The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    College life does not resemble Hollywood portrayal

    There is a poster in my living room of John Belushi wearing the famous “college” sweatshirt from the comedy “Animal House.” In the movie, Belushi plays Bluto, a seventh-year senior who drinks more than he goes to class. The movie, made in 1978, portrayed college life, especially fraternity life, in a comical fashion.
    Today, movies about college have not changed much and still feature wild parties every night with half-naked girls on top of wasted frat guys. Apparently, no one has to go to class at Hollywood University. Maybe Mississippi State has it all wrong, but in my experience, college is nothing like Hollywood makes it out to be.
    College is, above all else, school. To succeed in school you have to go to class and study. You can’t be out at 3 a.m. every night of the week getting wasted and stay in school, no matter what your major is. Movies such as “Animal House,” “College” and “American Pie 2” glorify the relaxed lifestyle of a college student, and play up the “get drunk, party all night, sleep all day” aspect of college which is not the case for most college students. The classroom is taken out of most college movies, which is completely unrealistic.
    Stress is also taken out of the equation when Hollywood does college. Other than relationship troubles, most college students in movies appear to be carefree and living life to the fullest. While it is true college is the best time of your life, it can also be very hectic at certain times.
    Finals week is not the only time we flock to the library, drink ridiculous amounts of caffeine or break down from stress. College is tough, man. From dealing with daily assignments and quizzes to making sure you have a date and the right attire for a party, it can turn into a daily struggle just to make it to the weekend.
    And the weekends are a blast, for sure. Staying up late, taking completely random road trips to the lake or Graceland Too and just relaxing in the company of friends are all perks of college life, but they do not happen 24/7. Hollywood college and real college are two completely different things, and I often wish I lived in Hollywood college.
    Maybe it is me who has college all wrong and not Hollywood. Maybe, because I do not drink and am not a member of a fraternity, I am missing out on the really fun times college has to offer, but I do not think so. I have friends who are Greek and also those who consume alcohol on a regular basis, but they still have to go to class and make decent grades to stay in school. It is not like that Asher Roth song: “Pass out at 3, wake up at 10, go out to eat, then do it again.”
    Why is college often very stressful and busy (for the wrong reasons)? I’m sure a lot of people have a very easy time here at State, either because they are very smart and organized, or have chosen a major with classes they love and do not mind the work. However, there are also those students, from engineers to business majors, art students to athletes, who can be found in the library, drawing studio or dorm study room way past midnight, working on something due for a class the next day or studying for a test a week ahead.
    College is not all fun and games. It is fun and there are games, but there is also homework, tests, papers, extracurricular activities and many other things which come before the fun and relaxing. By the time you have read this article, my tests and work for the week will have passed, and I will be enjoying the start of my weekend.
    However, come Sunday afternoon, it will be back again. I will not be getting drunk all night while listening to a cover band and dancing with a girl in a bikini. No, I will be working on a lab report and reading my organic chemistry book. Maybe I’m a total nerd, but I’m pretty sure more people will be taking my route over Hollywood’s.
    Ben Leiker is a sophomore majoring in biological engineering. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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    College life does not resemble Hollywood portrayal