Back to School – College Movies vs. Reality

[ 0 ] August 20, 2010 |

It’s no secret that college movies depict a drastically different experience than real life. The summer before university, I absorbed as many university-themed flicks as I could to get a taste of the college experience. Surprise, surprise – it turns out that the sunny, party-filled bashes of campus cinema are more fiction than fact.

Need to enlighten yourself about the difference between college movies and reality? Just read on:


…in Movies:

Campuses across the country are jam packed with gregarious man-children such as Van Wilder‘s Ryan Reynolds and Old School‘s Will Ferrell. Every female co-ed seems to be either a busty bleach-blonde model or a mousy brunette.  And for whatever reason, there always seems to be somebody wearing a toga.

…in Reality:

College students look, dress and behave quite similar to you. There are few if any toga-clad thirty-something men prowling the quad to relive their glory days. And unlike Van Wilder, no actual university grounds have ever been tread by the likes of Tara Reid.


Fraternities and Sororities…

…in Movies:

A non-stop parade of pranks and fart jokes. You might think that frat boys and sorority girls (or in the case of Sorority Boys, sorority boys) have actual classes to attend, but you’d be mistaken. Most college movies focusing on the Greek system tend to avoid scenes of young people learning, unless someone decides to streak a lecture or do a keg stand in the middle of a lab.

…in Reality:

If you go to college and do nothing but party, you might as well put your tuition check in a blender and hit ‘frappe’. And while a sorority in The House Bunny may have been run by a former Playboy playmate, there’s a better chance that yours is run by a sociology major. Most fraternities and sororities hold fundraisers to help local charities, as well. Not something you saw much of in Animal House.


Professors and Admin…

…in Movies:

Scholarly, uptight and always the bane of a party’s existence. If they’re not making their students fall asleep in the middle of a lecture, they’re actively ruining the lives of young people. Or, more rarely, they’re actually rugged treasure hunters (see: Indiana Jones).

…in Reality:

Why is the Dean always the villain of a college movie? I don’t know. You’ll be lucky if you ever see your Dean, let alone be his or her comedic foil. In truth, your college’s administration is much more inclined to help and guide students than their brow-furrowing movie counterparts. And your professors, like high school teachers, can vary from boring to actually really cool. It’s a crapshoot, but that’s life.


…in Movies:

College kids in movies are practically drowning in oceans of beer. Where does this infinite supply of booze come from? In the land of cinema, kegs are as bountiful as trees. Also, the only student who actually vomits is the comedic sidekick who ends up saving the day at the end of the movie with a well-timed fart.


…in Reality:

In my experience, the amount of alcohol in one’s possession was limited to how much ‘book money’ you could guilt out of your mom during her monthly inspection of your dorm. And unlike the free-for-all beer fests that movies depict, you’ll be lucky if you can sneak in a single bottle passed your residence porters. Beside, that’s what legally aged friends are for.

Notice any other college film tropes that clash with reality? Let us know!

Category: school shopping tips

About admin: View author profile.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.