Movies are a source of escape and refuge for those that enjoys them. But for most millennials, particularly in high school, they are regarded as points of reference for practically everything.
Unfortunately most movies are made for the sheer purposes of enjoyment and entertainment, both of these purposes not pertaining to the real essence of what university strives to provide. Countless Friday nights have been spent lounging in front of the television set captivated by movies like Old School (2003); The Social Network (2010); Legally Blonde (2001); Revenge of the Nerds (1984) and Accepted (2006) and the more recent Bad Neighbours franchise (2014-2016) and 22 Jump Street (2014), all of which containing some of the most memorable taglines. However these American produced movies act out the fictitious and glamorous representations of what the big world of university really encompasses. So it is no surprise that the first year of university is met with an underwhelming response.
The expected weekly keg parties, loving or disinviting ‘sorority’ houses, excusable late assignment submissions, random expulsions, clique fights and of course the countless steamy hook-ups, are all a part of the made-up fantasy provided by movies which become the guides for those considering to embark to a university institution.
The glamorous ever-changing outfits of Elle in Legally Blonde and the rather extreme approach of a made up courses as seen in Accepted assist in creating the illusion that is meant to sell or exploit the concept of university.
A different approach of representing university is apparent in the Revenge of Nerds and The Social Network movies which glorify the role of the outcasts such as the perceived ‘college nerds’ which are typically seen as socially shunned individuals finding spaces within these hyper aesthetic-obsessed spaces.
However it can be said that these portrayals or rather exaggerations of portrayals foster the bigger issue of the preferred perceptions expected by the consumers of these generational movies. This means that ‘us’, the movie watchers, prefer to indulge on unrealistic plots centred on university. We are ourselves, in part, to blame for what we are given.
Whichever year of university you’re in, it continues to become drastically evident that these trustee movies we allow to construct our expectations of tertiary education on are by no means a true depiction of our realities.