Last weekend, my family tearfully drove to North Carolina to drop my little sister off at college to begin her freshman year. On move-in day, bright-eyed and anxious, my sister hopped out of the car and did not look back. As I watched her fade from view, I wondered. Had I provided her with enough know-how and savvy to sashay into her first class? Did she truly have any idea what she was in for? Was she going to make friends? What if her roommate turns their dorm into a trash heap? And, what about boys? Oh my god, boys. To settle my nerves, I reflected on our last night at home together and our age-old tradition that we upheld until her final day.
In my house, when you are bored, frustrated, jovial, or just passing the time, you watch a movie. And the cusp of my sister’s freshman year of college was to be no exception in my eyes. Now, like most sisters do, my sister and I argue…quite frequently. So, to settle our nerves and count down the hours until the following morning when we were to take off for North Carolina, I threw out the idea of watching a movie.
But, I did not want it to be just any movie. I felt it had to clearly articulate the budding events that were about to take place in my sister’s life. Apparently, the stars were aligned or our OnDemand was totally in sync with my thoughts because we found “National Lampoon’s Animal House” waiting for us to press play.
Considering my sister is coming of age during the era of Miley Cyrus, Victoria Justice and the like, watching the classic uproarious comedy that crystallized John Belushi as a comedic icon seemed like a rite of passage. Sure, there are drastic differences between this ’70s classic and, say, movies like “Accepted” and “Old School,” but the essence is still the same. You have your frat bros, your sorority girls, your cool professors, your lame professors, the overwhelming and nerve-wrecking desire to find your niche and the lifelong pals to keep your head on straight along the way.
Amidst jamming to Otis Day and the Knights and ogling at Otter’s many, many sexcapades, I found “Animal House” to be the vessel to share some of the random, silly and usually overlooked aspects of college that I figured my sister should know. For instance, I spoke of my encounters with sleazy guys, how I was able to look presentable each day even after pulling a dreaded all-nighter, and the friendship makeups and breakups I experienced throughout my four years.
While she may meet guys that are the equivalent to a “Delta Tau Chi,” occasionally sleep through her alarm and stumble into class or OD on cafeteria food and subsequently run out of food points, I for one am anxious to see how she turns out. But, more so, I am happy to have shared that last day to kickback with my little sister before her first day of school.