Examining the concept of a stereotype is an interesting and revealing exercise. Recently, in my course on Middle East studies, we considered how Islam is portrayed in the popular media and how different those projections were from reality. This got me thinking about the concept of stereotypes and how they affect people at every level from the international level down to the microcosm that is CSM.
I believe CSM students often get the short-end-of-the-stick when it comes to stereotypes. We are portrayed as asocial, boring, bookworms who can only carry on conversations relating to non-linear differential equations. Like many stereotypes, there is some vein of truth to the generalization; however I would argue that the student populous at Mines exhibits a greater pool of talents than we’re given credit for.
In addition to being masters of science and engineering, we are musicians, artists, writers, athletes, hobbyists, etc. (the list could go on for the rest of this article). However, being good at things other than engineering cannot alter public perception unless you educate the public through displays of talent. Consider sharing your talents outside of your own home- go big. There is no reason that CSM shouldn’t be known as “the school where everyone is smart, talented, and socially adept.”
So my challenge stands: push the boundaries of people’s perceptions. Represent your campus in a way that speaks to more than a technical knowledge. Be proud of your skills and share them with the world.
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