SOC 262 Week 2: Sociology Matters

Week 2 Sociology Matters


Week 2 Sociology Matters


McLeod (2008), “Social norms are unwritten rules about how to behave.” Social norms help us to understand how we are meant to behave in certain social groups or cultures. These groups can be anything from friendship to college groups to work groups. Social norms are used to define appropriate behavior no matter the type of social group. As you move from one group to another, such as school to work, your behavior, or norm, is going to change as well. Today, we are going to evaluate the norms that you are expected to conform to when becoming a college student. We will also look at if these norms are similar or different from the norms you grew up with.

What social norms were you expected to conform to when you became a student at your college or university?

When it comes to social norms, there are many different types and they vary based on the type of social group you are in during that time. When it comes to the social norms when I became a college student, there are a few that come to mind. I feel that the main social norm would be time management. This is a huge one because you really have to evaluate how you will manage your time for each class to ensure everything will be completed by the deadlines that are set. I find this to be the most important for me, as I am an online student only, so I really have to be able to manage my time, as I am never in the classroom with a set class time. Another one, that is probably just as important as time management, is actually showing up, or participating, in each class. This one is important because college is a choice, so if you do not show up or participate in the classes, you will not get credit, and the money you are spending is going to go to waste. I also feel that signing up for classes and getting financial aid in order is a social norm for a college student. You have to enroll in certain courses to work towards the completion of your degree, while also completing electives and general courses as well. Evaluating these different courses and their costs is something that someone who is not a college student would not have to worry about focusing on. I also find it important to remain positive and work hard towards the end goal of earning your degree. This can be difficult at times, as classes get harder, but having a positive outlook and continuing to work hard shows yourself just what all you are able to accomplish.

Are they similar or different from the norms you grew up with?

Now that we have looked at the social norms that I have conformed to as a college student, we will look at if these norms are similar or different from those that I grew up with. When I look at the norm of time management, I notice that this is a norm that has always been a part of my life. From a young age, time management has been instilled in me as being important. I use time management for all aspects of my life, whether it be work, school, or even my personal life. Time management really helps me to not feel as overwhelmed as I would be if I did not focus on it. The norm of participating, or showing up for class, has been a norm for me since about middle school. This is when I realized how important it was that I participate in my classes, so that I have a better chance of earning better grades. Since this time, I have been the type of person who likes to do well in school because I want to exceed in my academics so that I can be the best me I can be. Signing up for classes and getting financial aid was a norm that did not come about until college. This is something that I never knew how to do or the process for doing it. Now that I have done this a few times, I feel more comfortable with the entire process of it and also with understanding the important of it. Lastly, are the norms of being positive and working hard. Working hard has always been a norm for me, as my parents instilled this in me from a young age. I have always known that you will not get far in life if you do not work hard for the things that you want and the things that you have. When it comes to being positive, I was not always positive growing up. This is something that I still struggle with some today, but I work to ensure I am being positive, especially when it comes to school, as I want to make sure I complete my degree.


As you can see, social norms play a big role in all aspects of our lives. McLeod (2008), “It is difficult to see how society could operate without social norms.” There are many different social norms for a college student, but they do vary slightly based on the person and their college situation. Some college students are online only, while others are on campus students, so this can have an influence on their social norms. We have also seen how some social norms for college students are new to them, while there are also some norms that are similar to those that they grew up with. Social norms are important to every aspect of life, as we would not be able to guide our behavior without these norms.


McLeod, S. (2008). Social Roles. Retrieved from