College Is Weird ~ A Dark Academia Discussion

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You’re expected to know everything about a profession you chose in your late teens within a 4 year span. At least enough to get you started on the bottom rungs. Most college movies feature frat parties and lots and lots of drinking. But for me, at least, dark academia novels like Bunny and movies like Dead Poets Society seem closer, although not close to the reality. 

People do drink; I have drunk, although I don’t have a high tolerance and tend to avoid it lest I do stupid things like email my ex or come out to my mother. I don’t actually know how accurate college movies like Neighbors are, although I sure wouldn’t want to live next to or in a frat house.

I’m thinking of Bunny, how a very small group of girls get together and do demented things. I’m thinking of If We Were Villains, when the gang would stay up late studying in the common area and let out a few grunts in class the next morning. I’ve sadly not encountered a murder (although there was one the semester before I came here.) But people, my people at least, tend to take college seriously enough because they genuinely care about the things they’re learning. They rave about their favourite classes and wonder how to explore the subject further. 

That is what Dark Academia conveys best: people go to college because they’re passionate about something. It gets to the root as to why so many of us get sick in our college years; if you devote yourself to study or your gang to the point where you loose sleep and skip meals, you will get sick. In real life it can result in mental health complications. In books, it leads to murder. 

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I love Bunny and If We Were Villains. But I haven’t read another DA book that I loved, or even liked. I avoid many because I know that the systemic racism, sexism, elitism, etc. that pervades IRL university systems seep their way into these books and go unchallenged. We read to be critical of the world around us and the institutions we engage with. 

I am not a patriotic college student. I was on the newspaper for a year, and that’s part of the job. But it’s more than that; there are problems with my university that I’ve never been able to ignore. How the dining hall still underfeeds vegan students despite high marks from PETA and emails/petitions from vegan students like myself. How it claims to be a leader in environmental issues, despite watering the sidewalks everyday during the worst drought in CA ever. How the best professors are the least rewarded because of how much time they spend on students rather than research or winning awards. How they cut the budget for humanities as it prepares to bloat the sciences. 

I want to see some of these IRL issues addressed in these DA books. I love the murder, please keep the murder. And the books, and the passion. But I want a book that addresses the elitism and other systemic issues. I want a book where the admin and professors are realistic people driven by money and selfishness. I want to see students fighting for their right to an education that both enlightens them and prepares them for the future. 

Do you, dear reader, have Dark Academia recs? What’s a book that reflects uni life well? 

Dropping Out Of College

 

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I don’t do many #CollegeLife posts. As an unobservant freshman, I don’t get a lot of time to stop and reflect on college. I’m sure lots of freshmen are perfectly happy to expound on the joys that make college worth it. For most it is. but now I’m listing serious reasons to drop out of, or not go to, college.

  1.  You experience a health crisis you do not know how to deal with: you are sick, physically, mentally, or both, and it is impacting you academically. Do not run at the first sign of sickness, wait for a reasonable time period, and if the available help       -And Do Get Help- is not making a significant contribution to helping you, then you need to take a break.
  2. You have a plan B, plan C, options: before taking any drastic step, consider your options. Just because plan A didn’t work, doesn’t mean you have to give up. Whatever college or degree program you want is not the only one out there. You may even be surprised to find out that the beautiful campus next door only offers your passion as a minor. Do research and have backups wherever you go. 
  3. Your family needs you: this is the worst excuse. No matter what your family situation is, it can only get better if there’s a college graduate in the family. If your family is in crisis, then yes, help as much as you must. If that means leaving, at least take community or online college on the side to continue your education. Coupled with other problems, it is a factor to consider. It depends per situation, so don’t take it heavier or lighter than need be.
  4. There is no one to support you on campus: It is unlikely that you are completely and utterly alone. You’re in college! Yet if all of the resources and clubs don’t suit you or accept you, and you can’t found your own, yeah, you should go somewhere where you have the support you need.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, and I don’t recommend dropping out. I recommend dropping if it’s in your best interests, but you should try again later, or try on a lesser scale.

 Good luck.