To feel somewhat sorry for less extrovert undergraduates these days?

(29 Posts)
fishdishwish Thu 28-Aug-14 22:33:34

It seems to me that the whole 'party' culture seems to dominate student life more than ever before, and that many young people of both sexes are buying into a really laddish ethos.

I was never the most socially confident of teenagers, but I found my niche at uni (mid 90s) after a slightly rocky start. However, I'm not sure how I would have coped now.

I really hated a lot of being an undergrad, and that was 2003 for me. I don't know that it's precisely worse for introverts now, but definitely the lad culture is worse, and I do feel really sorry for some of them.

That said, I have seen loads of attempts to make students feel more welcome and I think some universities are getting really good at providing support systems, so it is swings and roundabouts IMO.

DiaDuit Thu 28-Aug-14 23:16:07

I dont have much experience of it but having watched a CH4 docu type programme on first year students i tend to agree with you. There was one girl on it who seemed quite isolated and had a really hard time particularly when she objected to some really offensive stuff her block were doing on a night out that he attended.

Atavistic Thu 28-Aug-14 23:18:00

It's a large community. You get to leave your small town behind and, instead of being one or two, you can find lots of like minded people, who don't think you are odd. This goes for geeks as well as party animals. Yes, the extroverts get their life stories up on Facebook pronto, but there are more ways of skinning a cat. The meek very often inherit the earth.

phonebox Thu 28-Aug-14 23:22:18

The meek don't get the best chances at job interviews or networking, though.

BackforGood Thu 28-Aug-14 23:22:39

I agree with Atavistic. There's thousands of students out there. People find their 'group' - they find like minded students.

I don't think you could really base any judgement on a "spy on the wall" prog put out to try to draw in viewers - it's hardly reflecting the ordinary, middle of the road, normal everyday students, let alone the introverts.

What, all students live in small towns?! confused grin

Ok, I know that's not what you meant, but I think it's tough on students that there is this idea they'll always find like-minded people, as one of the really difficult things is when you realize there is a prevailing group culture and you don't fit. Obviously it doesn't always happen, but IME it's quite a common complaint.

BackforGood Thu 28-Aug-14 23:26:12

No - not that bit grin
I mean, there are societies / groups for everyone at University, so you can find your niche (including on-line ones if you don't want to be with anyone else in the same room).

DiaDuit Thu 28-Aug-14 23:27:28

Of course not backforgood. It was one student out of a very small group being filmed. But they werent actors either, the extroverts seemed to far outweigh the quieter ones which in itself can feel isolating if you are a quiet one. I'd be really surprised if what i saw wasnt the norm.

BackforGood Thu 28-Aug-14 23:33:31

Yes, but the point is, that 99.9% of the people who would agree to be shown on the programme, would be the extroverts, to agree to be on the programme in the first place.

YY, that's true, back ... I think, though, it can be quite an isolating time, all the same. It's not necessarily the end of the world if it is (I don't mean to be all doom and gloom), but I think if they don't find their niche they need to know that's ok too, and in three years it'll all be over!

Jewels234 Thu 28-Aug-14 23:36:53

My sister is going through this at the moment. She is finding it so so hard, I just want to give her a hug and tell her that there are others like her, she's not alone, but it's not so easy to find those like minded people when you're quiet.

DiaDuit Thu 28-Aug-14 23:51:43

Yes good point back, it would also stand to reason that the extroverts would dominate the public spaces/forums/events at uni in the same way.

gamescompendium Thu 28-Aug-14 23:53:03

I would have thought the extroverts who are all over FB are going to be the ones who struggle to get jobs, especially if there is a digital record of them doing offensive things.

I was a complete geek and University was brilliant for me (admittedly this was the late 80s), hope that's still true today.

Atavistic Thu 28-Aug-14 23:55:30

Small town, small community, you know I meant. But I went to Uni in the 1990's, in Ireland, when maybe 10% went to Uni. The stats today say that 50% go, so perhaps it's not so easy to get away from the fools who plagued your teenage years. I wholeheartedly agree with BackforGood, that's its attention seekers who would apply to a tv show.

DiaDuit Fri 29-Aug-14 00:00:45

Fb is very easy to control and hide what you dont want to be seen. I even use one of my other names (rather than my first name) for my FB account so that anyone who isnt actually a real friend cant search for me (because they wouldnt know to search the name i use for FB)

ata - no, I don't know what you mean! Loads of people go to university from big cities and big communities, and find university depressingly small and narrow. After all, it is populated by a tiny narrow group, often with few students who're outside the 18-21 age range, often very white, etc. etc. It can feel isolating.

RonaldMcDonald Fri 29-Aug-14 00:06:48

Gawd I think it was worse when I was an undergrad
I remember being a very timid little mouse

Many of my friend's children and littler cousins seem to have had a very tame and abstemious life in comparison to the time I eventually had
They seem to do a great deal more work and more concerted study. Less drug taking too tbh

Flipflops7 Fri 29-Aug-14 08:28:12

YANBU OP, I often think about this. I don't think I'd bother going, certainly not in this country, if I was young now. I went in the 80s and the culture was quieter, more cerebral, better for girls. Yeah, we had drink, some people had drugs and there were great, original bands to see and the usual range of special interest clubs to join.

I was quite shy though outwardly sophisticated. I would always have disdained a lot of the really stupid behaviour but it wasn't compulsory or majority-led back then, and joy of joys no social media meant everyone was a private person.

BadLad Fri 29-Aug-14 08:43:10

abstemious

Awesome word. I offer you my most enthusiastic contrafibularities.

x2boys Fri 29-Aug-14 08:43:27

I did nurse training from1993 -1996 it was at the start of the diploma training ( now phased out) and we were affiliated to a university we lived in the univeristy halls of residence for the first year so I got the university experience however there were only about twenty student nurses living in so we kind of stuck together we did make friends with other students but the student nurses all stuck together I think. I had the best of both worlds (apart from the fact we only got six weeks holiday a year!!) For the last two years we got a student house five of us we had some great times there were four houses on the road that we all owned by the same landlord all occupied by students we had some great parties.

Higheredserf Fri 29-Aug-14 08:55:29

YANBU

Though all personality types are obviously found across the board amongst undergraduates the surge in celeb culture copying and social media has encouraged outlandish behaviour.

There have always been students that misbehave to varying degrees and also lovely studious students but there is a definite sea change.

Higher education still produces lots of great graduates but with all the changes over the last twenty years I'm relieved I have just retired. I will miss the students but I will never have to live through the REF again, hurrah! Those heady golden years pre RAE and tuition fees, them were the days <rocks in rocking chair muttering to self>

Babycham1979 Fri 29-Aug-14 09:05:34

I'm afraid I disagree entirely. I went to uni from 1997-2000, and was part of the last cohort to receive a grant (and a student loan). There were no fees to pay, and those two sources of cash, plus a part time job were more than enough to fund three years of debauchery and political activity, with a little studying thrown in.

Students have it much harder to be quite so self-indulgent and unproductive now that there's a market for education, higher entry requirements, greater competition for jobs, and completely different expectations of prospective employers (internships, volunteering experience etc). In the absence of grants, and with twenty years' worth of inflation on prices (not to mention the trend towarsd forcing students into overpriced corporate dormitories), all but the most spoilt rich kids will struggle to fund the university life my peers and I enjoyed.

Like school, work, adulthood etc, university life appears to be focused around the popular, confident and extroverted; it's no different.

SierpinskiNumber Fri 29-Aug-14 09:16:14

I think there is a party culture for those that want to party but there is plenty to do for those that don't. My Uni DC (X3) aren't party crazy. One hates crowds and loud music and another is tea total. There are all sorts of activities at their universities that don't involve getting wasted.
Also partying is expensive so I'm not sure all students could afford it.
My DC do a lot of sport, a lot of 'flat' movie nights or computer game sessions,they go out for pub quiz nights and are members of one or two clubs.
One DC does go out clubbing but he is the tea total one.

outtolunchagain Fri 29-Aug-14 09:25:17

It's not just the party culture as well it's the very focused stuff.Its less about enjoying the subject / club/ activity and more about collecting stamps for the CV .its not good enough to have participated employers want to see that you have run the club hmm, in my day club committees were dominated by people who were interested in that activity , now it's sharp elbows to get the stamp on the CV.

The non sharp elbowed really seem to struggle and it's quite demoralising for them , ds1 is an introvert and I would say University has been pretty desperate for him hmmI feel so sad I went in the 1980s and had a wonderful time and I am not extrovert .

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