Why Getting Through College is Like Surviving a Horror Movie

A few years ago my older brother bought me the most hilarious book called How To Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith.

I have always been a huge geek when it comes to the horror genre so I was so excited to read the book. It made reference to every type of horror movie and gave “all the skills to dodge the kills” as the tagline states. I recently picked it back up over winter break and read through it again for fun.

While reading it I came to realize that certain tips for surviving a horror movie parallel closely to tips associated with going to college. Okay, so that may seem a little extreme and not at all related. But bear with me!

The book is divided into many sections based on horror movie types, villain types and locations among other categories. After reading through the book, I narrowed the ideas down to 5 skills that will not only help you if you find yourself in a horror movie (it could happen…), but most importantly these pieces of advice can help you survive your years as a college student.

In no particular order…

  • If You Fall, Get Up. One of the most iconic slasher movie faults: falling down. It’s bound to happen, everyone takes a stumble now and then especially under a great amount of stress. But don’t find yourself failing miserably due to a fall. In a horror movie, a fall could very well be the end of you. In college, if you fall behind on school work, get a bad grade or whatever the case may be you have the opportunity to turn it around. Pick up a planner and schedule your days better, play less and study harder, and ask your professors for extra credit opportunities. Falling down in college doesn’t have to be the end of you.
  • Find Your Headquarters. One thing I have discovered in my years as a college student is that having a quiet place to plan, do work and relax is so important. In horror movies, if you find yourself running around frantically, you will probably end up in a lot of trouble. Having a place to hide and create your plan of action is key. Maybe it’s the desk in your dorm, or the quiet room in the library or maybe it’s a particular table at a coffee shop. Having a place to escape to is important when running away from a ghoulish maniac in a slasher film and very important when you have work to do in college.
  • Don’t Forget Your Weapons. In a horror movie, this is an obvious one I hope. Running away does not always work. It’s important to carry something with you whether it be a knife or a baseball bat. Be prepared because many horror movie villains will pop out when you least expect it. The same goes in college. I’d say your most important weapon is a planner. This allows you to write down your work, keep track of dates and keep lists. It can be either an electronic one or a paper one. Choose which suits you best.
  • Be Ready For Sleepless Nights. If you are in a movie like A Nightmare on Elm Street you may find yourself having to stay up all night in order to avoid Freddy Krueger. The same applies in college. You may just have to pull an all-nighter if you have a lot of work or studying to do. Staying up all night is something you can avoid in college, but if you are put in the situation it’s important you know how to handle it. Caffeine can be your friend and your enemy. Be careful with it. Another way you can help yourself stay awake is by keeping lights on and not allowing yourself to get too cozy. That’s one of my downfalls… Don’t wrap yourself up in that soft and warm blanket or put on those amazing flannel pajamas. Trust me, you will fall asleep.
  • Be Smart. Most of those who find themselves in sticky situations in horror movies aren’t so bright. They hear a noise outside in the middle of the night and decide to check it out. They walk outside in their underwear, whisper to the noise-maker, and leave the door behind them open. Many horror movie victims spend too much time partying, walking alone in the dark, or answering strange phone calls. Don’t be this person! Being smart isn’t just about getting good grades, it’s about being smart in every situation.

Another category in the book deals with the seven deadly horror movie sins. While not all seven have to do with college, three of them are great tips to abide to: Don’t doubt yourself, don’t let your ego get in the way and don’t be irresponsible. By avoiding those things you will not only have a better chance of survival in a horror movie, but you will also have a better chance of being more successful in your college career…Just follow the guidelines.

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Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman is a senior at DePaul University working toward an English degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Digital Cinema. Molly especially enjoys spending time with loved ones, listening to music, watching movies/television and playing with her dogs. She also has a passion for antiques, crafts, animals, photography and the great outdoors.