Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Real College vs. College in a New Adult Novel

I'll just be honest--I probably shouldn't call myself a "new" adult anymore.

I've been an adult for a while now, not that I always act like it. (I frequently do not.)

But though it's been a few years since I left college, I have a pretty good memory. So when I began reading all the fantastic New Adult novels coming out that are set on college campuses, I felt a little like this...

Because I just don't recall anything like what I was read about.

For example. Say you're the mc in a New Adult novel. This is good, because you're smart, ambitious, and gorgeous (even though you don't know it and insist you're not). You have amazing friends and even if you have a troubled past, you know what you want to do in life.

1) In NA college, the mc is often assigned a partner for a class project. His name will be Liam or Ashton or Hawk or Braden or Quinn, and he will look like this:

He will smell terrific, have bad grades but amazing test scores, and pay attention to what you like at Starbucks so he can bring it for you one day.

In real college, I had partners like Rog, who clearly chose his shirts from his hamper (do boys have hampers?) once October hit, might have had nice eyes except I never saw them since he slept all through class, and never remembered the due dates of any assignments, let alone how I liked my coffee.

 2) You may also have a professor in NA college who looks like this.

He wears bow ties and tweed jackets with elbow patches and has longish, slightly messy hair, as if he was too busy contemplating the brilliance of your last essay on transcendentalism in American Lit to remember to comb it. But it's totally clean and smells amazing--not that you've ever been close enough to sniff it!

And if you were, it's OK because you didn't know he was going to be your teacher at the time, and you guys can work it off work that out later.

In four years of undergrad and three years of grad school, I had ONE attractive young professor. And all he did was complain about how much grad school costs versus how much it pays and how few jobs actually exist out there for history PhD's so we might want to think about doing something else.

I did. I thought about doing something else all the time... ;)

3) Finally, if you're at college within a NA novel, you have a great social life. You go to cool parties and dances and bars and restaurants, and you probably eat really well. Someday a tattooed bad boy with eyes like the sea might even cook for you, and it will be something like this pasta with lemon and arugula:

He'll serve it with a caesar salad (prepared tableside) and pour you a nice chilled glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

When I lived in the dorms, on the other hand, I ate a lot of meals that looked like this:

But I suppose that's why I had romance novels...to escape the realities of every day life and live out the college fantasy of my dreams. Although back then, we didn't have NA novels like now--you pretty much went from Sweet Valley High to Danielle Steel.

Maybe I should be glad about that. I probably would have asked for a transfer!



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