Statistical Insight into the Typical University of Chicago Student

Today I was in Hyde Park getting my mandatory immunizations (I attempted to poll the class to see how much each student valued me being immune so I could pay my way out of it, but apparently economic theory doesn't apply in business school) and I came across a University of Chicago planner complete with stickers (see below, click to see full sheet) to help young UofCers make their way through the perilous impending academic year.

I thought it was an interesting peek into the psyche of the UofCer. Below are the results of my sticker analysis.

Description by Frequency

*Potentially the same as party, though unclear.

As you can see, "Assignment Due" appears the most, with a frequency of 36 stickers, or 24% of the total. The least frequent activities are Meeting (I'm assuming this means human interaction), Work Out (??), Community Service (resume padding), and the mysterious "Event." Party appears with an absolute and standardized frequency of 0.

Next, I categorize each sticker into "Non-Academic, Other", "Non-Academic, Fun", and "Academic", represented by light gray, light pink, and light blue, respectively.

Description by Relative Frequency and Category

Though I have included it here, Bills Due can be omitted from the analysis as this was clearly the bursar's doing and should be in the parents' planner. I have also taken some liberties with the categorization methodology (see: classifying Work Out as "Non-Academic, Fun").

Finally, I present the categorical frequencies.

Category by Frequency

According to these results, the typical UofCer spends roughly 69% (the irony) of his or her time on "Academic" activities, 15% on "Non-Academic, Other" activities, and 14% on "Non-Academic, Fun" activities. The distribution is quite skewed.

However, based on my interactions with UofCers, the most accurate categorization may be "Activity, performed while Drinking" and "Activity, performed while not Drinking", represented by beige and nothing, respectively.

Description by Relative Frequency and Category

Accurate? Perhaps. Of course, this statistical exercise is merely an attempt to gain insight and does not aim to make 100% conclusive generalizations. As always, the truth is likely much more complex than numbers seem to indicate.

For comparison, I went to Pomona College, in sunny Southern California, where we did not even have academic planners. Probably because we were too busy spending our time on "Party."

Disclaimer: I kid because I love.

© liz fosslien