The 5 types of SMU students

By Kritika Lohumi, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business

College is a great time to expand your social circle, and you would certainly meet a vast variety of people. This is especially true of SMU, where you’re likely to meet and work with at least ten new people on average every semester, thanks to all the projects we do. Sure, everyone is unique, but in every school you’ll find groups of students that have specific traits. After two years of studying at SMU, I’ve discovered five types of people that really stand out in terms of their behaviour, and how they manage their school life. This list is, of course, not exhaustive.

The Super SMUggers

Every batch has a handful of these students. This particular species is fairly rare but they sure do assert their presence because their names and faces show up everywhere. And I mean, everywhere. Dean’s List emails? Check. That recent school event which had the whole concourse buzzing? Yup, they were performing in the front row or heading the committee that organised it. These people are master manipulators of time and make the rest of us look like lazy slobs as we struggle to manage our project work and retain some semblance of our social lives. The thing is, they are not nerds who just mug their lives away. You can’t simply roll your eyes and say they sold their soul to the GPA God. They get amazing grades, are always attentive in class taking comprehensive notes. On top of that, they find time to commit to time consuming CCAs—it’s all about discipline and time management, folks.

The Campers

Often spotted in groups, The Campers have their own regular spot in the library. They will ALWAYS be there, regardless of whether it’s Week 2 or Week 8, or exam period. If you happen to run into them, small talk will generally revolve around how much work they have to do, but no one really knows what they do with all their time in the library. Legend has it, they have made their little nests in various enclaves of the library with cardigans, laptops and snacks to munch on to keep themselves going. Now that the new 24/7 section of the beloved Li Ka Shing Library is in operation, it is projected that the population of this particular group is set to grow exponentially.

The Endlessly Energetic

These people are always happy and energetic. Period.

I honestly can’t put it any more simply. One way to tell them apart from the rest is that they are the people who sign up to be camp facilitators over the summer, sometimes even for multiple runs. I cannot begin to explain the immensity of that decision. Think about how many times they have to scream their lungs out and cheer joyfully, motivating their freshmen groups and welcoming them into the school. Yes, these people exist. I don’t know how they survive, but they do it happily, and often repeatedly. Kudos!

Fast, Furious, Focussed

Quarter-life crisis? Not for these guys. A distant cousin of the Super SMUggers, these students know exactly what they want to do with their time in college. They decided their majors and even their possible career paths in the first semester of college (possibly even before entering SMU) and plan every aspect of their school lives meticulously. Be it joining relevant clubs and interest groups like Emerging Markets or Conjunct Consulting, they know all the steps to take to achieve that glowing CV that makes you so desirable to employers. You’ll also see them actively attend talks, networking sessions, and recruitment talks. Go to them for advice if you feel lost!


Probably the bulk of the student population. They manage their schoolwork decently well, sometimes getting a little stressed out with the deadlines and quizzes to study for—we’re only human after all. Every SMU student goes through that at some point.

They enjoy sampling the full spectrum that SMU has to offer, and why not? There are so many opportunities to take advantage of! Want to take up some conversational French or Chinese? Various groups organise language classes at affordable prices for a few weeks during the semester. Then there are also all the school events and parties that you shouldn’t miss like SMU’s classic Starry Nite at the end of the semester. If not now, then when? These SMU students take school life one day at a time, enjoying the ride.