Is Grownish the Real College Experience?

During the start of my senior year in high school, I was watching season one of the TV show “Grownish” on Freeform and I started getting extremely excited for my transition to college life. Parties, love triangles, immediate best friends; the TV show made it seem like life in college was so much better than my boring, suburban, high school experience. I was counting down the days until I moved into my residence hall at SDSU and when I finally got here, I was surprised to see that there weren’t lines of boys who wanted to fight for my love or swarms of girls who wanted to become my new best friends. I couldn’t help but wonder, was I doing something wrong?

But after a few months into my new college life, I was able to see the parts of my day that “Grownish” did get right.


1.) Figuring out how to handle your new independence

Zoey, the main character of “Grownish”, arrives to Cal U and is immediately greeted with the decision-making that comes with becoming an adult. Transitioning from a kid living at home to an adult living on their own can be really daunting and sometimes it can be overwhelming. This show helps the average college kid feel understood because the characters face similar problems that we deal with on a daily basis.


2.) Activist groups are prevalent on campus

College is the time where people start to find their true selves. Whether it revolves around political activism, environmental sustainability or religious awakenings, many students in college are finding their niche and discovering how they can make a difference in our world. In the show, we see the characters protesting for more safe spaces on campus and discussing issues that are presented to LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements. Activism is a big part of the college experience and there is never a shortage of ways to be a part of change. If you’re about to start college in the fall, start looking at the list of clubs and organizations at your future school to figure out how you can get involved because trust me, there are plenty of ways for you to change the world. Make sure that you’re getting involved because you want to make a difference, not to just look like you care.


3.) Drugs are everywhere!

Along with the idea of experimentation, college is a great place to out new things while you’re still young. I’m not condoning the use of drugs in any way, but “Grownish” does a great job at showing the prevalence of drug use on many campuses. At least in my sheltered childhood, drugs were always a mysterious substance that was only real in movies and TV shows. But the shift from childhood to adulthood makes a lot of students feel like in charge of their lives for the first time and what better way to celebrate than trying new drugs?


4.) Hookup culture is a big part of the college experience

We’re young and we might as well have fun while we can. The majority of college students are already so stressed out with classes and clubs and jobs and it can be nearly impossible to also balance a romantic relationship on top of that. Hookups are a great weekend stress reliever, as long as you’re being safe about it. Keep in mind that a lot of other students are a part of this hookup culture so you’re not alone if you’re interested in getting involved.


“Grownish” is a fun and witty show on the lives of many college students in our generation and it is important to give it the recognition it deserves. While there are some examples of dramatized situations that don’t happen to the average student, most of the show is relatable to the average college undergrad.