Hope, sarcasm essential for college reality

Hollywood movies miss mark on student love, mislead newcomers

 

Welcome back to yet another school year. Another year for me to desperately want to believe that this will be the year for something exciting, something amazing or just something not so disappointing.

Maybe I’ve been jilted by the past three years of failed crushes and incompatible roommates, but college isn’t all Hollywood made me think it would be. As a journalism student I haven’t fallen into the arms of Hugh Jackman while breaking a big story like Scarlett Johanssen so effortlessly did in “Scoop.”

It’s not like a Ryan Reynolds movie; Thursday nights aren’t filled with orgies of hot girls waiting to throw their virginity into your arms. And “Legally Blonde” endings are hard to come by. You won’t find tall, handsome strangers sitting on park benches waiting for you, although you might run into a couple of bums begging for money, food or booze – or maybe all three.

It could be the real key in how to distinguish freshmen from everyone else, besides the confused, lost looks. Freshmen are the most ready to meet new people and make new friends. They have that hopelessly romantic outlook that college is what you make it.

As upperclassmen, why can’t we be more optimistic? Is it that impending fate of the “real world” or just our still-fragile broken hearts that hold us back from being more wide-eyed and curious? Maybe we just weren’t prepared enough for what the “crash course of the real world” that college provides. Maybe fictitious stories and our great expectations made us more susceptible to the inevitable crushed dreams. Or it could be that after a while being so optimistic about so many rotten days seems a little naive. Just because freshmen haven’t been kicked by the awful wet days of running through the rain to get to a cancelled class, it doesn’t mean a little hope can’t hurt.

Even though the college dating scene may appear to have the “Jaws” theme playing in the background, every now and then crazy kids tend to find someone worth saving for a few special game nights.

Adapting a cynical view of life and love might be the only way to deal with that ass of a one-night stand, but don’t let that negative attitude stand in the way of our opportunity to meet someone new and doing something different. After all, if 50 is the new 30, we’re just babies.

 

(Originally written 8.18.2006)

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