A Whole Site About TV? Really?
Trust me, I know…
I know that the concept of an entire website devoted to helping college students watch TV sounds about as useful as an unending editorial detailing the merits of cryogenic freezing. (That exists, by the way). I know that this site isn’t going to save anyone’s life or drastically better the world we live in.
However, I also know a lot about TV. More importantly, I know I can use this expertise to try and make the difficult college transition just the tiniest bit easier.
I know that all of this probably still sounds ridiculous, but just give me a few paragraphs of your time, and then, hopefully, you’ll know where I’m coming from.
What’s so great about TV, anyway?
Let me tell you something that you’ve already been told a thousand times in a thousand different ways: College is stressful. An average student is constantly being pulled between the pressure to keep their GPA rising, their social life flourishing, their professional future promising, and their bank account from vanishing into thin air. I’m not complaining. As a student myself, I know how lucky I am to be able to experience the nonstop whirlwind first hand. However, from time to time, I need to escape from the essays with word counts impossible to reach, the projects with group members hell-bent on not doing their part, and the neighbors who do their best to make silence a rarely enjoyed delicacy. How do I pull off this daring, impossible escape? Well, that’s simple. I watch TV. (Take that David Blaine!)
TV isn’t the answer for all college students, obviously. Some people like to play video games to relax, others enjoy music or podcasts, and other (weird) people like to go outside. But TV, as a medium, is in many ways the ultimate form of escapism. From the most formulaic sitcom to the most innovative drama, a good TV show can make an audience forget the world around them, if only for a brief moment. That escape, however impermanent and fleeting, is immeasurably important for some. For example, as lame as it is, whenever I’m feeling particularly down or stressed out, I turn on Cheers. (If you don’t know what that is, just ask your parents.) The bar where everybody knows your name can take my mind off of anything, no matter the situation.
I’m not the only one though. Well, in fairness, I could be the only one who watches Cheers with such regularity in 2016, but I’m not the only college student who watches TV. In a survey conducted of college students, 100% of people stated that they watch at least 1 show on a weekly basis, and over 50% of them said they watch 3 or more per week. More anecdotally, if you meet a college student student who hasn’t binge-watched at least one show in the past three months, that person is either lying to you or really, really loves reading (Either way, you should just walk away slowly). The point remains, that as inconsequential and meaningless it may seem to most, TV and other forms of entertainment escapism are indisputably a part of the college lifestyle.
However, that isn’t really the part that many incoming freshman tend to think about before starting their collegiate careers. In all fairness to them, there are far more important things to be figured out. The time leading up to move-in day is incredibly stressful, with students making more genuinely impactful decisions than they ever have before. So to you, stressed out incoming students, I have good news and bad news.
The bad news, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is that I am indeed adding one more decision to your already mile-high to do list. I’m geniunely sorry about that.
The good news though, is that this will be the easiest decision you will make in the lead up to the big day. Why? Because I made this handy-dandy website that will lay out all of the options to make sure this decision is as simple and non-stressful as possible. Sound good?
Okay, but TV isn’t just provided?
Not Necessarily. Elon University (Where I go to school) is phasing out providing cable for it’s students. A lot of schools are doing this actually. Cable is a very expensive service for a school to provide, and now that most students watch TV using online services like Netflix or Hulu, a lot of universities have decided that the benefit no longer outweighs the cost.
Even if your school does provide cable access, it’s highly unlikely they give students a DVR to record their favorite shows on. So unless you watch TV live, that probably isn’t going to work for you either.
Some schools have evolved to the changing TV dynamic, a handful of colleges provide HBO for students, while some digital DVR services like Philo have been experimented with as well. But for the vast majority of college students one thing remains clear: The decision of how you watch TV in college in one you will have to make on your own.
So, What Should I do?
Look around this site! Out of the goodness of my own heart, I have built what I believe to be an all-encompassing resource for collegiate TV knowledge. You can read a breakdown of streaming options, complete with cost analysis and show recommendations for each. For those of you trying go all-in, I have also included a breakdown of devices you can purchase to watch TV and movies on an actual television and not just on a computer screen.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I watch a whole lot of TV. I built this site to pass the vast amount of knowledge I’ve obtained on to anyone who might need it. I know its not the secret to a great GPA or a high paying post-graduation job, I’m still working on figuring those two out myself. But, in the mean time, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on this TV thing, and now you can too!