It goes without saying that our college years aren’t strictly defined by the long hours spent in the library with textbooks and seemingly bottomless cups of coffee. Come our 10-year reunions, we won’t exactly be joking around with our friends about the “killer time” we had presenting our theses to a classroom of bored, potentially unconscious students. Instead, the memories are likely to come from reminiscing on those crazy, out-of-control, ridiculous parties that kept us hungover for days (or for the true champs, weeks), but, of course, it didn’t phase us. But now, we don’t have to wait for alumni weekend to look back on the nights we most likely don’t remember. Thanks to “I’m Shmacked” no party goes unnoticed; the beer-guzzling, bong-bubbling, and late-night eats are all caught on tape to make some seriously epic videos depicting the college social scene.
What’s “I’m Shmacked?”
Founded by two college students, Arya Toufanian and Jeffrie Ray (who declined to comment for this article), the “I’m Shmacked” videos take viewers behind the scenes of the college party culture, showcasing college kids getting “shmacked” (wasted, plastered, hammered, drunk,whichever you prefer) in three- to four-minute, school-specific videos. Not surprisingly, partygoers always put on a show: there are your typical students chugging vodka straight from the handle, girls making out, kids blowing rings of smoke after a hit from a bong, predictable street fights, and endless chants and shout-outs in honor of their university.
“College kids love showing off how ‘cool’ they can be, and the ‘I’m Shmacked’ videos are the perfect platform to do so,” Rachel, a senior at GWU, says.
But what makes these YouTube videos stand out from all the other captures of college kids getting drunk on tape? Well, for starters, “I’m Shmacked” aims to highlight what makes each individual school unique. For the University of Michigan’s video (“I’m Shmacked The Movie: University of Michigan – Welcome Week”), Toufanian and Ray decided to use the song “Work Hard, Play Hard” as the video’s soundtrack to emphasize the overall motto on Michigan’s campus. “I’m Shmacked” calls out distinct features of the student body, social traditions, and events at every campus they film at, showcasing that no two schools are alike.
For example, every spring, the students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison rage all day at the Mifflin Street Block Party. It’s one of the most widely talked about events on campus, and it’s one of those parties that people look forward to all year. So, of course, Mifflin was the prime time to capture Wisconsin on camera.
“’I’m Shmacked’ has become another tradition for college kids to participate in. It’s another right of passage, but unlike going to your school’s football tailgate, these videos are something that every university can partake in,” says Jenny, a sophomore at University of Miami.
No party left behind! From welcome week and pool parties to concerts and holidays, “I’m Shmacked” shows students celebrating their schools. Check out some of the most popular videos:
Temple University: The First “I’m Shmacked” Video
Tulane University: Mardi Gras 2013
University of Arizona: Pool Party Season
Syracuse University: Mayfest
Spring Break Edition: Puerto Vallarta
“I think the appeal is that people can see their friends and classmates being silly and letting loose,” says Allie, a junior at Syracuse University.
The Benefits to “I’m Shmacked”
Believe it or not, the debauchery in these videos can actually be pretty helpful to collegiettes and pre-collegiettes alike. Planning to visit your friend at a different school but can’t decide on the perfect weekend to really experience it all? Or, thinking about transferring or applying to a college, but want to get a feel for the school’s nightlife? With a peak into the true social scene at so many different campuses, “I’m Shmacked” is the go-to place to get a glimpse into a specific school’s social scene.
“I had never heard of these videos until my friend sent me the one from his school, WVU,” Kyle, a sophomore at West Virginia University, says. “I was thinking about transferring there and after seeing the , it actually helped me make my decision. I didn’t base my decision completely on that, but seeing the parties gave me a better understanding of what the school would be like outside of class.”
Since our generation is truly the Internet generation, providing information in an easy, enjoyable format makes researching schools that much more fun and exciting for high schoolers. Think about it: would you rather hear from an older friend that a party was insane, or would you rather just sit back and watch it happen right in on your computer screen? The answer is pretty simple.
“My older brother showed me the ‘I’m Shmacked’ video for his school and it was definitely awesome to watch and see what college would be like for me the following year,” says Alex, a sophomore at the University of Arizona. “I don’t think I’d necessarily choose a school based on their video, but it made me even more excited about going to college and knowing that I was going to have a good time.”
The Downside to Getting “Shmacked”
Newsflash: college kids party. That’s a big duh. But although some collegiettes may choose to drink until the early morning, that doesn’t mean they want their antics to be on a big screen for the world (hello, strangers?) to see.
“In the moment, sure, it’s cool; but afterwards, you don’t know who is going to be seeing these videos,” says Kelsey, a junior at Florida State University. “Not to mention, I don’t think it’s something you want your parents or grandparents seeing.”
Let’s be real, if you’re interviewing for a job at your dream company, would you want them to see you making out with another girl while clearly high out of your mind? You never know what someone might stumble upon online, and a simple five seconds on tape could cost you a lot more than just those extra calories you downed with the shots of vodka.
“’I’m Shmacked’ shot at my school, and while my friends and I initially thought it would be cool to be part of, we quickly rethought that one,” Kate, a junior at the University of Michigan, says. “With my luck, the people I wanted to see it least would end up watching [it] and I’d be screwed. Employers, my little sister, my parents’ friends? I definitely passed on ‘I’m Shmacked,’ and I think more college kids should.”
On top of potentially giving you a bad (and very public) image, “I’m Shmacked” also seems to promote binge drinking and drug use. The videos make it appear as if rampant drugs and alcohol are the defining features of college, but that isn’t necessarily the case. While we all work hard and play hard, a lot of us know our limits and our boundaries, and we don’t often cross them. For “I’m Shmacked,” their business revolves around the social aspects of life in college, but they’re also looking to entertain. Without showing the extreme wild side of campuses, the videos would lack their luster and glamour-they’d just be a casual night with nothing completely out of the norm happening.
“’I’m Shmacked’ absolutely annoys me!” says Melissa, a 2013 graduate of James Madison University. “They came to my alma mater, when I was an undergrad, and the video was a complete misrepresentation of our university. Yes, we have a great party scene, but we are not trashy. All around LAME if you ask me.”
So what do you think, collegiettes? Is “I’m Shmacked” a total hit, or a swing and a miss? Weigh in below!