Oscars in the Ivy League World

The Oscars just happened this past weekend but who really had time to watch them? I am in school taking four classes, I am rushing a sorority and I just helped host a conference with over 50 students from various institutions in New England. As I read signs on my way to class “Academy Awards Viewing Party” I thought “wow I cannot believe this is happening this weekend”. We have just been in school for a month and the Oscars arrived fast. I asked my friends if they would be watching and to my surprise many said no. When I inquired as to why they would not be watching they all said the same thing “I have midterms and papers due.” That afternoon I had a sorority event and I asked the sisters if they would be watching some enthusiastically said “Yes, I would never miss it,” while others said, “No, it is impossible to fit that into my schedule.” Which brings to question: Is popular  culture, like the Academy Awards, still relevant at Brown?

By the looks of it the answer is no. Although many students spend time on Facebook and read celebrity gossip online that seems to be the limit of our fascination. Besides, everything can be found online now, from the red carpet to the best jokes by the host it is all there and you do not have to spend three hours in front of the television watching every minute of speeches. As I talked to my friends and classmates the next day the Oscars were never mentioned with one minor exception; Angelina Jolie’s leg, which everyone seemed to be talking about, it has its own twitter account and everything. Apart from that there was no talk about it. Midterms on the other hand seemed to be the main topic of concern all around campus. It may be that my friends and classmates, most of them science majors, are going through midterms this week, but then again they still take time out of their schedules to watch some television so it must not be the midterm stress.

The level of importance among college students has decreased every year. Students at Brown are focused on schoolwork and a social life, but those are their only concerns. Being known as the hipster ivy, in a way, keeps Brown students from knowing anything mainstream and having it become a daily factor in their lives, with the exception of the occasional Jersey Shore night. While there are people, like me, that sit and watch the Academy Awards it is clear to me that it does not play a major factor in my life here at Brown. Even the fashion choices we make no longer take red carpet fashion into account. All you see around campus lately are Uggs, North Face jackets and girls in tights or jeans. In comparison, guys seem to be following suit with North Face jackets, jeans and sneakers. Fashion has become a thing of the past on campus and although many of them are self-identified as hipsters it is mainstream college fashion that they follow. We do not follow the trends of the runway or the red carpet. Comfort now seems to be the main concern on college student’s minds. The Oscars and their fashion are on the back burner of our lives.