Reality television is often dismissed as shallow and useless. However, I believe that reality shows can provide some useful lessons on how to make the most out of college.
You meet a lot of characters, but don’t judge them on their first impression. College is full of kooky characters. From the professor that’s obsessed with Mountain Dew, to the cosplayers, it’s important to have an open mind and give everyone a fair chance. Duck Dynasty's characters were originally written off as rednecks, but have overcome the stereotype to run a wildly successful brand. Everyone has a few quirks, and you should not define people by their hobbies.
Photo credit: CBS
Alliances come and go quickly. Your Camp War Eagle group might have sworn to stay together forever, but friends will inevitably come and go throughout college. It’s easy to fall out of touch if you are no longer in class or club meetings together. Take a lesson from Survivor and recognize that some friendships are fleeting, and enjoy them for what they are.
What you see is not always what you get. Who can forget the legendary ending of The Hills? The show’s “scripted or unscripted” guessing game kept fans in a frenzy, and the same can be said about modern day social media. Filters, Photoshop, and selective posting can make anyone’s life look perfect. Don’t make the mistake of comparing your life to others. Remember that college is a tough juggling act, and even the coolest Instagram blogger will struggle.
You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. I’m not just referring to romantic relationships, contrary to The Bachelor. College is a time to try out anything and everything. Expand your horizons by trying new clubs, by tasting new cuisine and by meeting new people. This is the ideal chance to test out new hobbies with little to no consequences. You won't find your "thing" without experimenting.
You want to be on top? Then work for it. America’s Next Top Model showed us that it takes a lot of work to have a pretty outcome. You won’t get your dream job without studying hard, gaining work experience and holding leadership positions. You might have to pull a few all-nighters, but it will be worth it when you’re strutting the halls of your new workplace.
It’s over before you know it. Most reality shows have a short shelf life (except for Jersey Shore, which went on for way too long), and college does too. In the blink of an eye, you will be a senior and preparing for the real world. Make the most of your time here.
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