollege freshmen are complete party animals; college freshmen dont party enough. College freshmen barely do any work; college freshmen have too much work. College freshmen are mature; college freshmen are needy and clueless. College freshmen eat too much; college freshmen dont eat enough. College freshmen sleep too much; college freshmen dont sleep enough. The following statements listed above show examples of the many stereotypes that are formed about college freshmen. Many people think they understand what college freshmen do on a daily basis; but in reality they dont. Everyone takes glances at our lifestyle and form their own opinions and bias about our lives, only to realize that they only know half of the real story.Just as everyone else, I made assumptions about the college lifestyle before I actually got here and began experiencing the lifestyle firsthand. I thought that college would be a constant party, a buffet every night, a new found freedom, but also the hardest thing I would ever have to experience. Little did I know that the party sometimes ends early when you have an 8:00 AM class every Monday morning. The buffet will quickly become a quick bag of chips and some apple juice every other night. And the hardest part of the work is actually getting the motivation to do it. So what is the outside perspective? While trying to find different perspectives from outsiders I found that the younger population views college freshmen as more of a party animals and think that we are always jumping from party to party, adults and parents view college as more of hard work and dedication, and society as a whole views us as inexperienced little kids claiming to be adults just trying to make it through life. Neither side was completely wrong but neither side was completely accurate, it was more that both sides were just lacking the actual reality of our lifestyle.Is it not like what they show in the movies? This is the first response I received when I asked an average high school freshman how she viewed college and college freshmen. She seemed to think that college is all about the parties, the fraternity strolls, and pulling all-nighters with your new college BFFs. Please understand that those movies lied to you! Yes, college consist of parties. Yes, you will come across a couple of fraternities strolling. And yes, there will be the occasional all-nighter pulled. But this is not the everyday college lifestyle and the movies just show a bunch of stereotypes that lack actual reality. There isnt a party every day, the parties usually start on Thursdays and we dont attend every single week. Strolling, although very fun to watch, isnt a constant thing; the fraternities and sororities arent sitting in every corner waiting for a battle to happen. And all-nighters only happen when we have tons of work due the next day and we procrastinated until the last minute; we HATE pulling all-nighters. Movies have given the misconception that college is fun all the time, when in actuality fun isnt always lurking around the corner in college. Honestly the best response Ive received was from the high school senior. College freshmen should be excited that theyre out of their parents house. Im ready for college! As soon as the words left her mouth I began laughing so loud, which seriously confused her. Like most high school senior, I was just as excited to get out of my parents house when school started. It wasnt until I got to college that I truly appreciated being under my parents roof. I cant wait to get back home! is probably the most frequent phrase you will hear coming from a college freshmen. Every college freshmen thought it would be all fun and games, that is until we realized that we had to buy our own groceries, remember to wake up for class on our own, and had no one to whine to when things got hard.I know its a lot of work and its probably really hard, but I have serious faith in every one of you. Parents can be so encouraging, and that is why we love them! You know that pep talk that parents give to their children before the start of every school year? That annual pep talk soon became a weekly pep talk for most college freshmen. In the beginning of the semester no one wanted to call home because they were living it up and having the time of their lives. It was when the classes began to set in and the assignments started to pile up, that every college freshmen begins to dial mommys number. Im tired, Im stressed, and I need a break! Every one of us whined the exact same statement. Quickly after the new college feel wore off, we all lost motivation. This is when we often start missing classes, forget to turn in assignments, grades start dropping, and the naps start extending so were forced to call home and be reminded that we can make it. We need the refocusing pep talk to get us through!Theyre all a bunch of party animals! Theyre lame and dont know how to turn up! These are the two stereotypes that people mostly focus on when they think about college freshmen. During my research I found that many online sources, such as YouTube videos, specifically emphasized the partying aspect of college. These videos usually show that we either party all the time or we dont party enough. These stereotypes never show the other factors that play a part in the choice of partying. Those lames that dont know how to turn up usually choose to turn down because they know they have an 8:00 class the next morning, those party animals that stay out all night usually dont have much responsible to take care of the next day and if they do they dont care that much, and those homebodies that always stay in their dorm room every night are usually the type that doesnt even like the scene and choose to stay in just because they dont like coming out of their comfort zone. Even though we tend to be looked at as all the same, college freshmen dont move as a whole. We all have great differences and make different decisions based off of our personal obligations and personality traits.You should never be hungry, you have a meal plan! This is the number one phrase that is thrown in the face of every freshmen when they come home complaining about their hunger. Everyone seems to think that we have an endless buffet in the cafeterias. I will be the first to state that this is a complete misconception and there are no endless buffets in sight. Many people fail to remember that the cafeterias arent open all day, we still have classes so we dont get to just camp out in the cafeteria waiting for food, and they usually serve the same meals every day which is quite annoying. I dont know where the idea that because we all have a free meal plan (that really isnt free) we should be eating all day. And usually when we begin to explain the reality of our actual eating habits is when the scolding begins. Most of us really only get one good meal a day and we are eating snacks most of the time. And even when we do get that meal in, its usually consists of pizza, salad, and fries. Ive heard many freshmen say that their day is often moving so fast that it is probably 7:00 PM before they even realize that they havent had a real meal that day. So no, we dont spend our day at an endless buffet and yes, when we say were hungry we actually mean it!Child, you dont even know what stress is yet! Just a word of advice: we ALL hate when we hear this statement and you should probably stop saying it. Yes, we actually do know what stress is and we tend to call it college. To some college looks like an everlasting party and they believe that we dont have anything to worry about. Others seem to think that just because we come I taking general education courses that its not really anything to stress about. And theres those other people that think if we just show up to class and do what were supposed to then there is nothing to stress about. Contrary to many beliefs, for some freshmen the stress begins as soon as they realize they have been taken out of their comfort zone. College is a major adjustment in every aspect. Were relocated from a place weve been for the last 17-18 years and thrown into a sea of strangers and expected to survive, our work load begins to slowly increase right before our eyes, and we are very sleep-deprived. College sometimes becomes a blur of due dates, naptimes, and classes and we never really realize how stressed we are until someone asks how we are doing and were brought back to reality. No, we dont have the stress of paying bills, or taking care of children, or whatever it is that adults stress about so much; but we do have the stress of succeeding and proving to the world that were not just another lazy kid that cant handle college life. Were young, but we still have stress!Speaking of stress: you all remember that one teacher in high school that always went on and on about how college is paper after paper and the work is so hard? They were so right but they were also very wrong. Yes there is the stereotype that college students have tons of work to do all of the time. My little sister once called me and said she was surprised that I wasnt somewhere writing a 30-page paper. Who comes up with these things? I wont deny that there are a mountain of papers to write but they arent as hard as they seem. The papers we usually receive as college freshmen are only 1-2 pages long and no one ever mentioned that there would literally be a writing class that helps you improve your writing, which wouldve been a nice fact to know. I can also agree with them saying that we would have a lot of work because as college students we do have a load of work due all the time, but they also failed to tell us that just learning to manage your time and avoid stacking classes would help with the heap of work. Teachers always managed to scare kids in high school by telling them how mean college professors are and they hand out tons of work all the time. No one ever tells those kids that as college freshmen we are mostly taking general education classes and those 30-page papers doesnt come around until your junior and senior year. We dont all gain the freshmen 15. We dont all get here and start slacking off. We dont all turn into party animals. We dont all consider ourselves this know-it-all adult. We dont all sit in the library with books piled in front of our faces. Were not all writing 6000-word essays every night. And were certainly not up all night laughing over cookie dough and Netflix with our new college BFFs. Thanks to many different sources over the years everyone has formed their own opinions and stereotypes about what college freshmen do when they get to college. As someone who is currently experiencing the college lifestyle firsthand, I will be the one that says college is not what everyone thinks. There are times when youre glad that youre away from home, but when you get back you finally realize how much you miss it. Yes, there is a lot of work but finding motivation to do the work is probably the hardest part of the assignment. And of course you make new friends when you get here, but please dont expect it to be High School Musical 2 in here because that makes people feel weird. The food is definitely better than high school food, but you will definitely get tired of it and will begin to appreciate all those home-cooked meals your mom forced you to eat. College is a new experience to every freshman and contrary to what everyone thinks, we all react differently when we get to college.