back to top

We’ve updated our privacy notice and cookie policy. Learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, and find out how we collect your personal data and what we use it for.


The American College Student As Told By Harry Potter

The American college student has been studied many times. In recent years the American college student has changed drastically. There are more people in America enrolled in college than ever before. The American college student is more diverse than in years past. Renn (2013) stated that this is expected to continue in the coming years.

Posted on

College students are trying to figure out their future.

Many students go to college because society pushes that it is the only "correct" next step. Many students in college are studying something that they believe will be their career; however, many students change their major at least once during their college career and leave college feeling like they have learned very little. Kevin Carey (2012) wrote about a book that statessome "students graduate from mediocre or bad high schools and enroll in less-selective colleges that don't challenge them academically. They learn little" (p. 2).

College students are more worried about social status then academics.

Many college students put more emphasis on extracurricular activities and social standing than on their studies. This is due in part by the student's creating their own identities. Students want to fit in, find a place to belong, and succeed academically, which is not easy to do simultaneously.

College students are exposed to new opportunities, both good and bad.

With more independence and more students attending college there is more opportunities available to try new things. Students look to other students to find what is socially acceptable. These opportunities can be good like joining a student organization. Ricardo Worl (1997) found a home and some of his best friends in his fraternity Alpha Chi. But the good doesn't come without the bad. From underage drinking to drug use, many students try new things that have negative effects.

College students have the need to feel like they matter.

College enrollment is higher with the most diverse student body than ever before. College students feel the need to be recognized and get one on one attention. They need to feel like they are the "Chosen One."

College students are more diverse, leading to more challenging perspectives.

Renn (2013) stated that treating a student as a product of a single identity group, without a complex understanding of how multiple identity groups intersect. . . is dangerous and ill-advised" (p. 25) Students do not belong to one identity sector. Students have come from different races, ethnicity, customs, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and more. Students have different perspectives and both college students and administrators have to be cognacent of inclusive of these identities

College professors can be scared too.

Roxanne Gay stated in an article that "most of the time, I feel like the kid who gets to sit at the adult table for the first time." Many college professors are challenged by the new ideas and technology that college students are experts at. Nowadays many college students did not grow up without a computer or internet. Harden (2012) stated that technology allows students to customize their education. Traditional style teaching and lectures do not keep students engaged in the classroom anymore and college professors have to learn how to reach a new type of audience.


Carey, K. (2012, February 12). "'Academically adrift': The news gets worse and worse." Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

Garrod, A., and Larimore, C. (editors) "First Person First Peoples" 1997 Cornell University Press: Ithaca, NY. pp 64-79:250

Gay, R. (2014). "Bad feminist: essays." New York: Harper Perennial. p. 20-28.

Harden, N. "The end of the university as we know it." The American Interest, 8(3). Retrieved from

Renn, K. and R. Reason. "College students in the United States: Characteristics, experiences, and outcomes." 2013. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA. 3-27.

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!