10 Students You’ll Meet at College (and What You Can Learn From Them!)

By NEXT Staff on Thursday, September 3, 2015

College is a place where students really come out of their shells and let their individual personalities shine. And as unique as each person is, there are 10 types in particular you’re bound to encounter no matter where you go. Some lead by example, while others are examples of how not to behave. Here’s a breakdown on their personalities so you can learn from them — or learn to avoid them!

The Overachiever

For these students, an “A” is never good enough, and that’s a good thing! These students usually have an awesome scholarship and will likely graduate with honors, making them more competitive in the job market. They’re proof that hard work pays off, and their dedication and focus make them great partners for class projects.

Here are some common “overachiever” traits to imitate:
• Works hard to get A’s on all assignments
• Doesn’t skip class
• Actively seeks help when needed
• Takes advantage of all extra credit opportunities
• Puts classes and studying before social life

The Slacker

You can spot this person from the lecture hall doorway. They’re in the back row, earbuds in, head down, with no notes in sight. This is the last person you want to be stuck with on a group project. Getting them to contribute anything to class – or to the college experience, for that matter – is like pulling teeth.

Steer clear, and remember these are slacker traits to avoid:
• Skips class frequently or is habitually late
• Blows off homework and studying
• Doesn’t pull their weight in group projects, making everyone else do the work
• Mismanages time
• Thinks a 2.0 GPA is OK

The Involved One

This is the student who has to pencil you in just to grab a coffee. With a hand in just about every student organization you can imagine, “the involved one” keeps their to-do list full. You can usually find them on Facebook with thousands of friends because they are constantly interacting with others on campus, making lots of connections along the way. Getting involved is key!

That’s why this student has a lot of valuable traits to imitate:
• Takes part in enriching student organizations
• Knows campus involvement looks awesome on a résumé
• Doesn’t spread him or herself too thin
• Collects a variety of great experiences
• Has a big professional network that will help in school and beyond

The Cheater

Despite the extreme punishments colleges hand out – like suspension, expulsion and failed courses – some students still try to get ahead dishonestly. Whether it’s lifting answers from classmates’ exams or stealing an essay online and using it as their own, these students are always looking to take the easy way out, and rarely learn anything in the process.

Here are more “cheater” traits to avoid:
• Doesn’t get much out of school
• Plagiarizes assignments
• Instead of working, wastes effort trying to cheat
• Sets up bad habits for college and beyond
• Suffers the consequences sooner or later

The Teacher’s Pet

These students’ positive relationships with professors aren’t favoritism, but instead a result of their efforts to show they’re invested in getting the most from the class as they can. They want an education and good grades, and they understand teachers have the power to dole out both!

“Teacher’s pets” definitely have traits to imitate:
• Comes to class on time with the supplies needed
• Pays attention
• Asks a lot of questions
• Works ahead of schedule
• Visits during office hours when struggling with a concept from class
• Turns assignments in on time, without excuses or begging for extensions

The Rowdy Frat Boy

Most fraternity members are good students, but there are always a few who are a little too loud and obnoxious. Not only is this person so caught up in friends and fun that he’s disruptive to fellow students, but he’s also known for partying too much and for frequently skipping class. With this guy, the balance between work and play is severely tipped.

Imitate his fraternity brothers who are focused on grades and community service, and note his traits to avoid:
• Skips a lot of class, regularly relying on others for notes
• Parties excessively throughout the week
• Irritates fellow students
• Misses the real point of Greek organizations
• Disregards fraternity and university rules

The Savvy Greek

Unlike their rowdy counterparts, savvy Greeks know how to balance campus involvement and the college experience without sacrificing academics. They’re not afraid to get out there and meet new people, or gather for a good cause.

Even if you don’t pledge, you can still pick up on these Greek traits to imitate:
• Has all kinds of friends, Greek or not
• Forms study groups to ace tests and learn from others
• Learns valuable leadership skills
• Develops a second family in their organization
• Puts education first, but the college experience is a close second

The Crazy Roommate

Just ask your college-age brother or your parents. They’ll probably tell you they’ve endured the “crazy roommate” at some point. These students tend to be inconsiderate of dorm-mates by breaking house rules, and disrupting and messing with their roomies' stuff.

Don’t be this student; here are their traits to avoid:
• Blares music during quiet hours, or while their roommate is studying
• Brings friends over unannounced
• Won’t compromise on room temperature or quiet time
• Pilfers through roommate’s belongings (or steals!)
• Brings illegal substances into the dorm

The Politician

We’re not just talking about Congress-bound students getting their start in student government. There are passionate individuals in leadership roles all around campus in places like the student newspaper, student alumni board and charity committees. No matter their individual focus, they all use college as a place to get involved, network and make a difference.

Here are a few more of their positive traits to imitate:
• Applies lessons learned in class to real life
• Takes every opportunity for résumé-building
• Explores ways to make campus and the world a better place
• Is passionate about public service
• Sees the value in networking even while in college

The Nontraditional Student

These days, people of all ages and in all stages of life are chasing a degree. So, don’t be surprised to see older students in your classes. These nontraditionals know first-hand how important higher education is, so they’re not messing around when it comes to their studies. That’s why, despite having a real-world job and possibly a family to support, they’re usually star students.

Appreciate the effort they’re making and note these traits to imitate:
• Excels at time management
• Asks questions in class and participates in discussions
• Takes advantage of resources like tutoring and career counseling
• Doesn’t take education for granted
• Works toward a secure financial future