There’s an idea of college that movies typically reinforce: the partying, drinking, bad-decisions, but oh-so-fun time of your life. It isn’t until you get to college that you realize what those movies actually got right.
Correct: SHIT happens. Whether you were rejected from every other college but your safety school; failed the first, second, or third round of tests; lied about your grades to your parents; can’t remember last night after partying too hard, or do remember; SHIT happens.
Incorrect: College is more like West Harmon than South Harmon, more structure with parties on the side. It’s not a wonderland of fake classes that you can argue have some educational merit, well, unless you’re in CLA.
National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002):
Correct: No day is off limits from partying, which can be difficult when you need to get up for your 3:35 physics class with a hangover.
Incorrect: Then again, there isn’t nearly as much time for partying, as the movie seems to depict. While Van manages to study for all of his classes in just minutes courtesy of an intense movie montage, the movie forgets to show the intense studying one does right before a test, as they dust off their book for the first time.
The Social Network (2010):
Correct: If you need those prelab questions that are due by midnight or maybe some help with your lab report, there are plenty of students that are willing to collaborate to get it done. You just need to watch out for those Zuckerberg’s that may take those strokes of genius, copyright them as their own, and turn them into a billion-dollar idea.
Incorrect: Don’t expect to spend only a year at college, have a stroke of genius, and drop out on a billion-dollar idea. We don’t have that genius to fall back on, and some of don’t even have basic reasoning skills to start with and need all the help we can get.
Monsters University (2013):
Correct: There are two kinds of people at college: the smart kids and the slackers. The smart kid need look out the window every day just to get some vitamin D since they don’t go outside, and their biggest social interaction is their online study group. The slacker seems to think the weekends come around twice a week, and they party so hard that they wake up at five in the afternoon after their classes, roll over in bed, and say they’ll try again tomorrow.
Incorrect: Failing tests and disregarding rules isn’t just going to pay off in the end. There is literally no way you’re going to get away with the same things Sulley and Mike did like cheating, breaking and entering, going on the run, and only getting expelled. Maybe the first time you were lucky, maybe the second time you should buy a lottery ticket, but the third time you should wake up.
College-themed movies aren’t that far off in their portrayals of college life. Sure, they tend to lean toward more idealistic visions and seem to forget about studying or homework, but hey, that’s something college students do as well, right?