The five things you got wrong about LUMS

Published: March 31, 2015
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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word LUMS? 

Vulgarity, a bunch of pampered kids smoking cigarettes, elite class, narcissists, stuck-up teens, the high fee, the beautiful campus, its state of the art business school, a classic display of modernism?

Probably an amalgamation of everything mentioned above.

While some of these things are true and some highly exaggerated, a few are outright false. These misconstrued images of LUMS have been imprinted in our minds and I do not see many people questioning them. So I have decided to address these stereotypes about LUMS that have long occupied our minds and have tried my best to jot down explanations as to why they are wrong.

1)  “Only the elite class goes to LUMS”

Wrong.

It is true that only the elite class can afford paying 100% fees at LUMS, however, since LUMS offers handsome financial aid packages to deserving students, students from all strata’s of society are enrolled in the university. The LUMS administration also goes out of their way to attract talent from underprivileged areas through their National Outreach Program.

Here is an inspirational story of a LUMS graduate from Balochistan.

2)  “LUMS has a very kharab mahol” (bad environment)

What word can sum up a non-exhaustive list of sins?

Kharab (bad).

Do you swear a lot? Do you smokeDrink? Stay awake all night?

Talk to the opposite gender? Sing? Dance?

Do any of these things?

If yes, then I am really sorry to inform you that you have just earned yourself the title of a “kharab bacha/bachi” (spoilt boy/girl).

Now, I am pretty sure that “kharab log” exist in every institution. May be a few people who fit your definition of “kharab” exist in LUMS as well, but why generalise the entire LUMS student body? Labelling the entire community as kharab is no different than labelling every Pakistani a terrorist.

Besides, during the time I have spent at LUMS, I have not witnessed any uncanny instances or any display of indecency.

3)  “LUMS only has one class – extremists”

I have heard this a million times. The outside world considers LUMS as a place that breeds two types of extremists. One is the burqa-clad girls or people having affiliations with religious organisations and the other is the scantily-clad girls, the party-all-night kind of people.

But I have two problems with the above mentioned stereotypes.

Firstly, there are people who are neither scantily clad nor excessively clad. Yes, in reality, optimal clothed people make for majority of the LUMS population. Secondly, stop judging everyone. Why must we have an objection to other people’s choice of clothing? I have come to realise that with or without clothes, people will always have something to judge.

4)  “A LUMS graduate is a job magnet”

Firstly, let the poor guy breathe. He went through a million exams, pulled successful all-nighters every exam season and had more quizzes in a day than the number of meals you had.

A LUMS graduate’s biggest fear is hearing the words,

“LUMS se parh ker bhi job nahi mili?”

(You graduated from LUMS and you still don’t have a job?)

Secondly, if the job market is rigid, it would have the same impact on a LUMS graduate as it would on any other university graduate. In case you are unaware, the job market works on merit. The harder you work and study, the better the job prospects.

So if he joined LUMS because he wanted a big fat pay check, so what? Don’t we all want that?

5)   “LUMinites hate IBAians”

Let’s get one thing clear – we do not hate them. It is nothing more than a friendly rivalry between the top two business schools of the country. Oh and by the way, the little competition and supposed hate that is going around has been ignited by a few cranky articles online. Because, I have never heard a LUMinite speak ill of IBA.

In my opinion, LUMS is an amazing institution that is imparting quality education. It is one of the few institutes in the country that is at par with international universities. So why criticise it and give it the status of a notorious institute? LUMS has produced respectable alumni and is working towards a better future for many more. We should learn to appreciate the services rendered by LUMS rather than criticise its petty flaws.

Before you consider my opinions as biased, please know that I had the same preconceived notions about LUMS before I joined this heavenly university but my experience has changed my views and I hope this blog helps in doing the same for you.

Sarah Anwar

Sarah Anwar

The author is an undergraduate student at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. She tweets as @SarahAnwarRana.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.