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different types of students

When you spread your wings and leave the nest to go to university, expect some major changes in your life. The microcosm that forms the university classroom may be different from what you got used to at school. There are various types of students in a classroom. They may display 1 or a combination of the 7 different learning styles. These are visual, aural, verbal, kinaesthetic, logical, social, and solitary learners.

These different types of learners are brought together in one environment where they are expected to learn. Not only that, there are different personalities in the classroom. With so many types of students, a university classroom can be a complex place to learn in.

Every class contains different types of college students. That’s why it’s impossible to offer a description of students in a classroom because each learning environment is unique. You will encounter different types of gifted students, different types of special needs students, and different types of slow learners.

There is a combination of these 3 types of learners in the class. And in between, there are the average students in the class. The types of students in a classroom will determine the lecturer’s approach. Being a college student is tough. Every class has a variety of different types of students. It’s said that there are 22 types of students you’ll get to meet while you’re at university. Here are the 10 types of students who will dominate your university experience:

1. The good friend or mother figure

The good friend or mother figure

This is a student who cares about the different types of learners in the classroom. He/she will go out of his/her way to accommodate all types of students and make them feel included.

If someone in the class is sick, this student has tissues, advice, and an Advil to get them through the day. When someone is going through a rough time, he/she is always ready to offer a shoulder to cry on.

There are different types of students who fit into this category. Their learning style or grades have little to do with it. It’s about the type of person they are. If they have a caring, nurturing approach to their classmates, they’ll take on the role of the mother hen.

This role is not specific to females. It could be one of the guys in the group who takes it on. It’s great to be able to fit into this category, as you’ll never have a shortage of friends and peers who need you.

2. The genius

The genius type of student

One of the student types in a classroom that is not always popular are the geniuses. Every classroom has at least one. It’s that guy or girl who seems to breeze through everything.

They put in little or no effort and get top marks. It leaves the rest of the students wondering what they’re doing wrong. The genius makes it seem so easy. Other students question what they’re doing there if they can’t compare.

Often, the genius can come across as stand-offish. It is hard for them to understand the different types of slow learners in the classroom. They may even regard them as lazy and unwilling to put some work into it. While the genius student might seem to have it all, it’s lonely at the top.

They are often excluded socially because other students feel intimidated by them. University is supposed to be about more than classes and grades. The genius may miss out on some of the most character-building lessons that university has to offer. That’s because most of those lessons aren’t learned in the classroom.

3. The procrastinating latecomer

The procrastinating latecomer student

We know you get different types of students. But this one is unique in that he/she is never on time for anything. Whether it’s a lecture, a tutorial, a meal, or a party, he/she can’t get it together and arrive punctually.

Most often, it’s their habit of procrastination that gets them into trouble with time management. They’ll put things off until the last minute and then try to rush it. These are the types of students during exams who spend much time planning how to study but little time getting down to business.

Procrastination is the thief of time. These types of students often find themselves wondering where the time has gone. They’re always behind schedule and never complete anything on time, let alone ahead of time. Their college experience can become stressful. And if they carry these tendencies beyond their time at university and into the world of work, they might have problems retaining a job.

4. The activist

The activist student

These are the types of students in the classroom who are always looking for a cause to throw their support behind. It could be improving the vegan menu, saving the rhinos, or campaigning for the rights of the various types of special education students. The student activist finds his/her passion and engages with specific types of students to get them to ‘join the struggle.’

The student activist believes in a balanced approach to university life. They’re there to study, and they keep up with it. But they also believe in engaging in different aspects of university life, hoping to make it better for different types of students. Expect to see them in the quad stopping fellow students to sign petitions or handing out fliers about their latest cause.

You should also expect any conversation you have with them to turn to their latest cause and what they’re doing to help. And don’t be surprised if they drag you in to lend a hand, too.

5. The sports personality

The sports personality student

University classrooms are populated by sports stars who are there to represent the university. They’re often popular and good-looking and seem to draw attention wherever they go. Being good at sports is the only thing they might have in common with each other. In the classroom, there are total 3 different types of learners who need various approaches to facilitate their learning process.

Some might argue that these superstars get away with murder sometimes. They have a great excuse for not completing assignments. Their practice and competition schedule may make it a challenge for them.

As much as other students may understand this, it can still become a source of resentment. The sports stars function under a lot of pressure. They are the types of students who are expected to perform. It’s all well and good while they’re winning, but it can be a different situation if they’re not in good form.

6. The foreign exchange student

The foreign exchange student type

Every year, thousands of students are offered the chance to study overseas. For those with a lust for adventure, it’s a marvellous opportunity. They bring a new dynamic into the classroom.

These types of students typically come from very different backgrounds. Everything about their new environment is strange, including the language and the customs. It can be overwhelming, and foreign exchange students often battle to settle down into university life.

It may take a while for them to come out of their shells. But when they do, foreign exchange students offer a window into another world. One of the best parts of the university experience is the exposure you get to different learners whose journey to this point is nothing at all like yours. The conversations you have and the things you learn from them can make a profound impact on your future.

7. The student who isn’t there to be a student

The student who isn’t there to be a student type

These types of students feature in just about any university classroom. They’re there because someone else insisted they be there. But personally, they’re not there for the academic experience. It’s more about the social experience. They’ll change their course a few times because they won’t be happy with the field imposed on them by their parents.

You’re more likely to find these students in the cafeteria drinking coffee and chatting than you are to find them in class. They don’t feel a need to attend class regularly. When they do attend class, they might display some narcoleptic symptoms. They find the whole thing so boring, so they drop off to sleep during class.

Exams and assignments don’t get to them, and they don’t take much about their studies seriously at all. Some are fortunate, and they pass despite their laidback attitude. But they are the lucky few.

8. The goody-two-shoes

The goody-two-shoes student

Different types of learners may fit into this category. This is the student who does everything by the book. If the essay may not be more than 2,000 words, they’ll submit 2,000 words on the dot.

They hang on every word the lecturer utters and take a lot of notes. In fact, if you miss a class and you get to borrow their notes, you’ll feel like you were there! That’s how obsessed they are with making sure they miss nothing that the lecturer says.

No job is too big or too small for this student. They prepare for class according to the lecturer’s instructions. If reading had to be done ahead of the lecture, they’ve done it. They’ve probably done it more than once.

They submit assignments early and are filled with a great deal of excitement and passion for the content they’re studying. If you even suggest skipping class to this student, you’re likely to be met with a horrified gasp. So, don’t get confused if you see an Australian student calling out a lecturer by his/her first name. It’s not that they are insincere. It’s just that it’s the culture in the Oz. It does not change the fact that they are goody-two-shoes.

9. The party animal

The party animal student type

Some students are at university for one reason only: to party like there’s no tomorrow. Out from under the thumb of their parents, they go a little crazy when they get to university.

Wild parties that go on all night and excessive drinking with the mandatory hangover characterise their time at university. They may be different types of learners in the classroom but give them a couple of drinks, and you see their true colours! For examples, Aussie students while traveling in Bali! You get to see a new free side of them.

Party animals have one of two things happen to them. Either they manage the coursework and pass despite their hedonistic lifestyle. Or they crash and burn, and wind up failing. Being a party animal is in most cases just a phase. Sooner or later, the student comes to their senses and settles down to some serious work. But there are the few exceptions who put partying above study anytime.

10. The borrower

The borrower student

We all know a borrower. It’s someone who never has a pen, ‘forgot’ to take notes, or left their wallet at home. Their chronic tendency to borrow things and then forget to return them makes them unreliable.

It also creates a frustrating situation. Eventually, everyone starts avoiding contact with these types of learners because they know it’ll be the same old story. They’ll try to be persuasive and convince you it won’t be like last time, but it will.

These students need to learn a valuable lesson while they’re at university. It is vital that they leave university able to fend for themselves.In a workplace environment, chronic borrowing without returning is not looked upon favourably at all. It’s better to leave those tendencies behind when you graduate.


No doubt, everyone would want to be ‘the genius’ in their college out of the total 22 types of students. A genius whom everyone wants to befriend, whom teachers see as to-be next bright successful person in the outside world and types someone for whom the opposite sex swoon over.

This is but a small analysis of the different of learners you’ll encounter while you study at university.Remember, not everyone fits neatly into one pigeonhole. Some of the people you meet might fit into more than one category. And it’s not all about what type of student they are. University is about preparing for real life.