The nine people you’ll meet in an Arts Degree

The slob: They live off a combination of illegal Centrelink payments and cash they made fruit picking over the Summer. Their personal brand of anti-capitalist fiscal policy is going to make them some serious cash one day.

If you’re procrastinating hard enough to read this, you’re definitely the proud by-product of an Arts Degree.

The tertiary equivalent of a question mark, the majority of us who left school found ourselves in an Arts degree at some point of the journey. It was the great launching pad, that shot us off into a variety of wild and exciting careers.

(Or, if you’re like me, you stayed within the Arts faculty, choosing a completely useless and gratuitous major like, say, Creative Writing. *Blinks back tears*)

Anyway, the Arts degree manages to appeal to a real assortment of people, as varied and unexpected as the contents of a budget pork sausage. Strangely, these ‘types’ don’t seem to change from year to year, and people who did an arts degree in 1986 will encounter the same types as those found in modern-day universities. Even the fashion hasn’t changed…only now it’s ironic.

If you can tick these nine types off your list of university buddies, then congratulations – you are definitely an Arts graduate.

The private school boy.

The private school boy is stoked because finally he can live his best life. Goodbye, parents. Goodbye, teachers. Goodbye, shoes. The private school boy is either the most expensive looking hobo on the campus, or a walking advertisement for Ralph Lauren.

There’s no inbetween for this demographic: they’re either rolling around in boat shoes and a North Face vest, or they’re wearing fisherman pants that their mum bought back from her stay at a meditation retreat in Bali. Avoid both.

The party person.

This is your go-to person when you need any of the following:

  • A cigarette paper
  • An after party when the club closes
  • An invite to another faculty’s Uni Ball
  • A lighter
  • A drinking partner when you fail an exam
  • A drinking partner when you break up with your boyfriend
  • A drink partner <insert any life event here>

You have deep suspicions that the party person does not actually attend your university, but is a Van Wilder-esque personality that floats around various campuses buoying the spirits of poor and sober university students. We salute you.

The pot smoker.

Always smells like a feet and surprisingly attractive, despite your complete aversion to the smell of bongs at 9am in the morning. The pot smoker chews on pencils and tips their chair back just enough to almost fall over. Irritating but showcasing admirable dexterity and motor skills.

The pot smoker is a quietly spoken genius, with the full extent of their intellect only when subjected to intense questioning by lecturers and/or on the final day of group assignments. At which point you discover they’re a genius, goddamnit.

The leftie activist.

Similar to the pot smoker but distinctly more coherent, the leftie activist has a lot to say. About everything. Chances are they will have a hand drawn zine or brochure to leave you with, just in case you forget.

Fan of body hair, not a fan of deodorant or ‘gendered activities’. Is on a one-way ticket to working from SBS or an international non-for-profit, and cares way more about the environment than you ever will, you asshole.

The private school girl.

The ironic thing about the private school girl is that she is trying really, really hard not to look like a private school girl. Time, effort, and inexhaustible funds have been funnelled into her carefully constructed ‘student’ look: vintage ray bans, high-waisted denim shorts, and Vans that are less than five minutes old.

The private school girl is fiercely intelligent and will go on to become a hard-ass barrister, but for now, still thinks the best way to spend a class is giggling with her girlfriend, staring at the boys, or twirling her hair.

The mature-age student.

‘I’m a cool mom’ doesn’t quite cut it when describing the mature age student. They just want friends, you guys. They can have fun. Just ask their son, he’d be about your age? Oops, sorry. No talking about the kids. I promised the hubby!

Mature age students are awesome because they actually do the assigned work, but are also slightly depressing when you realise that outside of the safe walls of your university lies the real world, one that will age you, wrinkle you, take your money, and kill your passion. Not cool, Mom.

The slob. 

Ah, the slob. Personified by stained tracksuit pants and ugg boots (even in summer), the slob is likely to live in college, and unlikely to pay close attention to personal hygiene. An extension of the private school boy sloth, the slob has taken it a step further and fully committed to three full years of slovenly living before the real world begins.

They live off a combination of illegal Centrelink payments and cash they made fruit picking over the summer break, and always have flecks of dry food around their mouth. The slob is resourceful, people, so don’t write them off too soon. Their personal brand of anti-capitalist fiscal policy is going to make them some serious cash one day.

The brains. 

This is the person you simply must befriend, regardless of the fact that you oscillate between wanting to punch them in the throat, or carry them around like a small dog. They are pathetic but nasty, weak but vicious, loveable but Jesus Fucking Christ Jason I get it, you think that the answer was obvious and I still managed to get it wrong, OK?

You need this person, you see, because in 4.5 years they will be on Forbes Rich List with a boat, beach house, and bevy of babes – and you want to be in on that. Also, every nerd needs a friend, yeah?

The international student.

The international students are easily identified by their kooky hybrid accent, some kind of tweaked American as the result of attending a variety of international schools.

The international student will be slightly scathing of your campus – “Wait, you have to pay for the food here?” – but generally good company. They can tell you about winters in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, you can explain what a parma is. Symbiotic.


Sure, your Arts degree might get your absolutely nowhere in life professionally, but it DID open you up to a sausage-meat variety of cool people.

And who knows? Maybe once the horror of group assignments is out of your life, these weirdos might actually end up your friends for life.

Or maybe that’s what Master’s Degrees are for.

Girl in the fruit-hat image source: Blaze Edwards from Sleep Pile

The nine people you’ll meet in an Arts Degree
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