Thursday, September 17, 2015

5 Truths and 5 Lies About College That 'Carmilla' Taught Me [Contributor: Melanie]

All right: so apart from the localized rain of spiders and the Lovecraftian monster hiding under the theatre building, there’s actually a lot of fairly normal college stuff that happens around Silas University (though your definition of the word normal may, of course, vary). So, as one of the many who went through that strenuous four years of selling your kidneys for textbooks and setting four alarms to make that 8 AM lecture that seemed like such a good idea when you were making your class schedule, I present to you a little twist on that dumb icebreaker you probably had to play at least once in your school career: two truths and a lie.

Except, instead of two truths and lie, here are five massive spillings of truth tea (and five check yoselves) that the delightful webseries Carmilla told you about college:

TRUTH: The cookie diet is a real thing.

Listen, the "freshman fifteen" has to come from somewhere and as much as characters on the show enjoy making fun of Laura for being made of 90% sugar at this point, my freshman mini-fridge which was stocked with nothing but Dr. Pepper and Oreos has to agree with this assessment. I mean, who wants to drag themselves to the cafeteria to eat from a salad bar when double-stuffed Halloween-themed Oreos are literally only a foot away from your bed?

Ja feel Laura; ja-so-definitely feel.

TRUTH: You will have a crush on your TA (teaching assistant).

While I can’t guarantee they’ll be a monster-fighting, booty-kicking, super athletic TA like Danny Lawrence, I can pretty much guarantee you’re going to have at least one that you daydream about. Recitations are dumb and torture-level boring, but TAs generally tend to be your peers... and they can be, as a result, pretty hot.

I hated my freshman year Algebra class but that TA was definitely incentive to haul my butt to the 6:15 PM recitations (well that and you know, the need to turn in my homework didn't hurt either). So if you fall victim to the perilous forbidden romance of TA love (is it even taboo for TAs to date students? No one clarified this for me), know that half the recitation section probably did too.

TRUTH: The dean of your school is scary.

Okay, not like, scoop out your eyeballs and feast on your liver scary, but certainly intimidating. I once had to speak with the dean of my department and that was scary enough. I did have some dealings with the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences but like, only through their secretaries. I’m not actually sure they existed, or what their name was. So painting the dean in Carmilla as the villain behind-the-curtain in a school-wide conspiracy? I absolutely believe it.

TRUTH: You will love your roommate and you will hate your roommate.

As long as you are dealing with campus housing, you will have at least one roommate who you consider to be your best friend and soulmate... and one you will likely plot numerous ways to murder in their sleep. Generally speaking, your freshman roommate is going to either be a Betty or a Carmilla. The random assignments can be the devil or can be fate, honestly. I’ve made best friends out of a few roommates and some of them I want to beat with a frying pan on sight. It’s the nature of close quarters and a lot of tension. Do yourself a favor though and don’t exasperate any situations with a chore wheel or like, you know, by falling in love with them.

TRUTH: Strange priorities become the only priorities.

So in the midst of kidnapped girls and getting attacked by members of an ancient vampire coven, Laura is very concerned with her Lit midterm. SAME LAURA. Listen, Hermione’s whole “or worse: expelled” seems absurd when you're a child, but a whole lot more legitimate when you’re in college. During my freshman year of college, we had 145 bomb threats and yet there were Chemistry students crying about not being able to study for their midterm. Because the bomb threats disrupted their study. This mentality is often played up for laughs, but pulling all-nighters for a midterm or final in the wake of devastation and danger is no real joke.

So now that I have given you a few examples of how what you see in Carmilla is pretty on-par with what you might see at your normal college campuses, we will switch gears. Now, naughty children, it’s time for the lies that Carmilla is teaching you. Here’s all the things they want you to believe will happen in college but actually will most definitely not.

LIE: Upperclassmen rooming with underclassmen is not a thing.

Okay, so as far as anyone knows, Carmilla is a 21-year-old junior at this college and she gets assigned as Laura’s, a 19-year-old freshman, replacement roommate. ... I’m sorry, what? No sane school would allow a student who is nearly graduated to bunk with a first year in on-campus housing. I know I’m asking a lot from Austria’s fictionalized version of Night Vale, but come on. No one had questions about that? Laura didn’t think it was weird? Her RA didn’t think it was weird? Like... I know it was all a part of a con to kidnap Laura but, they don’t know that!

LIE: No one locks their dorm room doors.

We, as viewers of this webseries, all like to have a good laugh about how the dorm room door is never, ever locked, or even closed for that matter. But listen, after you spend the first few weeks making friends with random people on your floor by leaving your door open and blasting your mixed playlist in the hopes of attracting BFFs... you can bet that thing stays bolted shut for the remainder of the year. At college, by the time the middle of the semester rolls around and everyone is stressed, no one wants to talk to anyone else unless it’s over food or alcohol. Laura, lock your door; you’re being weird.

LIE: Attentive RAs (resident assistants) are plentiful.

Evidently the word here is “floor don” but same the same general rule applies. And, no, you’re not going to get a guaranteed den mother in your floor RA. Oh, sure, they’ll be nice and borderline probe into your life for the first couple weeks of the semester. But they’re students toom and after a while, the RAs generally stop caring about their housing training or the fact that you’ve filed three complaints already about your roommate’s obsession with using your blender to make their own hummus at 11 o’clock at night. They’re not going to constantly be baking you cookies either unless it’s a bribe to get you to show up for their floor program. And they for sure are not going to clean your room for you, no matter how wigged out they get.

LIE: There are going to be massive parties in your dorm room hallways. 

Halfway through season one of Carmilla, there is a rager that is taking place in Laura’s hallway. There is no way in college, by the way, that this would actually happen. Having a mini-gathering in your own dorm room is hard enough. No RA or RD (resident director) for that matter is going to let you host anything in a campus-owned hallway. I don’t care what the dean is doing or who she is sacrificing: quiet hours are a thing in college, pretty much wherever you go, and so are dry dorms for that matter.

Also hallway parties are clearly fodder for kidnapping and tying up your roommate, so these sorts of things are better left alone anyway.

LIE: The campus Wi-Fi is amazing.

Okay Smokebomb Entertainment and affiliated parent company, listen up. I can jive with the ageless vampires and Homecoming goat sacrifice. But Laura is running to and fro throughout the entire series, uploading videos, tweeting, and posting on Tumblr and I know for a fact that college Wi-Fi is utter garbage. It’s hard enough using it in your own dorm room without sacrificing a small animal to get it to load a YouTube clip, let alone live-tweeting from the basement of the theatre building. Wi-Fi is a coveted commodity on college campuses and it often doesn’t work. Laura: I’m real glad you’ve got so many views and followers, but please tell me your secret when it comes to bending the Wi-Fi to your will.

Alright, there you have it kids! These have been five truths and five lies you can find throughout the first two season of Carmilla about what it is really like on a college campus.  Unfortunately, no: hot vampire roommates are not a thing (mileage may very) and yes, your school Wi-Fi is evil. But hey, munch on those cookies and write your initials next to your TA’s on all of your assignments if you'd like. And if you have other tidbits that you've learned from Carmilla about college life, feel free to share them below.

Be sure to check out Carmilla on the VerveGirl YouTube channel to watch all of these moments for yourself. And participate in our Tumblr fan art contest, too!


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