Login

What You Can Learn From These Fictional College Students

You've probably seen plenty of TV shows or films that feature college students. Regardless of how realistic the portrayal of higher education is - and let's be honest, it's probably not that close to the truth at all - you can still learn something from pop culture representations of college life.

View popular schools

By Sarah Wright

TV

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Fake College, Fake Students, Real Lessons

There seem to be a lot of books, movies and TV shows focused on students. While the settings and scenarios the characters find themselves in aren't always exactly realistic, they still provide some food for thought for non-fictional college students. Here are our top three favorite examples of fictional college students who serve as good (or cautionary) examples. Maybe you can look for some lessons next time you watch a movie or TV show with college students in it.

Lewis Slonick, Revenge of the Nerds

Revenge of the Nerds is ultimately a great story about outcasts finding their place in the world by refusing to back down and accept the treatment of bullies. It's pretty heartwarming. Of course, there is that problematic bit about Louis getting the cheerleader to hook up with him by tricking her. Definitely DO NOT do that; that's not a good strategy. But the core message of the movie - that 'nerds' have skills that allow them to triumph over bullies, and that college may be the perfect place for this to happen - is a good one. You may feel like an outcast in high school, but if you make your college selection wisely, you'll end up with friends who share your interests and priorities.

Andrea Zuckerman, Beverly Hills, 90210

In the '90s, the characters Beverly Hills, 90210 were widely considered to be extremely cool, and were generally more concerned with their social exploits than actually being high school students - well, maybe all of them except for Andrea Zuckerman, the show's token hardworking nerd. When the show was about the characters' lives in high school, Andrea was a straight-A, straight-laced student focused on her dream of attending Yale. But fast forward a few years to when the gang moves on to college, and hardworking Andrea still hangs with the rest of those dummies at a fictional state university in LA.

Now, before anyone gets mad, we're not saying that only dumb people go to state universities. But this is TV fiction here - the rest of the cast was pretty dumb (you'd kind of have to be to have that much constant drama in your life, right?), and Andrea was obviously set up as the high achiever. It makes sense that they'd want to keep the cast together when they moved on to college, but it still doesn't make sense that Andrea did a complete 180 on her college choice. If you can't get into your dream Ivy, or find that it's not all it's cracked up to be when you do, remember that there are plenty of other top-tier schools that you can attend. You don't have to resort to going to the state university that's extending the charity of admissions to your dopey friends.

Troy and Abed, Community

Troy and Abed are loveable nerds who provide much of the entertainment on an already pretty amusing TV show. They're probably the most stereotypically 'college-y' of any of the other characters, since they're actually college-aged (and they act like it). Among the valuable lessons you can learn from this duo are that college can be as much about making lifelong friends as it is about your education, and that you should think carefully before you agree to move in with your friends. Also, if you want stereotypical college fun, you might have to make those scenarios happen by your own hand.

There are plenty of fictional schools to choose from if you want more education-set entertainment.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
    • Master of Arts in Economics
    • Master of Public Administration and Policy
    • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Communication
    • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
    • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
    • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology
    • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MSHS in Health Care Quality
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning
    • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality
    • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development
    • Graduate Certificate in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • Graduate Certificate in Transition Special Education
    • Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Administration
    • Graduate Certificate in E-Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MBA in Accounting
    • MBA in Healthcare Management
    • MBA in Human Resources
    • MBA in International Business
    • MBA in Operations Management
    • Master of Accountancy
    • Executive Certificate in Health Administration
    • Health Informatics Certificate
    • Enterprise Resource Planning Certificate
    • Supply Chain Management Certificate

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Government Analytics
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
    • MS in Food Safety Regulation
    • Certificate in Science Writing
    • Certificate in Science, Technology, and International Security Studies
    • Post-Master's Certificate in Sequence Analysis & Genomics

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Public Administration
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Business Administration - Management
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
    • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
    • BS in Applied Management
    • BS in Psychology
    • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • BS in Accounting
    • Graduate Certificate of Completion in GeroPsychology
    • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Forensic Psychology
    • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Health Psychology
    • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Human Factors Psychology
    • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Life Coaching

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?