Perhaps with good reason, Wesleyan tends to get typecast during the college decision period as The Hipster School. For visiting prefrosh, the Wes population might come across as a blur of plaid shirts and oddly located piercings, but potential members of the class of 2017 should rest assured that the community is full of individual personalities, each with specific traits and defining quirks—but it was too hard to write an article about that. Below, The Argus breaks the Wesleyan student body down into an unofficially comprehensive catalog of Wesleyan archetypes. Take heed, future Cardinals, and use this information wisely.
The Kid Who’s Excessively Nostalgic for the ’90s: He has an iPhone case modeled after a cassette tape and considers Nirvana classic rock. Any mention of Nickelodeon is just an excuse for him to ramble about the time he met Kenan and Kel at the 1998 Kids’ Choice Awards. (FYI, it was magical.) He sees grunge as a political statement and regularly mourns the demise of the handmade zine. Mention a childhood favorite like Boy Meets World or Full House to this dude and you’re in for an hour-long analysis of Eric’s descent into psychosis or that time D.J. Tanner was anorexic for like, a day. TV today sucks way too hard to show anything real-life like that. Damn the man!
Markings: Beavis and Butt-Head apparel, a beanie worn too far back to be functional, intentionally low-quality Facebook photos.
The Frustratingly P.C. Chick: If you plan to hang around this assertive lady, you’re going to want to check your privilege at the door. Whether your bigotry takes the form of racism, sexism, homophobia, or ageism, she has no reservations about calling you out on it. This chick reads Jezebel like it’s her job and is ready to defend human rights using the most up-to-date lingo in the liberal media. Be careful what you say around this one. She may be open-minded in theory, but there are 1001 ways to get this gal to loathe every fiber of your ignorant, entitled, chauvinistic being.
Markings: Enraged tweets about Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars, repetition of the phrase, “One percent problems, amirite?”
The Subversively Mainstream Dude: This guy thought he was a total nonconformist until he realized that half of the Wesleyan population also dabbled in veganism and played the ukulele. So he went for the opposite approach in making himself stand out: acting completely conventional. This kid has no strong political views, doesn’t get Wes Anderson, and thinks dubstep is highly overrated. He’s majoring in something useful, doesn’t plan to study abroad, and will probably be a camp counselor this summer. He’s well adjusted and absolutely unremarkable, which is sort of alternative in and of itself.
Markings: New Balance sneakers, normal-fitting jeans, looks of confusion after you mention your favorite indie rock band.
The Compulsive Composter: The world is ending and this chick wants you to know it’s all your fault. She is judging you so hard every time you use a paper Weshop bag or forget to bring your own thermos to Pi. After noticing the student body’s abuse of paper towels, this girl started a letter-writing campaign to Kimberly Clark herself (on recycled stationery, naturally). She’s done investigative journalism on where the contents of the Usdan compost bins end up (for the record, it’s still unclear). When hanging with her, remember to unplug your gadgets right away and print everything double-sided. Otherwise, prepare for a very long lecture about how our generation is destroying the earth. Actually, prepare for that lecture regardless. You never know what’s going to get this girl riled up. As far as she’s concerned, friendly and environmentally friendly are indeed mutually constitutive.
Markings: Canvas tote bag, Teva sandals, DVD copy of “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The “Next” Joss Whedon: This guy doesn’t believe in art for art’s sake. He wants to get famous for his own sake and he doesn’t feel bad about that. He’s been making short films since junior high and Lena Dunham’s sister favorited one of his YouTube videos, so it’s not a huge stretch to assume he’s going to make it big. He’s probably been working on the same documentary for the entirety of his Wesleyan career and had a really rewarding experience interning (unpaid) at an independent production company last summer. His post-graduation plans involve moving to L.A., naturally, and rubbing his success in your face at the five-year reunion. To his theater major classmates, no worries. You can totally be an extra in his upcoming production.
Markings: Extensive “Buffy” knowledge, penchant for asking his English major friends to proofread his screenplay.