Back to School

September 20, 2012 — 14 Comments

September. Weather cooler, pants longer, days shorter and TV better. There is a shift in the air, and perhaps no more pronounced than in the grand lecture halls and dingy dorm rooms on college campuses all across the globe. Earlier this month, millions of students returned to the college life, trading their crappy summer jobs for crappy 8:00am classes. Some ready to learn, some ready to party, and some ready for both. While everyone feels this shift, I’m observing it at close distance. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a graphic designer at a university, and so I can’t help but relive my own college memories at times like this. Sure, I’ve wandered into the realm of academic nostalgia before on the blog, but September also brings the pangs for the social joys of college life. You know: cheap Corona nights, dorm pranks, crushes that last for approximately one psychology class.

Since most of you don’t find yourselves surrounded by memories off ye ol’ college days, I thought I’d pillage Julie’s College of Pop-Cultural Knowledge once more and let TV do some reminiscing for us. And let’s be honest: TV life is always way more fun than real life.

Always one to dress for the occasion, I’ve prepared for this lecture with some recently thrifted college fashion: this studious vintage mini, a collared shirt, and a chunky belt. I’ve put them with my not-thrifted Oxfords and a bag big enough to hold all the books I read spark notes for. Even if you’re years and miles away from your college days, these shows are bound to make you long for the college experiences you actually had, and the ones you wish you had. Some of them are shows, some just episodes, all fantastically fun portrayals of life within the the post-secondary universe.

Community
Oh gosh, I’ve professed my love for this show on more than one occasion. But any self-respecting list maker (that’s a thing, right?) couldn’t start a college list without it. While this show has veered into broader territory in its later seasons, season 1 is the most delightful look at community college cliches ever. The joys of running the school newspaper, core classes that make your brain cry, electives that no school actually offers, but should. It’s all gold. Plus, I think we can all agree that paintball wars should indeed be mandatory at every university.

Felicity
This show could quite actually be called the opposite of Community. It takes college so seriously. But still, it’s full of glorious young-intellectual angst. It could also be credited with cementing a classic TV rule: that all dorms are SO MUCH NICER than any actual dorm in real life. Extra credit: they taught me how to say “hey“.

The Simpsons: Homer Goes to College
If I need to explain why this episode is classic, I don’t think you should be reading my blog. But in case I do, here you go: Here and here.

Undeclared
Undeclared is to college what Freaks and Geeks is to high school: An awesome, Judd Aptow creation that was tragically cancelled before it’s time. My brief affair with this show began out of the same motivation that got dudes watching 24 – “It’s that kid from Popular Mechanics for Kids!“.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This isn’t a show about college, of course, but two fantastic college episodes are enough to get it on the list. Buffy and the gang would eventually do what most teen shows do: stop going to college after a few months because it’s just too hard to keep it interesting. But two episodes in Buffy Season 4 are some of my favourite bits of college-themed TV. Firstly, episode 4.1 has Buffy completely intimated and lost in her new university surroundings. She even does the classic walk into the wrong classroom and don’t realize it until it’s too late. This wins because I TOTALLY DID THAT. The second must-watch episode is the one with Buffy’s roommate. She labels her food, listens to Cher on repeat, and irons her jeans. Therefore, she’s an evil demon. We’ve all been there in some fashion, right?

I could expand this list to movie territory, but then I’d have to reveal to all of you I haven’t seen Animal House, and I just haven’t worked up a decent enough excuse for that yet. I have seen Old School though, so that’s got to count for something.

If I do ever get around to a Top 5 College Movies list, I have an anecdote ready to go for The Social Network. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the movie, but I did have the privilege of being in college when Facebook launched as a a new, exclusive college thing. At one point, I made the mistake of inviting everyone in my “network” to our Halloween party, and all four of my housemates did the same. The next thing you know, our house is so packed I thought it might explode, our lawn is torn up with tire tracks, a ninja turtle is puking in the hallway, and my housemate and I are outside dealing with a spontaneous visit from the landlord. We did our best to convince him of our upstanding citizenship, while dressed as a vampire and a cheerleader, respectively. Nothing says “responsible” like pom poms and a cape.

And as hard as I’m trying for a college look today, that one will always take the cake. A TV moment if ever I’ve lived one. Give me an “A!”

14 responses to Back to School

  1. 

    Fab dress and brogue combo – top of the class!

  2. 

    Love that vintage dress! I’m a college student right now, and I know that someday I’ll be able to look back with happy nostalgia, but right now, I’m already ready for winter break!!

  3. 

    I love your outfit and your tv references. I’m re-watching all of Felicity currently and forgot how much I loved that show. I laughed when I first saw her dorm room because, come on? I want to find a precious mini dress like yours now.

    • 

      I think I’m about ready for a total Felicity-rewatch. I didn’t get to watch it as faithfully as I pleased when it was on! Mostly because I wasn’t allowed to. That, and Dawson’s Creek.

  4. 

    Funny…I, too, work on a university campus, and the other day we went for happy hour, and I was laughing at the group of boys drinking next to us (as I thought: they’re drinking?! they’re 14!) about their “kegger.” It’s been many, many years since I heard the word kegger. It made me laugh. I love working on the campus, though. Def. keeps me young. Although, the trend on my campus is to wear leggings as pants, and it drives me bananas. And, of course, love your hair!! and this outfit!

  5. 

    Felicity makes me feel all the feelings. It’s just basically 42 minutes of feelings. I love it, but it makes me question my own college experience. Did I feel enough feelings? Did I talk about feeling feelings enough?
    Also, your side pony is tops.

  6. 

    Gah! That dress is simply adorable; so collegiate cool. :)

    xoxo,
    Laura

    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Blogs I Like: We So Thrifty (Julie Van Huizen) « curlyhair curlyperson - October 30, 2012

    [...] She works at a school and I also work at a school. Clearly we should just go ahead and plan our girls’ weekend trip [...]

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