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The Oxford Student

Photo+by+Amy+Kong.
Photo by Amy Kong.

Photo by Amy Kong.

Photo by Amy Kong.

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Comparison can only jumpstart jealousy. Following a set of high standards can only eventually be detrimental. Yet, it is so inevitable that the human mind constantly finds itself wandering through doubts and insecurity, pondering over scenarios they could have if they were someone else. Perhaps to some extent, it is known to be a form of desperate desire. Economics and psychology has proven throughout all of history that humans want what they cannot have – or, in the rare instance where they do obtain something desired, they still want more. But in the aftermath, it is more beneficial to the individual and to the community if everyone would just recognize their own strengths and individuality.

This is a point that is brought up because the term “typical Oxford student” seems to be an increasingly used phrase around campus. But can the “typical student” actually be defined? What counts as the “typical Oxford student” in these scenarios? As a school that places pride on its “international flavor” and widespread diversity, it is both logically hypocritical and beyond ironic for students to even feel as if there is an image that is associated with the common student.

Idealistically, it is in everyone’s perfect version of college to hold numerous leadership positions, find a group of friends to click with, and be involved in the community. In this perfect world, grades would automatically be A’s because somehow, all the material is miraculously understood without conflict. Mornings would be greeted with a run down the nature trail after a good night’s sleep. There would be time to go exploring and, of course, time for the most popular purpose of college: self-discovery.

It is safe to assume that at this point, it is universally known throughout campus that the sad reality is: college is not like that at all. There are undoubtedly talented people who are able to pursue this type of lifestyle and actually succeed. These amazing students are broadcasted and advertised when need be, but it shouldn’t be the standard guideline of what a student in Oxford should be like. Rather, it should be the dream.

Oxford students come from 45 states and 29 nations. There are 113 collective majors/minors offered at the college. In addition to these areas, there are over 80 clubs on campus for a given student to join. That being said, every student has a strength. For the hesitant who question that statement, a strength can even just be getting enough sleep, because that is definitely a skill.

Hence, to redefine the “typical Oxford student,” it should be said that it is everyone on campus. It can be the math enthusiast that runs computer programming sessions biweekly. It can be the passionate actor that epically fails at dance auditions. It can be the introvert that may not like going out too much, but is amazingly talented in all academic areas. Perhaps it is a SAC member with an undiscovered talent for singing, or that one kid who’s never even on campus. And of course, let’s not forget the students who feel like they’re just failing at everything they’re doing, but have an unquenchable love for cats. These are all the “typical Oxford student.”

Oxford is about community and support. As finals week approaches, another definition of the “typical Oxford student” can be a student who is beyond stressed and has mini meltdowns from extreme anxiety to do well. It can be a student that is often found in the library or at the Bread and Butter Bakery late into the night, head buried into multiple tabs on Safari, sleeping at night with James Stewart and hoping to absorb his teachings on single variable calculus.

The ultimate point to be derived from this article is simply that there is no definition for what a typical student in Oxford College should be like. This is defined by the student body, but as it is constantly changing, the definition itself should also be arbitrary, like the constant C when computing antiderivatives. In the end, each and every student follows a similar goal, which is the more important aspect –

“Let us take what is good and make it better.”

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The student news site of Oxford College of Emory University
The Oxford Student