Essay 2 – College Representations and an Ideal QC

College Representations and an Ideal QC

The American Idea of College Life

Several people in society believe college to be all about frat or sorority parties, getting intoxicated either by ingesting alcohol or by substance abuse, also by skipping class, and having fun. Besides the party aspect of it, they also believe that the kids will get an education eventually, after all the whole point of going to college is to get a degree and start a successful career.

In this essay, I will argue that American representations of college are somewhat different than society believes it to be according to my  xperience at Queens College. So far it has been nothing compared to the experience the following three videos portray about college and I believe that the media is somewhat to blame. When I first arrived at QC I too believed that college life could be slightly similar to the American version but I was wrong. I heard that QC has a sorority house but because of lack of school spirit, there aren’t many advertisements or posters divulging it. These three videos describe an entirely different reality of college life in contrast with my own. I would never be able to participate in student gatherings or parties because I don’t have time to enjoy such events. I believe that when it comes to the basics, an ideal Queens College already exists, meaning that I don’t often see parties and crazy acts by desperate adolescents.

Three Accounts from Movies

In the movie Accepted, the character Gaines gets rejected to every college he applies for so he decides to break the rules and create his own college. With the help of his friend Sherman, who unlike Gaines was accepted to the college he applied for, he goes to extremes to make his creation look real. He builds a website, designs letterheads for the acceptance letters as well as hiring his friend’s uncle to portray the Dean.

As parts of the movie trailer indicates, society and our parents have instructed us from a very early age that we should go to college and that we should somewhat feel like a failure if that doesn’t happen. According to the movie trailer the character Gaines’ parents are eager for him to get into college, and we can understand this when his father says, “You want to have a successful life? You go to college” (Accepted). By saying this, his father believes that his son will ensure his future by getting a college degree, and also because it is widely believed that college graduates thrive better in life compared to those who are not. The character Gaines actually admits he knows what is like to be “rejected” and encourages other students to being self-taught, by not having to attend any classes or face any of the mandatory coursework. Some of these students are really surprised by the concept as one girl asks, “there are no tests, required reading or any of that nonsense?” (Accepted). Evidently this girl like everybody else is fully aware of what college life should be like, but she doesn’t necessary agree that it should conform to what society expects of it, since she uses the word nonsense to describe the standard school assignments. Apparently the character Gaines’ idea of learning is so far from what society believes to be ideal, that it creates uproar among the most traditional schools. When he says, “you don’t need fancy high ground traditions or money to really learn” (Accepted). Gaines is talking about all the Ivy League colleges that are so expensive and so difficult to get into. He is also describing how unimportant those institutions are if everybody were to adopt his method of learning. Unlike the movie, my xperience at Queens College has been far from what the character’s belief of what the ideal college life should be like. There are no self-taught classes and students aren’t walking around with little or no clothes on.

The music video “I love College” by Asher Roth describes the typical image of the American college life that’s believed to be true and ideal by most teenagers because there’s a lot drinking and a lot of partying. Asher also illustrates how a college student has many advantages over the general population, such as only paying one dollar for a pizza slice and also other advantages such as beer drinking, naked girls and skipping class. Overall he is expressing his desire to remain in college for the rest of his life and this shows that college is something to look forward to for all those with similar thinking.


According to the music video, Asher Roth entertains the idea of forever being a college student because of the social life and parties that take place every day, when he says “I wanna go to college for the rest of my life” (I Love College). Roth is reaffirming his feelings about spending a lifetime partying, drinking, smoking and not having to worry about the responsibilities of an adult, like having a job for example.  His perception of reality is warped, but if he remains in college he’ll never be aware of what being a successful adult really entails. Asher is portraying the white
suburban teenager eager to have fun and admits that he “can’t tell you what he learned from school” (I Love College), because he is obviously not concerned about going to class. When he does go to class it is always for a very short time maybe because he’s too sick to pay attention or maybe because he is in a hurry to leave so he can party all over again. Basically Asher does not want his college experience to end, since a crowded fraternity house where everybody seems to know and like each other is ultimately what every kid dreams about. Once he is part of this experience, he asks “Do I really have to graduate?” (I Love College), because once he does graduate he recognizes that the fun is over and it is finally time to grow up. Any white suburban kid or any teenager for that matter, who experiences the college life depicted in the video, would never give up such a life. This video is obviously the utopia of every teenager coming out of high school, but it does not compare to my experience at QC since I am not a part of a sorority and I don’t party every day. Unlike Asher Roth’s character portrayed in the video, I actually want to graduate
and be successful in my future career.

Another movie that demonstrates how fun college life can be is the movie “Old School.” A few grown men decide to create a fraternity house just for fun. Most of them are married and some even have children, but that didn’t stop them for trying to relive their past college experience. Everything they show in the movie trailer is about parties, school mascots and the pranks they play on the fraternity pledges.

According to the movie trailer a man with a successful career gets a wake-up call when he returns from one of his business trips as he catches his girlfriend with another couple in his bedroom. After that his friends decide to cheer him up by first creating a fraternity and then throwing a wild party, college style. In the beginning they insist that the frat house is only there for their entertainment when they say “we don’t take it too
(Old School), they are not trying to hide the fact that such an idea is ridiculous but they still go for it. Just like the typical college kid they don’t take the whole college experience too seriously and everything just becomes one big party. Even the married guys are very tempted by the whole idea, but they are still a little cautious as one of them says “I promised my wife I wouldn’t drink tonight”, (Old School),without a doubt this sounds outrageous in a fraternity party, but to fit in he decides that one drink won’t hurt him, and isn’t that how college kids behave nowadays? As they say in the movie, it is all about “the fun of college, but none of the education” (Old School), obviously they mean that this aspect of going to college is very amusing even if they are not learning academically and to them the learning part of it is not the important one. Again, what they show  in this movie has nothing to do with my experience at QC so far, I too have children but I am not out there getting drunk and partying every night.

College Media Reassessment and my QC Experience

My college experience at Queens College so far has been a pleasant one, even without parties. The videos above are the complete opposite of my college experience, I remember maybe seeing a couple of demonstrations by the students and I see them on the lawn reading or studying, that to me is an ideal college and obviously not the ones depicted in the videos I mentioned above, in my opinion an education is essential in one’s successful future and none of the videos above portray a college that actually provide such education.

Works Cited:

UniversalMoviesUK “Accepted” YouTube. Web Sep 28, 2011.

AsherRothVevo “I Love College”YouTube. Web June 26, 2009.

zhukaiww”Old School”YouTube. Web Dec 15, 2009.












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2 Responses to “Essay 2 – College Representations and an Ideal QC”

  1.   salvarez Says:

    Michelle, I found your essay. Please do the following:

    Go to your blog’s dashboard.

    Click on Pages on your left sidebar.

    Then click on Add New at the top.

    Copy and paste your Essay One and publish.

    Add new page after that and do the same for your Essay Two.

    Your essays should be published as pages, not as posts. Please fix these. I’ll give you the rest of your additional points for this essay after you do so. Let me know if you are having problems.

    My first suggestion for your essay is to use the word “film” when you use “movie.” Change those, since what you analyze are the trailers for films, and “film” is the academic term for the subject.

    I really like the E section s you gave here. The PIE paragraphs look great, by the way. You don’t have to bold the quotes from the film. You did a great job documenting the sources in the paragraphs. Keep practicing the PIE paragraphs in all your writing assignments, and your instructors will appreciate it. Think of how you could make PIE paragraphs using the cooling-out function essay instead of films. Or using the Bourdieu quote . . .

    Do you notice the cooling-out function happening anywhere in these films? Why do students drop out? What about the students who don’t get accepted? When did any of the films show footage of classrooms?

    For revisions: MLA
    –Be sure to follow the MLA format for websites on the Purdue OWL: See “A Page on a Website”:

    –Add another paragraph about the last paragraph, and begin to think about some of the places where Queens College needs some work based on your perspective as student . . . I think you did that throughout, but it would be good to sum each up again with the video, then connect to a new idea, relating to QC. What would a representation of Queens College look like? If a film, who would star?

    –your next essay will build on some of your QC critiques. Remember you can use all the material you wrote on your blog previously to help you write the next two essays.

    6.5 out of 7 points.

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