Well, in case you didn’t know Mtv just launched a new show called, “college life.” In the very beginning of the show it started by telling us as the viewers what our role was: to watch 4 freshman “make sense of college.” The tagline for the show is, “This is not reality. This is real.” The show is filmed by freshman students at the University of Wisconsin. The students film their own lives as they enter into college. If you want to know what it’s really like, get insights into life at college, what it’s like for a freshman leaving and trying to figure out college life – this is certainly the show to watch. On CollegeLeader we have articles pertaining to some of these issues as well – click here for those.
The premiere of “college life” introduced us to 4 freshman, two guys and two girls, and walked us through their first 3 weeks of college. Here’s a bit about each cast member:
Jordan: mixed race family with his mom being jamaican and dad being canadian. He comes from a religiously conservative upbringing. All his friends are white, but as he says, “it’s all I’ve ever known, so it doesn’t bother me.”
Andrea: She’s a proclaiming conservative Christian and is very proud of her virginity. People tell her that college is going to change her, but she feels confident she has the proper accountability.
Alex: She’s from a very small town in Texas. She received an academic scholarship and says she just wants to learn as much as she can. She hinks it’s cool to be at college and is looking forward to meeting people.
Kevin: From St. Paul Minnesota. College to him is keeping his “grades up for his mom.” He’s looking forward to the “collegiate” lifestyle of partying.
It’s interesting to watch even the first 3 weeks of their lives, relational drama, and their intellectual gymnastics.
Immediately after talking about her accountability at school, Andrea walks up to a random guy she sees and gives him her phone number. In the first 3 weeks she also met another guy who came over to her dorm room to watch a movie with her. It will be interesting to see what happens with her. She’s also involved in a complex relationship with an ex-boyfriend from high school. He loves her, but she just wants to meet new people. This not only gives some great insight into some of the immaturity that can take place in college-age relationships, but also about the exploration that’s pursued with other people. I’ve said many times that this is a key part in identity formulation. We’ll talk more about that in another blog.
Alex, the academic girl. She hopes to double major in journalism and international studies in order to one day incorporate her love of writing, intrigue with people, and desire to travel, into a journalistic occupation following college. In the show we gain some insights into her mind as she is bombarded by a guy who likes her. At a party he is claiming her as his boyfriend because he doesn’t like the fact that she’s talking to different guys. As for her she just wants to meet new people. She ends up totally emotional, frustrated, and makes a statement that she’s “worthless” and will never be able to find a guy who truly loves her. Confusing, but real emotions felt by many college freshman.
Kevin is the typical “collegiate” that I’ve written about in past articles. His dorm room turns into party central, with about 15 people playing drinking games. He gets busted with alcohol, gets written up and told that if he’s caught again he’ll be expelled from the school – no questions asked. Exactly two hours later his room is packed with people again, drinking. He struggles with school and receives a 33% on his first math exam. He realizes it’s his fault because he never payed attention in high school. His rationale is to now skip political science class to study for math. But all this is really secondary to him…he’s more interested in sleeping all day so he can party and hang out at night.
Jordan isn’t into the collegiate life much and isn’t even interested in the big football game against Ohio State. In fact, during the game when everyone else is excited and filled with school spirit he goes shopping with some female friends. It will be interesting to see his college life and what parts of college he is attracted to. My hunch is he’s going to go through some internal confusion!
There is much more that happened, but no doubt that this is the most insightful show to date for those working in college ministry, by a long shot. I will issue a brief review every Tuesday from now on. But, if you want to gain insight into the complexities of the college-age stage of life, have lost touch with the people you’re trying to minister to, don’t understand the pressures students feel after leaving home, don’t quite grasp the pursuits of college-age people, or don’t have a clue about the lack of relational boundaries between guys and girls in the college-age stage of life…watch the show!
Oh, for those of you like me who are in college ministry in a non-college town, it still applies!