College Student Stereotypes in Pop Culture Media

College is an important time for most people. It’s a time where young adults leave their house for the first time without their parents, it’s a natural step in society and kind of socially acceptable that most teenagers attend and go to college. The reasoning behind this is pretty simple, to get educated. Attending a university and ultimately graduating helps an individual prepare for a career. This is why so many people go to college because they want a high pay and valuable job that you can’t get unless you have a degree in some specific major. College students are expected to take multiple classes with heavy course work, while working a part time jobs and often times participating in extracurricular activities. It’s a heavy load and college students in my views are some of the hardest workers in society. Although we are not portrayed that way in the media. Instead as being seen as hard workers dedicated to education and working towards a career, we are seen as lazy, loud, substance intoxicated students. Through my research of exploring the college student identity in pop culture I have come to the conclusion that pop culture media wrongfully stereotypes college students in order to increase their own goals and this is important because pop culture media meaning, tv shows, movies, articles, the news etc. has a large population it reaches towards and influences. So if pop culture media continues to stereotype college students wrongfully then it will influence society’s perceptions towards college students. This will have multiple consequences towards college students. Every college student will be put in this stereotype when in reality most college students are dedicated to their education and are not just looking to party during their time in college.

My first piece of research is a tv show called Undeclared. Undeclared is an american sitcom created by Fox It follows the lives of 8 college freshman students as they try to navigate their new lives as college students. The purpose of this show is solely based on comedy as every episode has jokes and the cast are known to be comedians in real life. One interesting detail that I noticed was the amount of time, that the first episode of the show took to actually discus classes, careers and majors. Topics that are common to discuss with your friends and even more so with your roommates. The show hardly ever showed that side of college, instead they stayed with just showing the common false stereotypes that college students get. Meaning that the show focused a lot of speaking and air time of the characters drinking and partying. This shows why many people think that college is just a time to party and get drunk, because so much media just shows this side, like Undeclared. They don’t spend time showing the characters studying or doing homework, which is what every college student has to go through. It also just shows the male characters just talking and thinking about sex and girls, that again is another stereotype. Not every male college students just thinks about and wants to have as much sex as possible, most have other goals. For a reference of the show I attached a trailer of the show below.

Another piece of evidence that I found in my research is a youtube video that was made by youtuber Ryan Higa and it is a parody video of how colleges never fully explain to their students the reality of college, until they are actually in college.This video was pretty interesting, it highlighted facts that colleges do not say or even express when they are trying to get students to come to their college. As well as it shows the life of an average college student and the struggles they have to go through, with things like working while being in school, paying loans after your done with school, all the pre required courses that you have to take but, question about because they do not fit with your career choice. Of course this video still showed classic stereotypes of college students with scenes of students partying and sleeping most of the time, but it’s main focus was to show how weird and outdated the college system is as well as to show the actual life of a college student. This video wasn’t focused on college stereotypes but instead brought actual fundamentals questions about the college system in a hilarious way that most individuals can relate with. I believe that if it was broadcasted more and not just put in youtube, it could have a real impactful change on society and get more people thinking about why college is set up the way that it is. I have attached the video below.

Another research source that I have found was an article whose purpose was to summarize and show the schedule and daily life of a college student. Going in detail what majors are and why you need to pick a major as well as it explained in how college is different from high school and what the major changes to be ready for. For example not seeing your family as much, having multiple different class schedules and even working while in school. It also gave two real life examples of current college students schedules. The schedules seemed very similar. Waking up in the morning, heading to class, lunch, work and then late night homework and studying. It reminds me of my schedule that I have right now. The article relates to my subject of college students because unlike other media outlets this source is actually correct about the life of a college student and does not base their facts on stereotypes like other sources of media. The two examples that give of the students schedules can be used in my report to counter stereotypes of college students. As well as the whole article gives of  an energy that college students are hard workers that have to handle a lot from classes, homework, work, clubs etc. However there is one piece of information that does not make college students look good and that is when they were showing the two schedules of the two students , both of them put that they do homework late at night and kind of push it off. This is a stereotype seen in pop culture that is showing some basis to be true, with this article. The two schedules are posted below.

Through all of my research I have it can be seen that college students are falsely portrayed in pop culture media, when in reality college students are hardworking are often struggle with all of their work and dedication they have to do.

During the course their were two valuable moments that i’ve learned. One is during week 4 where we analyzed primary and secondary sources, this was valuable to me because I learned how define articles that were credible from others that were not as well as to distinguish the difference between primary and secondary resources. This will help me in my future classes and research papers by using credible sources that will only strengthen my essays. Another important lesson that I learned is how much time, effort and strategies go into advertising. I see now that advertisers don’t just try to put flashy and eye appealing scenes in their videos, but they strategically place their messages where they want to. By learning this I have become less subject to ads and start questioning the ad instead of the product that their selling.

Works Cited:

Title: A Day in the Life of a College Student

Author:  Katie McKoon

Publisher: Carnegie Communications

Date of Publication:


Date of Publication: November 15, 2015


Youtube Video: Honest University Commercial

Youtube Channel: nigahiga

Published on Feb 21, 2014



TV Show: Undeclared

Network: FOX

Executive producer: Judd Apatow

Genre: Sitcom

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Carla Gallo, Charlie Hunnam, Monica Keena, Seth Rogen



One thought on “College Student Stereotypes in Pop Culture Media

  1. Hi Oscargaleana!

I really liked how you talked about stereotypical expectations that college students have in real life compared to in media. I also think it’s true that college students are falsely portrayed in popular culture media. Good job on your blog post! It was interesting to read about since it’s something we all can connect with.

Comments are closed.