Four uni characters who had it worse than you

September 02, 2016
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Spring has sprung which means that the self-loathing uni student is about to emerge from her seven month long slumber and chain herself to a desk in preparation for the end of year exams. Life might as well not exist during this period, and for most, life afterwards resembles the universe pre-big bang.

What good is evolution if my bipedalism is wasted on poor sitting posture? Will the world rue the day when our eyes, made so barren from computers, can no longer recognise the cramped PowerPoint slides our lecturers put together ten years ago?

Given a miracle, said student will pass said exams, paving the way for a deserved Australian summer forgetting whatever that German sociologist said about boiled sausages and celebrating the achievement of having survived another year of uni.

I, for one, can’t wait. But to make ourselves feel better before we all dive head first into that irksome period where midnight snacking and daytime naps are the norm, let’s look at four characters blessed to us from Hollywood who, let’s face it, have had it that little bit extra worse than us.

Schmidt, 22 Jump Street

Schmidt (Jonah Hill) is the classic bumbling post-teen loser who’s outshone in almost every department by the stripper Channing Tatum. While he regains favour among the “nouveau-coole” clique at high school in 21 Jump Street, who are opposed to the fascist strappings of sporting teams and prefer hybrid to diesel cars, Schmidt is dragged kicking and screaming back to earth at college.

Shunned once again by the autocratic gridiron jock, he finds solace in the slam poetry scene only to embarrass him with an ill-fated rhyming scheme straight out of an X-Factor audition. Worse than this, he also sleeps with his boss’s daughter. Needless to say, Ice Cube wasn’t cool with it. College 1, Schmidt 0.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

OK, she’s not at uni (yet). But Hermione (Emma Watson) is without question the smartest student at Hogwarts, maybe even the wizarding world, and for some odd reason the two biggest gits of the school, Harry and Ron, get all the screen time.

This is despite the fact that Harry is famous for a small scratch on his head, is scared of his own shadow, and decided to befriend Ron, the literal embodiment of someone who can’t lift a feather. Oh wait I forgot, Harry can fly an enchanted broom quickly through the air sometimes to win an arbitrary game of sport.

But even then, without Hermione fixing Harry’s glasses on the first train ride, he would’ve flown right past the snitch, leaving J.K. Rowling’s resurrection stone story arc in tatters (what, was he meant to face Voldemort’s final blow without seeing his loved ones?) The point is: Hermione draws the short straw in just about every adventure. Spare a thought for her in the period when you’re praying for your special consideration to be approved.

Erica Albright, The Social Network

Maybe you’ve ended up on brown cardigan because you tripped over some stairs once and someone had their camera on. That’s sucks, and embarrassing, and I’d feel for you if I had a soul. But no matter how bad it was, you’ll never be the reason Facebook was created, which was the unfortunate fate bestowed upon Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) in The Social Network.

If having to put up with at least five minutes of tiring conversation and verbal insults at a bar with Mark Zuckerberg was hard enough, Erica’s subsequent dumping of Mark spawned his sexist website rating girls against each other and next thing you know he’s the world’s youngest billionaire. Tough gig. NB: never be on the receiving end of a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.

Andrew Neiman, Whiplash

Miles Teller’s drum-kit bashing character in Whiplash, Andrew Neiman, is a clinic in being picked up by an unruly and irrational teacher. We’ve probably all been in a tut where our revolutionary ideas about Freudian analysis only for the lecturer to write “imposter syndrome” on our foreheads with permanent marker (figuratively speaking).

But you’ve NEVER been bitch slapped and had a chair thrown at you by your teacher for being out of tempo with thirty other musicians. Not only that, but J. K. Simmons proceeds to humiliate him further in the closing scenes by changing the song and forcing poor Miles Teller to improvise.

This, and the fact that Miles Teller breaks up with his girlfriend and sleeps on a dirty mattress so he can be closer to his drum-kit only to leave the school in shame, makes for a pretty rough time at uni. There, now leaving your concession card at home doesn’t sound all that bad does it?

So there it is, four fictional characters who had a lot more trouble at uni than you probably did. I hope this guides you for when it’s 2am and you’re at a loss as to what combination of carbonated beverage and chocolate bar from the vending machine might make you smarter.

Rory Marples

Rory is studying a Bachelor or Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Notre Dame.

Image: 22 Jump Street YouTube