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8 Things Movies Get Wrong About College

By: Janelle Sessoms

So you’re ready to start your college experience? It’s definitely an exciting time. There’s no more high school drama, no more waking up at 6 a.m. five days a week, and no more taking classes that have nothing to do with what you want to do. Finally, you can meet new people, get away from home, and take classes that are actually based on your interests. But, the thought of college is still a little nerve-wracking. You will be in a new place, surrounded by new people and taking new classes. You’re going into unfamiliar territory and rightfully may feel the need to prepare yourself for this new world. Right off the bat, you may refer to one of the most accessible resources out there: movies.

Even I’ll admit that movies were my number one source I took notes from before heading into college. I know that it’s Hollywood, but you can’t edit that much about college, right? I’m sorry to break the news, but the Hollywood version of the college experience isn’t exactly accurate. Sure, there are some things they get right, but there are also a whole bunch of things they get totally wrong. So, before you start your college journey, here are 8 things you should know that the movies get wrong.

You will be in a club leadership position from your first semester: No way.

Yes, I’m looking at you “Pitch Perfect.” Do not let that movie fool you. While it’s great to get involved on campus from your first year, do not be under the impression that you will be club president as a freshman. Most leadership positions go to upper-level students or the occasional sophomore.

You will party every night: Yeah right.

One of the biggest misconceptions movies have is the idea of partying literally every night. Hate to break it to you, but that’s so not what college is actually like. Sure, it’s pretty easy to find a party on the weekends, but no one is trying to go out on a Tuesday. Most students are there for their studies anyway. Additionally, the party mentality is on for the beginning of the semester but wears off pretty quickly. You’ll find out that there are other ways to have fun without partying hard.

You never spend time in your dorm and hang with your friends 24/7: Downtime still exists.

One would think that dorm rooms don’t exist based on the amount of time, or lack thereof, movies like to show them. College is great and all, but be ready to spend a lot of time in your dorm room. Especially during the week, you won’t know if you and your friends will have class at the same time, so you end up with a lot of downtime. Most of that downtime takes place in home sweet home, aka the dorm room.

You will have minimal amounts of homework and won’t need to study as much: It’s still school.

At the end of the day, the reason we all go to college is to get a degree. To make that happen requires a studious mindset and hard work. Unlike how Hollywood likes to portray it, college will be full of pulling all-nighters and spending all day in the library for study sessions. Even though classes are only two to three times a week, the homework load can still be a lot. But as long as you remind yourself that you’re a student first, everything will work out fine.

You can change your major as many times as you want and still graduate in four years: Let’s be realistic here.

College is definitely your time to experiment and figure out what you want to do in life. However, time is limited, and you can’t change your mind while expecting to graduate in four years. In movies, you see characters constantly changing majors, getting out in four years, and graduating at the top of their class. The reality is every major has strict schedules on what classes to take to get your degree, and changing your mind can set you back a semester. I would still encourage you to pursue what you want. Just don’t go in expecting to change your mind each year and graduate with the same timeline.

You will meet your best friends for life on day one: Friendship takes time.

This is something nearly every movie about college shows, and it’s very far from the truth. While there are people who meet their best friends from the beginning, most of us don’t meet lifelong friends until later in college. You’ll find that the people you hung out with freshman year will probably not be the same people you are still friends with at the end of college and beyond.

Frat parties are a highlight of the college experience: Trust me, they aren’t.

Movies like to show frat parties as the main activities to participate in on campus. I’m here to tell you that they aren’t as great as you think. Number one, frat parties smell and are pretty disgusting. Number two, they aren’t that fun and are definitely overrated. You only need to go one time, and you’ll realize those things pretty quickly.

College is just a “cliquey” as high school: It really isn’t.

If you are worried about cliques in college, then I’m happy to report that’s not something to worry about. College is full of diverse people with various backgrounds and interests. The last thing on people’s minds is only befriending people exactly like them. Coming into college, everyone is trying to make friends and is pretty open to meeting new people.

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1 Comment

Carol Lawrence
Carol Lawrence
Apr 30

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