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Top 5 UB Stereotypes

Date:06 November 2019
The procrastinator/international in his natural habitat...
The procrastinator/international in his natural habitat...

It's that time of the year again. The days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and people seek the warmth of the indoors. No, I'm not talking about autumn or Christmas. I'm talking about the exam period. During this time, which somehow does feel colder than usual, hundreds of students flock to the university library (UB) to prepare for their upcoming tests. During this time, the UB is probably the only place in the city where the entire variety of the student population gets together in such a tight space. But as varied and as multi-cultural UG students may be, there are some stereotypes to be made out. This is why, in this blog, I have compiled the five most common student stereotypes you will encounter at the UB during the exam period.

1. 'The Dutchie' 

Of course, Dutchies come in all kinds of different shapes, sizes, forms, colours, genders and what not. But if you would Tikkie me a euro for every time I spot someone fulfilling all of these stereotypes, I'd be a rich man by now. A stereotypical Dutch UB girl, for example, will most likely own a pastel-coloured dopper bottle, flared black pants, white trainers and a leopard print in some shape or form. I have no clue why, but that combo just seems to be a thing here. But it's not only female Dutch students that seem to follow an informal dress code. On the other side, the starter pack for a Dutch UB guy consists of gelled back semi-long hair, a minimum height of 183cm and a 'BLAUW' Scotch & Soda sweater. For some reason, the guys prefer to move in groups of at least three persons at a time, as it probably adds to the overall 'gezelligheid'. While most internationals occupy the 4th floor, the 3rd floor seems to be the preferred one for most Dutchies. Again, I have no clue why this is. Oh, and regardless of gender, most Dutchies seem to be a member/follower of some study association where they tend to spend 90% of their social life. 

2. 'The International'

Ahh, the international students. If there is one thing you can be sure about, it's that there's a lot of them here in Groningen. Although difficult to put into one specific category, 'the internationals' could be generally described as very edgy, cosmopolitan and individualistic individuals (NOT hipsters!!!!). Despite having lived in the Netherlands for seven years, the stereotypical international will still use his phone number from back home and respond with a surprised "WHAT?" when confronted with the most straightforward Dutch words. You will also find internationals often hanging around in a group of friends from their own home country. This can make for interesting and fun situations, like a German house party, a Romanian dinner or an Italian movie night. But trying to join in on a conversation where you are the only non-native speaker is almost as hard as getting a seat in the UB during exam week. If you are early enough, it might still work out, but if you join in too late, you might as well just find something else. Finally, while Dutch students have figured out how study associations work, most internationals don't belong to one. This means that they tend to substitute the UB as their main clubhouse and dating platform, which unlike other association buildings lets everyone with a student card enter. 

3. 'The Procrastinator'

The procrastinator is the one UB type I am sure that most of you will be able to relate. Coming in earliest at 3 pm, the procrastinator takes around 45 minutes to reach his/her seat. No, not because there are none left. But because of a 20-minute chat with Karen, another 7,5-minute wait for coffee at Starbucks, 10 minutes of mental struggle of whether to actually study followed by a quick 5-minute nervous breakdown. Once arrived and all set-up there are, of course, emails to be answered, online shopping to be done and a few bathroom and coffee breaks before finally opening that word document. Next thing you know it's already dinner time, meaning that the day is over and the procrastinator is on his way home promising that tomorrow will finally be 'the day'.

4. 'The Skyper'

Have you ever spotted these people who spend hours every day on the stairs of the UB skyping with someone? I call them the "skypers". Mostly common among international students, I always ask myself whether these people I spot skyping every day run a multinational business or try to pretend that they actually never left their home to study. To be fair though, the wifi at the UB is pretty fast, so I get why you'd want to video chat from there. But if you catch yourself having regular 2-hour skype meetings on the cold library stairs, you should probably consider getting yourself a better internet connection for your home. Oh and one more thing: If you want to skype in a public space, please use your headphones! No one wants to be forced to listen to a private conversation while having lunch, including all the gossip and other things that should probably stay private. 

5. 'The Revolutionary' 

The revolutionary student is another classic stereotype which frequents the UB. Mostly wearing clothes sourced from various local thrift stores, the 80s/90s/00s look is often complemented by a reusable coffee mug and a hemp bag bearing a political message ('STOP ANIMAL TESTING!'). As the revolution is not a trend but a lifestyle, all aspects of it reflect into the daily lives of these young rebels. Obviously, eating meat is a total dealbreaker (aside from the occasional quarter pounder at McD #cheatday), and sustainability is written with a big S (until flying to Thailand for Christmas holidays). Often studying has to wait, while these modern mutineers viciously battle the patriarchy on Facebook and Instagram from their sticker-covered € 1400 MacBook Pros. But hey, who said the revolution is going to be easy?  

Have you encountered any of these stereotypes, or do you even recognise yourself a little bit? ;) Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: Student Life

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently doing my Master's degree in European Law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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