It’s no surprise that college students, steeped in ghostie TV shows and media coverage of haunted places EVERYWHERE, will freak themselves out over ghosts in their new rooms. It sounds like they really need a wake up call to life outside of the internet and their own sheltered idead.
New students asked dorm providers to reassure them that their were no “ghosts or spirits” in their new accomodation.
One female student destined for university in Nottingham was worried about ghosts and wanted assurances her room was not haunted.
When staff asked her to elaborate, she asked if the room ”had ever been occupied by ghosts or spirits”.
And another female student wanted to know how close the nearest graveyard was. Unite Student staff used mapping tools to reassure her that the closest graveyard was some distance away.
This is another example of people buying into unsupported myths and legends as TRUE. I think these are rare requests and just gaining attention because they are odd. I suppose students make all sorts of strange requests regarding roommates, food, and other accomodations. But leaving home for college means you have to deal with real world issues, which one would think would overcome any child-like fear of spooks. Perhaps they are generally worried about the new surroundings and their irrational fears enhance stress.
This story reminded me of an interview I had with a University professor who was teaching Freshman non-science majors a class called “Science in our World”, a science appreciation class for those who have no background or knowledge of how science works. Dr. Andrew Read told me that the Internet influences this college generation a lot – probably too much.
“Their tendency is to pick the first things that come up on Google or Yahoo as the truth. The sources on a lot of their blog posts have me thinking ‘what on earth are you doing reading off a place like that?’ They trust a site that you or I would not. Trying to get them to look at different sites to see a range of opinions is quite hard.” And, he marks their work hard if they just cite one source.
These young adults also seem to fall all-too-easily for pseudoscience. He is alarmed that they happily accept anecdotes about paranormal experiences. “I’m a bit disappointed by how many of them are into conspiracy theories. A bunch of them are persuaded that one of the dorm rooms is haunted. I’m amazed they can say it in my class after I’ve been banging on about having a proper rigorous look at things.”
Appreciation of an evidence-based, less superstitious outlook on the world is something that ought to be taught MUCH younger, he says. It’s already late when they get to college and are so attached to such ideas that they difficult to discard. But, that’s what college is for – making kids uncomfortable by exposing them to a new way of seeing the world. I hope it works and I wish it was more ubiquitous.