Top 5: Lies Films Told Me About University

Monsters University film

I haven’t seen Monsters University, but I would imagine that would have skewed my perception of tertiary education as well. Probably would have been disappointed not to see one-eyed monsters or something.

Because of my obsessive indulgence in movies, I have found myself to be continually underwhelmed and disappointing at every stage of life. Starting high school, turning 16, first party, turning 18 and, the biggest disappointment of all: going to university.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower film - I'm below average!

C minus, ladies and gentlemen! I am below average!

Of course, American schools are totally different to the likes of New Zealand schools. But these movies certainly raised my expectations.

Particularly on the day I got accepted into uni, and the night before my first day of uni. It was all like a normal day for me, thank you very much The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Toy Story 3 and American Graffiti.

(Although, I didn’t actually “leave” for uni, so that may have been why…)


Here are my top five disappointments, thanks to university/college-based movies:

Everyone will look sophisticated all the time
Big Fish film based in a university
Thank you Big Fish and The Notebook. Despite only having one or two scenes set in university, everyone looks incredible. Okay, okay, they were both set in the 40s/50s, but that didn’t stop me hoping for the best.

Unfortunately, just like the odd non-uniform day at high school, everyone wears their best clothes on the first day of university. But by week two, the sweat pants, ugg boots and the odd onesie begins to creep in. That was disappointing.

Everyone is wise beyond their years
Thanks The Pelican Brief , 21 and Good Will Hunting.
Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting film
They actually act like adults, studying law and maths! Every movie, I was watching psychologists, mathematicians, lawyers…

Despite only studying communications, I thought I’d be surrounded by people intrigued by ethics and politics. As it turns out, we are no wiser than we were in high school a few months previous, and we don’t suddenly become open minded and smart just because we’ve been accepted into university. I thought we’d all be calling out corrupted corporations, and getting shoulder-tapped for major companies within a year.

Sadly, this was not the case. At all.

There will be a diversity and range of interesting people

University-based film, Pitch Perfect film

“But if you think this is just some high school club where you can sing and dance your way through any social issue… Or confuse sexuality, you have come to the wrong place.”

Thanks Pitch Perfect.
I never met a fun-loving Fat Amy, a rebellious Beca or a strange Lily. Everyone was just like me: a middle of the road, average Jo, without a whole load of talent for singing. Gutted.

I guess I just assumed everyone would suddenly become cool over the summer, will work out who they are and flaunt it by the time they reach uni. However, there is actually still a hierarchy at uni. In fact, along with our self-confidence, we’ve been demoted back to ‘the newbie,’ like we were in high school.

Big parties. All the time.
Thanks 22 Jump Street.
22 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing TatumOkay, you’re probably thinking: “Jodie, there were huge parties, you just didn’t want to socialise.” Or, “Jodie, we had awesome parties but you weren’t invited.”

Perhaps that is true. Nevertheless, I had never even heard a whisper about “that party last night that became a street party where that millionaire’s son bought everyone a round of drinks and I got dropped home in a Ferrari.”

Extraordinary things will happen
University-based film, The Social NetworkThanks Scent of a Woman, The Social Network and 21.
I never got whisked away to New York by accident after agreeing to look after a blind man. Nor did anything absolutely scandalous occur, like in The Social Network. Nor was I trained up to win big in Vegas casinos, like in 21.

University was a pretty mundane experience actually.

Add the lies Hollywood told you in the comments section below! May do a high school one if you’re interested.


About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
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2 Responses to Top 5: Lies Films Told Me About University

  1. V says:

    College didn’t really feel like college (if ya get me) to me until I was about to leave it. The only difference for me between high school and university was that if I was hungover, I didn’t have to go in if I didn’t want to. Would have been interesting though if we’d had those choir group thingies, so we could settle our differences with dance-offs. Or if we’d had sororities. Not to join, just to ridicule, of course. Great post! ;)

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