/ The Daily OrangePop Culture
Syracuse campus much more dynamic than typical college movies portray campuses to be
Cheap beer cans are crumpled on the floor while a vaguely familiar Top-40 song pulsates in the background. Attractive 20-somethings bop to the beat while holding mysterious red cups with their friends. A few surprisingly youthful-looking kids wander around appearing confused.
There’s even a keg with a couple of ultra-muscular guys surrounding it and, of course, someone is puking in a garbage can.
If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen any college movie ever made. Or maybe you’ve noticed something similar at Syracuse University. Either way, Princeton Review crowned our university the No. 10 party school in the country in its “The Best 377 Colleges” last week.
Our school really does seem like the quintessential pop culture campus. We’ve got the picturesque quad, lots of Greek organizations and a party reputation. I’m willing to bet a high number of students enrolled here just for that feature.
But, Syracuse really is a lot more than the background of a Hollywood hit.
The main problem with pop culture campuses is that everyone is amazingly one-sided. It usually seems like the movie writers only stayed at a university for a day or just skipped college altogether.
The quintessential college guy is John Belushi’s character from “Animal House,” John “Bluto” Blutarsky. The fraternity boy isn’t anything more than his letters. He’ll always end up in a toga multiple times in the movie and his greatest achievement in life will be a two-minute keg stand.
His sorority-girl counterparts are blonde, ditzy and always up for a bikini car wash a la Elle Woods before her law school transformation. It seems as though girls like her are more interested in getting their Mrs. degrees than an actual bachelor of arts.
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s always some nerdy girls and boys to add laughs and useless scientific information like the guys of “Revenge of the Nerds.”
Yes, in the real world, it’s amazingly easy to become a stereotype. You could become pastel-wearing mean girls of “The House Bunny,” or any of the beer-funneling men you’ve seen in countless films.
But at Syracuse, those same toga party attendees can be found doing homework on Monday nights, and you might even catch them at the library between classes. Most of the girls I’ve met are too busy trying to get ahead in their major to trick a guy into marrying them. That’s a lot of commitment at 22 years old.
Honestly, how boring would it be if all your conversations sounded like some 40-year-old comedy writer scripted them? Most people, even college students, are multidimensional.
You can avoid becoming an over-the-top caricature during college. But, according to pop culture, you don’t really have to go to class, either. According to the movies, you can spend about 10 minutes in your twice-weekly lecture without academic probation at the end of the year.
While I’m sure a lot of us have tested the limits of skipping class and still passing, our favorite college characters seem to be professionals at it. Despite all the silly hijinks during the semester, everyone comes back the next year ready to start the cycle over again.
Try that out in Chemistry, and let me know how that goes for you.
Ariana Romero is a junior magazine journalism and political science major. Her column appears every week. She can be reached at email@example.com or followed on Twitter at @ArianaRomero17.
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