Student Metamorphosis – From High School to Varsity

October 12th, 2015 by Pearson

Charles Darwin explored our origins, identifying various evolutionary forms and their characteristics. Now in the name of social science, we will study a species of our own – the student.

Their work ethic, dress code and social behaviour has been a source of entertainment for generations. With growing populations, it’s become important to demystify their distinct groups and understand how they emerge from adolescence into young adulthood.


Exhibit A – The High Schooler

High school students may appear uniform in their prescribed attire, but looks are deceiving. This species is distinguished by their varying enthusiasm for academics, their social status, and the type of extracurricular activities they participate in.

A few well-known sub-species include:

  • Overachievers – Academically driven hard workers, who possess no social life and do more than necessary to achieve a staggering amount of As.
  • Easy-As – The envy of many and friend to all, who breeze through assignments and exams with seemingly little effort, and still get excellent marks.
  • Popular kids – These guys never miss a fashion trend, they set the social hierarchy and are easily identifiable by the attention they draw simply by walking into a room.
  • Jocks – Talented, muscular sportsmen, who participate in more than one team activity, depending on the season.
  • Do-Gooders – They want to heal the world and its people through humanitarian initiatives, clean-up campaigns and fundraisers.
  • Bookworms – A rare breed, able to navigate school halls and staircases without raising their heads from textbooks or novels.


Exhibit B – The Varsity Student

The cliques formed in High School often influence the groups that students gravitate to in university. Jocks, for instance, will most likely select a “manly” band of brothers that share their love of sport.

Similarly evolved groups comprise:

  • Student Journalists – Unrelenting, deadline-driven and eager to please their editors, these bear a striking resemblance to Overachievers as they chase stories and agonise over word counts.
  • Surfers – Intelligent and suspiciously chilled, members of this crowd make shabby look chic and hard work effortless – Easy-A much?
  • Party Animals – Social butterflies from birth, University is simply a home-coming for these Popular Kids.
  • Engineers – You’ll either find this band of brothers a blast or annoying. They’re so much like a sports team they’re probably all on one too. See Jocks (or Bookworms, interestingly enough).
  • Political Radicals – Individuals always lobbying for a cause with a wealth of information on human rights and humanitarian agendas, they learned well from their days of Do-Goodery.
  • Arts Faculty Hippies – Found dressed in an array of colours, seek these for information on culture and the obscure. You decide where they evolved from…


Despite their differences, every species has found the leap between secondary and tertiary education overwhelming and scary. How they’ve adapted to their new environment has defined their success.

Darwin said it best: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”