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The Power of College Kids

These days, fame doesn’t just have to come from being a talented actress, scientist, or politician. You can gain global fame by posting a totally embarrassing video of yourself on the world’s favorite video site: Youtube. Some college students have the privilege of being able to revel in the fact that millions of people have watched them dance, sing, and comment on current events, a privilege that only some of the most famous stars can also claim. Why do some of these seemingly average undergrads achieve such vast Internet success? I’ve decided to explore some of the nation’s favorites to find out.

The Kappa Rap

As the class of 2014 began its first year of college, the women of Baylor University’s Kappa Kappa Gamma made an original music video for their spring rush. With almost 1 millions views since it hit the web in January 2011, the rap praising KKG superiority is even available on iTunes (it costs $0.99). The rap didn’t gain viral fame just because it’s is insanely catchy (come on, admit it, it’s stuck in your head from just reading about it). The video came out just around the time that “being fratty” was becoming trendy for sororities and the girls in the video sport nothing but bro tanks, neon colors, trucker hats, and Nike kicks. The video also has amazing quality for having been created by what I can only imagine are college level computer science majors. Or maybe even just some guy that’s really good with iMovie. Besides the direct hit on an upcoming trend, catchy beat, and aesthetically pleasing video technology, the Kappa Rap actually succeeds in making the sorority look cool, something sororities struggle with on a daily basis. I mean, after watching that video, I was ready to pledge KKG in a second.

Call Me Maybe – Harvard Baseball Team
The Harvard University Baseball Team greatly utilized what was clearly a long road trip by making a music video to the tune of what is (secretly) everyone’s favorite song, Call Me Maybe. As Barnard women, we know that funny, creative, sporty guys are hard to come by at ivy league schools (sorry for the burn, guys), but that’s not why the rest of the country was enthralled by the team. Everyone likes to watch people who are typically perceived to be “cool” (i.e. sports players, the Kardashians, Biebs…the list goes on) do something dorky. It makes them seem more human and it brings them down to our mortal level. Additionally, Call Me Maybe was made popular by kids who were making fun of the song in a video. As one of the first groups to make their own silly video to the song, the baseball team was at the beginning of a trend of people making themselves look foolish whilst rocking out to Carly Rae. With over 16 million views, these guys were an instant Internet hit.

I’m Schmacked Series
The makers of the “I’m Schmacked” videos have tapped upon the strangely addictive appeal of absurd, college partying. By going to different schools that are known for their wild social scenes, the filmers capture scenes of crazy college parties where everyone in the shot is wearing school colors and going nuts. The most notable video takes place at West Virginia University on St. Patrick’s day. Nearly 500,000 people decided to take time out of their day to watch Irish themed debauchery. Besides the WVU students who watched the video to try and spot their drunken selves, many people are drawn to these videos because they want to be a part of this quintessential college culture. I would say that some viewers probably watched the video to condemn the stupidity of these state schoolers, but that isn’t really the case because the rest of the “I’m Schmacked” videos have upwards of 300,000 views each. I think it’s pretty clear that everyone wants to get a little crazy sometimes, and are taking notes from the best.

Pursuit of Jappiness

A bunch of University of Michigan students gained Internet fame by exploiting the stereotype of upper class female students that attend the school. What makes this video so popular is that the boys that made the video are spot on with their ridicule of these girls without being overly mean. What makes the video cool is that the guys put it together themselves and wrote some pretty funny original lyrics. Additionally, the song is also funny for kids who don’t go to U Mich because of the wide range of jokes about girls in general.

So if you’re ever super bored in class or really don’t want to write that term paper, maybe put your energy into making a YouTube video. You could end up famous.

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