KOJO ESSAH AND ELMARIE KRUGER
University is said to be the best time of our lives. At least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe by music, television shows and movies. They tell us that varsity is a non-stop, party-filled, alcohol-induced thrill ride that lasts as long as our degree’s duration. The sad news however, is that this is not the big picture of university. Sure, a social life is a very important component of the university experience, but at the end of the day we’re all here to earn a degree. In truth, your university life is made up of a few elements: studying, socialising, sleep and for some, sport. The catch is that you can only choose two of these to focus on. Perdeby has dispelled some media myths about university life so that you don’t have to.The American Pie film series follows a group of friends as they navigate their way through teenage life, eventually ending up at university. American Pie Presents: Beta House follows Erik Stifler, a first-year at college who gets initiated into a fraternity house that is all about partying. This movie fails to acknowledge the most important part of university: attending lectures. It shows the viewer that you do not need to attend your classes to get your degree, but this is not the case at university. At Tuks for instance, you may need to attend 80% of your lectures or you will not obtain exam entrance. Unless you’re friends with someone who attends class religiously and likes you enough to share their notes with you, your future will be as dull as the members of Geek House, the film’s antagonists.
Blue Mountain State is a television show that follows Alex Moran, a university student and second team quarter-back for their football team. The show illustrates his university career from his first-year as he encounters new people, trains with the football team and most importantly, parties with his frat mates. The program paints drinking, sex, drug abuse and football as the most important aspects of university. All the sports players have their homework done by the school’s nerds. This eliminates the need for the so-called “jocks” to attend classes. University would be an amazing time if all we had to do to be guaranteed a degree was to join a sports team. Alas, this is only a fallacy, as sports players have a difficult time balancing their education with their sporting engagements. It is also a well-known fact that guzzling gallons of beer each night won’t do much for your sporting – or academic – career. The second last thing on a hungover student’s mind is team sports. The last thing is attending a 07:30 lecture.
Asher Roth’s song, “I love college” talks about university as nothing but a location to have sex, party, get black-out drunk, and then do it all over again. If you try this process however, you are guaranteed to fail. This song also fails to acknowledge the educational side of university, regarding it as unimportant. Education’s importance aside, the party lifestyle is sure to have you flat-out broke in no time. Nobody wants to phone their parents three weeks after leaving for university, only to have to explain to them that you gave all your money to a certain Mr Jack Daniels.
These are but a few examples of media perpetrators that seek to steer you away from getting the most out of university. Yes, going out and socialising is a great way to destress and keep yourself sane, but more important than that is to attend your lectures, do all your assignments and excel academically if you wish to obtain your degree. Unless of course you plan on becoming a professional student, in that case, party away. There’s always next year.
Image: Brandon Dlamini