MTV’s ‘College Life’ not an accurate depiction of college students’ life

U-Wire and U-Wire

Last week, MTV dropped its much-anticipated bombshell with the premiere of ‘College Life,’ filmed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.’ Without going into too much detail, we saw an edited and chronologically inaccurate compilation of partying, relationship trouble and problems assimilating to the local culture, all through the stories of four freshmen. The general student consensus afterward was a resounding two thumbs down. The complaints range anywhere from ‘boring’ and ‘nauseating’ to ‘inaccurate.’ Some of these comments are subjective, but to call the show inaccurate might not be completely fair, considering it’s about the life of a first-semester freshman. What is apparent through the funky time lapses, which not-so-seamlessly jump from the first days of college in August to the mid-October Ohio State football game, is that the show’s editors are concentrating the social lives of the featured four to maximize their entertainment value. In that sense, the show is inaccurate. However, looking at the events existentially, what actually transpires accurately represents the life of a first-semester freshman better than anyone would like to admit, especially the administration. In fact, the show might even do the university a favor in its selection process, considering there are more replicas of the slacker Kevin living in freshman dorms, while an abstinent and alcohol-free Andrea is not nearly as common. While the finished product is remarkably superficial and trashy, it’s a show on MTV’s late-night lineup, so nobody should be particularly surprised. But for those crying about the misrepresentation of the student body, consider the reality: these are first-semester freshmen whose social lives throughout one semester are concentrated into a few short segments. The administration would never point to first-semester freshmen as accurate representatives of the school anyway, so losing sleep over the dramatic exploits of some college rookies is not worth the time or energy. For the administration and others who are concerned with the university’s image, take a reality check. While it’s not explicitly stated as maybe it should be, the show isn’t about college. It’s about the issues surrounding the first semester of living under limited supervision on a college campus in the state that drinks more than any other. The culture is not particularly admirable, but it is what it is. And yet, for all those who are adamantly opposed to the show, it will be interesting to see who will continue to watch, if for nothing else than to have fodder for conversation the rest of the week. Mind you, MTV doesn’t care if you hate the show as long as you’re watching it.