Man do I wish College was as exciting as every book, show, and movie has made it out to be. Let me tell you why it isn’t. Depending on the size of the College or University you are going to, the cliques and niche groups of people will not only vary but may even be borderline nonexistent.
I am a current student at Palomar Community College which, obviously, is not as big or fancy as some of the prestigious schools some movies and shows tend to display, but it is still a college and will still give you the college experience.
For starters, forget big crowds and gatherings to celebrate something or to join sororities. Some bigger universities definitely try to have tables with advocates trying to sell you useless information and the television tries to make it out to be way more exciting than it is.
Now, everyone at this school is very keep-to-themselves. It is hard to find a group that’s larger than 3 or 4 students that want to party and do activities. Instead, they are either studying their butts off for exams, working together on unnecessary group assignments, or figuring out a space in time that will never work with everyone to have a zoom call together to figure out what is going on in class. The college student motto; “C’s get degrees”.
We students here are solely here because we paid for the lectures we come to and our parking passes. We show up for the information we bought, and then we leave to either go to work, go home, and take a nap before homework, or we try to hang out with friends to hopefully help our mental health.
Now, why are our TV college experience and our realistic college experience so different? Well, that’s because the college experience is romanticized and showcased on television just like a cliché rom-com. The bad guy gets the girl, all the romantic issues are solved, or someone gets their dream job or gets accepted at their dream school in the end.
The college experience is virtually viewed as a fun, party-full, caffeine-free paradise where everyone is happy and school is the new most fun place on earth. When in reality, we are almost all caffeine addicted and stressed about assignments and exams, have little to no sleep between our school schedule and our work schedule, and barely any time to see friends unless we want to fall behind in class. Students are exhausted and just want to get through their lectures, do their homework, finish their work shifts, and go to sleep.
Student life in media artwork generated by DALL·E 2
Now, none of this is to tell people that college isn’t fun at all. You can meet cool people in class or bump into someone and spill coffee on them in the cafeteria and it may blossom a friendship, who knows?
I have met some cool people in the class and on campus whether that’s because we were assigned together to work on an assignment, we complimented each other’s outfits one day in the bathroom or waited in line to buy a Monster Energy Drink, or one of us reached out to the other and asked: “Do you know what’s going on in class? Because I have no idea.”
But there are no crazy parties here at Palomar College, people don’t even talk to each other unless they already know one another, and everyone would rather be anywhere else than on campus. Just be careful what you see on TV, because college is meant for learning, and Palomar College is more focused on education than it is on the “fun college experience” everyone sees in shows and movies.