People's expectations of their college experience can often be misconstrued. While some college stereotypes are true, like wild frat parties and skipping lectures with no real penalties, in reality, college is what you make of it and everyone has a different experience. However, college is a time when you learn more about yourself and build your career through completing classes, making new friends and maintaining extracurriculars.
Unfortunately, many college movies that Generation Z and Millennials grew up with present a very heightened, narrow perspective of university life. If you rewatch some of these movies as a college student, it can be entertaining because your real college experience is not exactly that of Hollywood. Here are some truths behind college-based movies that you may have watched.
1. Legally Blonde
A legendary, female-driven movie, Legally Blonde holds a special place in many of our hearts. The message behind the film is inspirational, but certain parts of the storyline may perpetuate a stereotype of the sorority lifestyle. For example, even though sorority girls do participate in many of the activities mentioned in the film to cultivate a sisterhood, such as workouts and philanthropy events, at the end of the day, these girls, just like anyone else, also deal with more concerning issues throughout their tough academic years. Furthermore, while these sisters may only ever seem to talk about their partners or frat parties, they actually also fiercely support each other, both academically and emotionally. In fact, many sororities maintain professional networking communities, hosting events and panels with their sorority alumnae to sustain their sisterhood with all generations of their Greek organization.2. Someone Great
Someone Great, a new break-up comedy available on Netflix, emphasizes self-love with the help of your close college friends. No doubt, this film takes your emotions on a rollercoaster ride with the many heartbreaking obstacles that the main character Jenny, played by Gina Rodiguez, must overcome. It helps you realize that you may make some close friends in college, but they're not always the first people you meet. Many of them will come and go. You'll find a small, close group of friends, such as Jenny's squad. You will inevitably face break-ups, not only in relationships but also with friendships. College is a time when you grow up and change, but sometimes you may lose several close friends along the way.
3. Neighbors 1 & 2
The Neighbors franchise, a great comedy series with amazing actors, is famous for highlighting wild parties. Although college frat parties can get out of hand, these films are focused only on this specific social sector of Greek life. In reality, there are many different kinds of frats, sororities and even co-ed Greek organizations. Some organizations are divided by professionalism, like a premed or law frat, or by representation, such as predominately supporting the Arab to LGBTQ+ community. Each Greek organization has its own culture and its own type of parties, which can range from those similar to the ragers hosted by Zac Efron's character, a frat president named Teddy, to simple kickbacks at one person's apartment.
4. Spring Breakers
Cabo and Daytona Beach are known to be the college spring break destinations. However, many students spend their break just chilling in their dorm or picking up extra shifts at work. Not everyone can afford flying back home or splurge on a trip due to prominent student debt. Some college students even have to study for their midterms that are scheduled right after the break. But don't get me wrong, many people have wild spring break moments, but you will not be judged for not having those spring break experiences.
5. Pitch Perfect Trilogy
Joining a club or some activity is a great way to make a big campus feel more like a community. Many of these movies, like all the Pitch Perfect movies, show each character's passion for the organization. They often neglect to show the stress and sleepless nights undertaken by many college students to maintain their grades outside of these organizations. Whichever organization you choose, make sure you're willing to go the extra mile because your grades in college have a significant impact on your career, much more than your high school grades − especially if you plan to go to graduate school. Pitch Perfect exemplifies the beauty in female unity, but we should also give these ladies credit in somehow managing their coursework on top of competing nationally and internationally.
6. The Social Network
Another Oscar-winning film, the Social Network, portrays Mark Zuckerberg's creation of Facebook during his time as a Harvard student. Importantly, Facebook itself has changed the college experience with college meme pages and group chats for class projects. The movie is highly admired by critics, as it emphasizes the idea of social status and how it can affect your experience in college. In reality, however, college campuses have thousands of students, making it hard to have a real social hierarchy of jocks or popular people. Unlike high school, everyone in college is too worried about getting their own lives together to care about what you are doing, unless it is causing harm to yourself or others.
These movies are not aimed to show the truth of college experiences, but to tell an entertaining story within the setting. But it's amusing, especially as college students, to watch how Hollywood portrays university life in a very skewed perspective for their movie plots. Hopefully, however, shining light on some of the unrealistic aspects of these films was enlightening, as every college experience is very unique and depends on what you make of it.
Lead Image Credit: Unsplash