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Zobia Ahmad

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Stereotypes – some of us try to break free from them, and others would just like to break free period. Each of us try to be unique in our own way, try to show others that we’re not like the rest. Stereotypes stem from us human beings constantly wanting to be able to categorize the world, both the social and physical aspect, into neat little groups. We like being able to understand and predict the world and social systems set in place, because as humans, we are all afraid of the unknown. As a child, I’ve grown up hearing and seeing many stereotypes come into play in my everyday life. Currently, as a student at the Schulich School of Business, I’ve noticed many stereotypes that revolve around us Schuligans.

The Schulich School of Business is a part of York University, but to a majority of York students, they have a perceived notion that we are all stuck up and elitists, and think we are outsiders. To be honest, I truly think that this stereotype came into play because the majority of us Schulich students don’t ever leave the Schulich building, and when we do, we tend to travel in a pack, and only talk to those around us – even in our elective classes. I know we can’t help it, Schulich has become a second home to many of us (for some it is our FIRST home), and 90% of our classes are in the Schulich building. Our community is very tight-knit and we have a certain comfort level between us – however, this doesn’t mean that we are unwelcoming. We might seem intimidating, but in reality, we love meeting new people, and we just need to let that be known to the rest of York.

Another common stereotype that we have is that we all wear suits, everyday, and that’s the formal dress code of Schulich. I admit, wearing suits has a certain allure to it – you feel empowered, and you feel good about the way you look. In simple words, we look like we have our life together, and let’s be honest, half of us actually don’t. So even though we can’t always make our GPA look on point, we can at least try with our appearances! However, saying that, a majority of the Schulich student population dresses very casually (I can say I am a part of that population). I truly applaud those who allocate extra time to looking the best they can – I just end up using that time trying to force myself to get out of bed!

Considering that York is a commuter school, and that our course load is heavy, our major focus goes to academics, compared to extracurriculars or even partying. Due to this, a lot of Schulich students joke around that our parties consist of finishing our connect assignments together or that our social lives revolve around our Facebook group chats. Some of us get so attached to our group project members *cough cough NETA cough cough*, to the point where the chat continues even after the project is over with. But this really shows how close-knit we are, and that we’re able to stick together even after the ups and downs of working together in a group project. We all have similar academic goals, similar work ethic, and at the end of the day we’re one big family.

Last but not least, another big stereotype we have is that we assume that a majority of our student population will end up specializing in Accounting. It’s true that Schulich is known for having an extremely strong alumni network within the accounting industry, but that doesn’t mean that we all should end up in this field. After all, Schulich does offer 10 specializations, so we all have the option of choosing to specialize in what we’re passionate about, and not what everyone else is doing. In fact, we don’t even have to specialize if we don’t want to!

Overall, in some cases, even though some of the stereotypes may be correct, people shouldn’t have preconceived perceptions about others. It causes a lot of miscommunication, and sometimes, people are afraid to break out of the stereotypical shells they are confined in. We should all keep an open mind about others, and get to know them before making our judgements – after all, as DaShanne Stokes (famous author) once said, “Reducing a group to a slur or stereotype reduces us all.”

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