The celebrity or celebrity’s kid/s on campus.
There is a celebrity or celebrity’s kid on a lot of college campuses — the son of a famous local businessman/pastor, the daughter of a movie star, a senator’s son, a Kennedy — and this person will become a mythical creature on campus who gets talked about and glimpsed in the wild but never actually encountered. Inevitably, people on campus will talk about the celebrity or celebrity’s kid in the third person and someone in your social group will try to give the impression that they’re BFFs with said celebrity’s kid to make themselves seem cooler. I mean, I know people who “knew” James Franco when he was at my campus, and everybody talked about him all the time. I never hung out with him, though I did meet him briefly and shake his hand once at the Starbucks on Chapel Street. I didn’t wash that hand for a few days, just sayin’.
How wasted they got last night.
College is perhaps the only place where it’s perfectly natural to be drinking/drunk at any time of day, so get those red cups out! Undergrad is really just one big weekend stretched out over 4 to 6 years, depending on how many tests you make it to between tequila shots. The weekend, which begins on Wednesday because no one takes classes on Thursday or Friday, is for streaking around campus and going to naked frat parties, then bragging about it all in Organic Chemistry on Monday morning. None of this applies to college freshman, though, who are very responsible individuals and do not drink until they are finally 21.
Acceptance rates and which college they COULD have gone to.
College students love telling their friends what better places they could have gone to school. Why am I wasting my time at this lowly trade school when I should be at Williams? They might say something like, “Man, this school sucks. I almost went to Harvard but I missed the application deadline.” Sometimes it’s hard to know if they’re being honest or if they’re just trying to posture and make you feel like less of a person. I’ve overheard so many college students talking about where they could have gone to school and I wonder if there isn’t something more worthwhile to talk about — like which of the Ivy League schools matters more than the other, which I have also overheard people talking about.
How much/little time is spent on class assignments.
College students love talking about how much time they spent writing a paper or how little time they spent on it. Like bragging about what they got on the SAT, how many AP courses they took, or where else they could have gone to college, maybe this is a way of trying to seem better than everyone else. “I didn’t do the reading — I never do.” “Yeah, my 25-page paper is due tomorrow but I can just take some Adderall and bust it out.” You might be able to, Amy Adderall, but your professor WILL KNOW. Trust me. Then there’s the one who asks you how much you studied for the test, when really they can’t wait to tell you how hard they studied so you can feel like an awful human being for watching two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race instead of preparing for your midterm.
Late night conversations about socially constructed things.
College might be the one time you care about social issues before you cut off your dreadlocks to go work at an investment bank in London. Before that happens, though, you’re learning about ideas, philosophy, race, class, and how socially constructed every thing around you is. This is especially the case the first time you take a Women’s Studies/Sexuality Studies/Gender Studies seminar. What do you MEAN heterosexuality isn’t real?!?! What the eff is the “heterosexual matrix,” Judith Butler??? Gah, my brain!