Posts Tagged ‘college myths’
We’ve been getting a lot of questions on our Facebook page like this one:
You have a good idea about what it takes to apply to college–the research, the ACT or SAT, the campus visits, the interview, the essay, and so much more. You’ve already even discovered your perfect college match.
Now what you’re wondering is what college will actually be like when you get there. What’s it like actually living on campus, going to classes, and college parties? Is college life really like what it’s like in the movies?
We’ve taken a balanced sampling of different kinds of movies based in and around college life and rated them on how truthful they are when it comes to a real students’ college experiences.
Closeness to actual college life ratings will be ranked 1-10, 1 being not close at all, 10 being on the money.
The Social Network
The Social Network’s protagonist, or Mark Zuckerberg, went to Harvard–one of the most elite colleges in the nation let alone world. That already brings its likeness to real college life down since most college students in the world do not find themselves at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world surrounded by friends making $300,000 over summer break betting on oil futures.
The tagline for David Fincher’s chronicle of how Facebook was founded is, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” Lucky for you, you will make new friends in college, just not 500 million, and hopefully not a set of athletic twins who want to sue you.
Closeness to actual college life rating: 3
Elle Woods is the sorority princess of her Southern California university. The Greek life enthusiasm is not too far fetched–you will come across college campuses with a very Greek-oriented student body; however, you won’t necessarily come across a sorority house as beautiful and equipped as the one Elle lives in. Exercise machines, expensive furniture, ginormous singles.
It’s also kinda difficult to decide last minute to go to law school and get into Harvard Law–difficult, yes. But not impossible.
Closeness to actual college life rating: 4
Have you ever dreamed of playing Notre Dame football so badly that you quit your job at the steel mill, took on a part-time job on the grounds-keeping staff, got tutored by a friend in exchange for helping him get a date, and eventually fully transferring to Notre Dame, overcoming all odds and playing on the football team?
Yes? Then this movie is probably exactly what your college experience is like.
No? Then, uh, Rudy is probably a far-fetched realization of college life.
Closeness to actual college life rating: 3
Take the Legally Blonde sorority house, subtract all the niceties, add a lot of horrible smells, holes in walls, and way too many housing code infractions, and you’ll get the Delta Tau Chi house in Animal House.
Yes, you will find the occasional toga party on a college campus, but the likeliness that not only the president of your rival house has a vendetta against you but the dean of your college does too is slim to none…hopefully.
Closeness to actual college life rating: 4
So maybe you didn’t get into your dream college. It happens. But when that happened did you decide to just, ya know, make your own college? Did your innocent scheme take a shady turn when hundreds of other rejected students enrolled in your college leading to a big legal brouhaha but ultimately gaining the elusive approval of your highly respected father?
I didn’t think so…
Closeness to actual college life rating: 2
What’s did you/do you expect college to be like? Share you thoughts! Leave a comment below.
If your idea of what college and university life is like happens to be based on your dad’s nostalgic and, most likely, exaggerated stories about the craziest toga party the dean ever had to break up or the hardest professor any student ever had, or the most elaborate prank ever that he and his pal “Tank” almost got expelled for–
Well, maybe you need a fresh source of information.
Today we’re giving you 4 and 1/2 college myths and debunking them so you can understand what college life is actually like–not 30 years ago–but today:
1. Big colleges are best if you haven’t chosen a major
Surprisingly, a bigger school doesn’t necessarily mean more options for your major. As long as you decide on a school that has a good selection of fields of study, you probably have the same flexibility in majors at a small school as you would at a big one–possibly even more. For instance, you might decide that you want to create your own major. At a big school, you might have to jump through a bunch of administration hoops to do want you want. At a small school, the administration is probably more personal and even eager to help you make the education you want.
2. College is 4 years. Period.
Yes, most college students graduate in four years. It’s kind of just the allotted time given to college students, but it’s a bit arbitrary. Depending on how long you want to stay in college, you can reasonably graduate before that four year mark or after. If you want to graduate in fewer than four years, it’s as easy as meeting with an adviser and scheduling your credits smartly so that you complete what you need in time. If you want to stay past the four year mark, it also makes sense to sit down with a college adviser to figure out when you should take which classes when, or what you can accomplish with the “extra” time.
3. You must go Greek immediately
A ton of incoming college freshman freak out because they want to go Greek–join a fraternity or sorority–but have barely even acclimated to college life yet. Too many students hurry into Greek like without really knowing what they even want out of college. The good news? You don’t have to rush until you’re certain you want to. There are houses that offer second semester rush, or, you can even just wait until you’re a sophomore to join. Do what you’re comfortable with!
4. Hazing is just part of the tradition!
Hazing may be a tradition in a house, but colleges and universities do not condone it. Too many times does a hazing activity go too far, as in it will cause serious harm to people, because nobody stands up to stupid or dangerous ideas. If you’re doing the hazing, and it goes public, you could get into serious trouble. We’re talking like actual trouble with police and legal things and lawyers and all that stuff.
4.5 College isn’t the real world
College is kind of a bubble considering how unique it is to have such a high concentration of young people trying to learn in one place. So yes, that can seem a little “unreal”. But it’s not like college campuses exist in magic fairy tale dimensions. College campuses are in real places where real people live and work and play. You don’t have to wait to make an impact or try living in the “real world” until after college–you’re in it now. Your campus may be different from where you want move after you graduate, but there’s no reason you can’t immerse yourself into the local culture or contribute to it. Even just getting a normal job off-campus can help you realize you’re in the real world.
Have an opinion or question? Leave a comment!
Some of the best stories happen during the college years. Most great college stories you hear probably involve a guy claiming his frat house was the inspiration for Animal House, not about a murder mystery some co-eds were able to solve between organic chem and animal phys.
The Huffington Post just posted 10 classic novels that take place on college campus. Here they are:
1. The Secret History by Donna Tart
This murder mystery classic takes place at Hampden College in Vermont, as should all murder mysteries novels.
2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
This British novel takes place at, of course, Oxford University, because that’s where I’m assuming all people go to college in England.
3. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
This southern gothic novel’s protagonist attends Harvard University–not so southern, but totally Gothic.
4. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Set in the 1950s, this English novel take place at a college inspired by the University of Leicester because too many stories were happening at Oxford.
5. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
An attractive young Princeton student dabbles with the usual love, greed and good ole’ status seeking.
6. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Surprisingly, this classic is not an actual portrait, but a metaphorical one. Also, I’m not quite sure what college the young man, Stephen Dedalus, goes to, but I’m sure he gets a great education.
7. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
This Victorian novel takes place at the fictional “Christminster,” which, of course, is modeled after Oxford.
8. Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
This English satire involves a beautiful female magician. And if you were to guess that it takes place at Oxford, you’d be correct.
9. Stoner by John Williams
An English professor teaches at Oxfo–wait no! He teaches at a drab Midwestern University. What could be worse than a British protagonist not being at Oxford?!
10. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
Please don’t think poorly of this English murder mystery not taking place in Vermont, or at Oxford. In fact, it takes place at the fictional Shrewsbury College where shrews berries grow plentiful. It’s loosely based off of Sayers’ own Somerville College.
What college campus do you think would make a great setting for a novel? Comment and share!
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