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Free Character Writing Prompts #47: 
College Students

Class is in for these character writing prompts about those wonderfully cloistered young adults known as college students. They represent the next segment of the population that will soon enter the workforce. In four or five years, these students will change from high school graduates to gainfully employed individuals. A large chunk of them, will experience wild and crazy nights as they may be away from home for the first time. They will be tempted with sex, drugs and complete freedom as far as activities are concerned. Many of them will learn what they want to do for the rest of time, while others will chase after dreams or go into higher education. College was one of the most intriguing times of my life socially and through my school alone, I probably met enough characters to fill up half of this book. Here are ten of them. 

Free Character Writing Prompts #47: College Students

1. On the first day of school, he told you that he wasn't just your roommate, he was going to be your best friend for life. You figured that your first random college roommate could have said worse and you hung out with him as often as possible. It turned out, that he actually was quite an awesome friend and he was willing to concede the room to you for studying and other purposes and he even woke you up if you were about to oversleep a class. Everything seemed to be going great until he told you he didn't want to room with you the following year. He said you just weren't appreciative enough of his friendship and he was going to try looking elsewhere for a "best friend for life." Will this former roommate of yours find his best friendship elsewhere or is he looking for some kind of perfect friend that doesn't exist?

2. He'd heard all the stories about how most college students utilize their four years away from home. He decided to go the opposite direction and use every second there to gain contacts, start businesses and earn as much money as possible. By the time sophomore year rolled around, he was already earning more than most professors by selling his products and reaching out to alumni. By his senior year, he had been on nationwide talk shows and was well-known as one of the youngest and most successful businessmen in the country. It was by the middle of that year that it hit him he would never again be surrounded by such parties and friends ever again. Will he continue down his path of being a go-getter or will he opt for more fun his final five months and why?

3. To say she was a wallflower in high school would have been quite the understatement. If you would have asked most of her peers about her they would have said, "Who?" She determined to change everything about herself going into college. She changed the color and cut of her hair, she worked on altering her voice to be more appealing and she upgraded her wardrobe to show more skin. She essentially pretended she had been the most popular girl in her previous school and it worked like a charm. When a group of her friends wanted to visit her hometown and meet her high school friends, she felt like the jig was up. How will she explain her lack of high school friends to her new popular college clique?

4. She came from a very religious family that expressed very openly how important it was to save yourself until marriage. On the second day of college, she pushed past that parental belief and didn't look back. She loved the freedom that college allowed her in all the ways her family had held her back. She knew she wasn't going to be a nun or a good religious wife, but she was willing to act the part when she came home for holidays. Her ruse crumbled when a video of her acting wild, crazy, half-clothed and drunk appeared on the Internet and a concerned former classmate forwarded the video to her parents. What will her parents think about her compromising their beliefs and what will she say to defend her actions?

5. As one of the high ranking clique members of his high school, he assumed that college would be a breeze socially. After accidentally pissing off all his suitemates in the first week, he found that he had a lot of ground to make up and figured he'd concentrate on his studies as he devised a plan. He realized that he actually enjoyed the academic work he'd frequently avoided in high school. Before he knew it, he transformed from a guy who could do the worm into a bookworm. He still went out to parties occasionally when he was invited, but he now had his sights set on graduate school and getting a decent job instead of hooking up with the most attractive person. What do his high school friends think when he tells them about his lack of college exploits and what kind of job will he look for in the future?

6. He started college a year late after travelling the world with nothing but a backpack. He put off leaving college and was entering into his sixth year, making him one of the oldest undergraduates at his small school. There was something he enjoyed about having a leg up on his classmates age-wise, if not maturity-wise. He had a much younger girlfriend who was head over heels in love with him and wanted to move wherever he moved after college. The only problem is, he had absolutely no desire to move and he had no idea what he'd do when his parents finally stopped paying his tuition bills. He loved everything about school from the dining halls to the cute girls walking around in pajamas. He wanted to be drunk in his frat house for the rest of time. What will he do in his final three months of school after realizing that he can no longer prolong the inevitable?

7. She'd lived quite a life in her 40 years and now she was ready to tackle the one challenge she'd avoided in her time: college. She wasn't the only one in the school who was going back to college in her adulthood, but most of them seemed to have the support of family and friends while she was alone in all of this. Plus, she was learning to be an engineer, a test at any age. She worked her hands to the bone every night studying her notes and trying to get information past her "thick skull." She enlisted the help of a tutor her junior year and he was astounded at how hard she worked. She refused to back down from a challenge. What are some of the challenges she's faced in life and what will she do with her engineering degree if she obtains it?

8. Throughout her senior year of high school, she mocked her older friends who planned to use their college lives to go "husband hunting." She thought such a practice was ridiculous in this modern age and even though her parents had brought her up that way, she wanted to rebel with every fiber of her being. She, of course, didn't plan on falling in love on her first day at the university. He was a couple of years her senior and he was perfect in every way, according to her. She knew that her hormones and her upbringing had to be coming into play, but she didn't care. He proposed at the end of her junior year and she gladly accepted. How will planning for a wedding affect her senior year and her future career?

9. His plan during school was to move up the depth chart on the football team, have a monster junior year and coast on his training senior year until he could get a deal with a National Football League team. A major injury his freshman year forced him to reconsider. He still had a scholarship and while he was rehabbing, it helped him to study for his classes for the first time in his life. His love of athletics pushed him to a course of study in exercise and sports science. While he could no longer make it to the NFL as a player, maybe, he thought, he could make it as a trainer or coach. What was his reaction when he first heard about his injury and how does he look back on it now?

10. She was the destroyer of curves and the master of biology throughout her four years of college. When most people in the class would get below 60 percent on some difficult examinations, she would score in the low 90s and ruin the curve for the rest of them. Her peers blamed her for their atrocious grades and she had few who were willing to be her friend. She was also involved in multiple activities such as theatre and intramural sports and seemed to be enjoying herself the entire time. She was brash and honest with everyone she knew, which rubbed some the wrong way and endeared her to others. Will she achieve her goals of a 4.0 and a clear path to medical school and what choices will she make in her social life along the way? 

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Done with Character Writing Prompts about College Students? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts. 

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    Written by Bryan Cohen

    Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.

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