Tompkins Cortland Community College

Student Life

#thinkagain - Social Norms

Think again: Social Norms

Think you know our students?

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about college students in general, and some about students at Tompkins Cortland. Think everyone is walking around high all the time? Think every party ends in keg stands? Think again.

The #thinkagain campaign was created to help Tompkins Cortland students have a more thorough and accurate understanding of what other Tompkins Cortland students think, believe, value, and do. Sure, some students drink, some drink a lot, some smoke marijuana, some even use other drugs or engage in myriad other unhealthy behaviors. But if you think everybody does, or “it’s college and that’s what college students do,” or that you should try or do something because you think friends or classmates already are, well ... think again. Check out the numbers and look for #thinkagain on our Twitter and Facebook sites to learn more.

What is the norm on campus?

"Social norms" help us to have a better understanding of what others value, believe, and do. We are influenced by the behaviors and values of our peers, whether it is something as innocuous as fashion or as potentially life-altering as drug use.

And with the prominence of social media in our lives, we can be overwhelmed with images of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as violence and misogyny.  It’s not surprising that we frequently overestimate how often our peers drink, smoke or do other unhealthy and/or unsafe things. 

Social norms means you find out what's really happening on campus and in your life. Student surveys and national research tell a similar story: College students often overestimate the prevalence of drugs, alcohol, and violence in other students' lives. #thinkagain is working to clear the air.

Where does the information come from?

In the Fall of 2011 and again last year, Tompkins Cortland students (and college students across the country) were asked anonymously and privately on a written survey about their alcohol use, drug use, sex lives, eating habits, physical fitness, birth control use, mental and emotional stressors, and much more. 

The survey was given to a statistically significant and random cross section of our students who accurately represented our general student body.

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