College students spend the majority of their time online.  While most of the time students are connected to the web is spent on useful pursuits and academic achievement, there is always time for distraction. Or, shall we say, students manage to find time to study amongst all of the distractions that the web provides. One of the best ways that students are distracted is by “memes”, which is pretty much any picture or video that goes viral, and then is, of course, replicated exponentially for maximum distraction potential. Indeed, writing the article took longer than usual because I found myself trapped in the grasp of the memes  – and these are the best ones I found.

The “Regulars”

Memes come in many forms, and one of the most popular is a single photograph of a “stereotypical” student with various captions.  One is the “college freshman” meme, who is a happy young man in a university sweatshirt – various captions include “Cites Wikipedia Article” and “Does laundry for the first time – dyes” (the sweatshirt in this one is pink).  There is also the “lazy college senior” meme, featuring a scruffy lad drinking a beer, with quotes like “Doesn’t do the reading, dominates class discussion” and “Paper due in 7 hours, hasn’t decided topic”.   There is also the “college liberal”, which is a photo of a girl with long dreadlocks and features many contradicting statements such as “Hormones in milk can be dangerous, drops acid purchased from a stranger”, and “Thinks laws will keep people from owning guns, smokes pot.”  Another favorite is a woman who is in her 70’s and represents the “nontraditional” student, with quotes like “Correct history professor, remembers being there.” These memes are designed to be funny for anyone who is in college, but those who design the memes went a step further to make distractions a bit more personal.

University memes

My alma mater has its own Facebook page dedicated to memes. A popular one that recurs on that page is “unicycle girl”, because there is a student who rides around campus on a giant unicycle, and she is the butt of many memes. Many major universities have developed their own meme Facebook pages to form a sort of camaraderie for the students and alumni of the university.   There’s even a list of the top 20 colleges where memes are “all the rage”.

Left out of memes

In all of my research, I did notice that there was a sector of colleges that were left out of the meme craze. Online schools are grossly underrepresented in the meme base, and online business management schools don’t make the meme base at all. So, if students from online schools are reading this, start making memes so that online schools can be made fun of, just like the rest of colleges.


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