Community college is the melting pot of diversity for people who come from different walks of life. Even in my small corner of the Earth, I was able to experience a real mash up of individuals not really sure what they are seeking, but still congregating daily at an institution with as little instruction as possible. I learned to love the damned place but that’s not to say I loved everything about it.
Maybe you are a recent high school graduate who didn’t have grades, finances or possibly, desire to attend a four year. Maybe you never went to college and finally want to later in your life. Athletics, family, career furthering, financial aid, boredom, employment…the list is seemingly infinite of reasons that people go to JC’s but despite mass numbers of different people at these schools, recurring groups of students with similar habits can be seen in almost every class. This list is based off my own experience and may be different than yours, but I’ve tried to included pros/cons about group work with these types of people as it is very common and often problematic.
1. The guy who plays Magic the Gathering
Now some of my friends say that Magic is the funnest pastime and proceed to collect cards in stacks bigger than money in a Rick Ross music video…but the diehards have some similar traits. Glasses, video game tee shirts and shoulder strap messenger bags are usually attributed to these fellows who will seem incredibly smart in the first couple sessions of class. Once, you get a little deeper into the subject of study, it will then become apparent that they don’t really know what the shit they are talking about. While the rules and strategy of the game require some intelligence; devotion of all spare time to mastery of the cards and attempting to learn Japanese has dulled many of the other planeswalkers’ skills.
They seem to know a little about everything but never everything about one thing. Some will be incredibly friendly and eager to work in a group, but many have been reported as snobby and with a superiority complex. Feel out which type of player they are before getting into a group with them. Magic friends are cool to have, though sometimes you won’t understand what they are trying to tell you, they usually remember you and may even flag you down as you walk by their mass gathering of card players semesters later.
2. The guy that used to be “hella good” at sports
College is a weird time for athletes, while some are succeeding in their field of competition, many have to hang it up after getting their high school diplomas. Rarely, do these folks graciously accept their free time, and will try to fill it with substances or competitive pick-up games…Often times both simultaneously. There’s really no way to tell how good a person is by their boasts in the classroom, but I will say, be cautious about accepting to join their games. Whether it’s pick-up basketball at the apartment courts or frisbee in the campus field, there is a highly probable chance that the level of play will escalate from friendly to section championship in a short amount of time. Once you’re locked into a game, there’s no bitching out but be careful as sometimes hurting the pride of a jock jocking for classroom dominance can prove awkward when you are assigned to work on team projects together later in the year.
3. The basic
I won’t rant on basic girls like the rest of the internet loves to and you should already be familiar with how to spot one. The basic aren’t that bad though, mostly they spend their time at community college looking pissed and trying to speak to other people as little as possible. You see, many of the basic women feel estranged at JC, separated from their pack, and eager to join their friends in sororities at the local university. While seemingly entirely uninterested in group projects the Basic girl almost always brings great handwriting to the team. This is priceless skill when the group tasks involves creating art on cardboard trifolds, a medium that should have been left in high school…
4. The liberated youth
Long hair, reusable water bottles and new colorful tattoos every week are usually indicators of these folks. They are laid back and quiet in class unless discussing a controversial topic: animal rights, fracking, and issues on personal freedoms. Sometimes, they take a strong stance and ask the class a rhetoric question proving their point at the end of a rant. Although, they obtain some of the highest grades on first few quizzes, the Liberated Youth’s attendance drops increasingly as the year goes on. Some of the friendliest folks when interacted with one on one but prove to be difficult to get ahold of outside of the classroom. You also probably will see them at a bar around town after the course is over, but they won’t recognize you.
5. Opinionated pony-tail man
This character is usually in their early 30’s. Often tattooed, like the class previously listed, the designs usually aren’t of the same as the Liberated Youth. Common sleeve themes include but aren’t limited to: skulls, flames or seemingly random numbers in slot machine font. They are AVID participators in class discussions but always find a way to weave the conversation into marijuana legalization, “the man” or a story about them getting arrested. Having one of these guys in your class can help keep your attention on an originally boring story, but having two is even better! They will either team up against the professor or take each other on head to head in an extrapolated argument using excessive hand gestures and large vocabulary.
Note: DO befriend this guy, chime with their debates and ask about the name tattooed on their throat but DO NOT participate in a group project with them.
6. The boy and girl who look like they could be related but kind of flirt also
Not until midway through the semester will you discover these two but their conversations will have become a nuisance to the rest of the class. It’s then that you really look at them and start to see that they look slightly similar. This far into the course, the teacher usually only calls out the students by their first names during role so you can’t catch the dead giveaway that these two share DNA strands. Cases like this will not cause you a lot of stress but might be recalled in the back of your mind when you hear them whisper throughout the remainder of the semester. If curiosity should continue, DO NOT ask them their relation as they might see it as highly offensive. Instead, simply follow them after class. From a distance watch to see if they leave together or part ways by kissing on the lips…usually (and hopefully) a sign they aren’t related.
7. Finally middle aged mom
-Many mothers go back to school either for fun or to obtain a degree in hopes of furthering their career. While having a friendly mother in the class you are assured to be able to find a mini stapler when an essay is due and the document you printed up is mysteriously unattached as you pull it from your binder. This unfortunately is one of their few redeeming qualities. While rarely whispering to their neighbors, they notoriously feel the need to chime in on the professor’s lectures with personal stories. Since they are closer (or higher) in age as the professor, they think themselves as the instructors friend. Often their extra information will connect to their children and their former schooling years which they address as “When I was first in school…” Other recurring disruptions that have been documented come from violently flipping through binders (they are religious note-takers) or from interesting nokia ringtones going off that they forget to silence.