The Realities of College

I had the opportunity to go and see the play “101” last weekend. The play was performed by Bucknell’s very own Department of Theatre and Dance.  To be honest, I had a pretty negative outlook going into the play, thinking it’d be a musical about a story I would have no interest in. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the story. It captured many prominent elements and phases a college student encounters during their college experience.

I think the part of the play that best related to my college experience was the reoccurring theme of having a plan. Daniel and Olivia Mae, especially Olivia Mae, constantly have dialogues about their plans going haywire. Olivia Mae planned on joining the a Capella group that her mom was in on upon her arrival at college. Unfortunately, she missed the tryouts by going to the wrong building. The group then never responded to her emails. Everybody has plans going into college. You plan on making a ton of friends and joining clubs.  In reality, these plans are often harder to accomplish then you thought. I planned on getting involved in many different groups on campus when I came into Bucknell as a freshman. As a junior, I can say that I’m not involved in any. The course work and soccer team take up more time than I anticipated. I’ve come to accept that your plans aren’t always going to work out.

Another prevalent theme of college life woven into the play was the rape scene with Jacob and Isabelle.  Unfortunately, rape has become a prevalent issue among colleges across the countries. I found Evelyn’s monologue really powerful when she was talking about how she was raped as a freshman. She talked about how she was criticized for telling people that she was because it would make the college look bad. I’m sure many girls fear giving their college a bad name if they publicly state they were raped. I also really respected Isabelle’s strength at the end of the play when she says that she will not let the experience define her and dictate her life. I feel like many rape victims struggle to overcome being raped because it is such a hard emotional and physical burden to overcome.

Finally, the play showed the stone cold realities of living with a roommate you’re not entirely fond of. Olivia Mae and Dana constantly fought. They were polar opposites. Olivia Mae liked to go to sleep early while Dana would be up late working on her computer engineering projects. Olivia Mae liked to sing while completing her work while Dana liked to work in silence. There roommate relationship isn’t close to as bad as some of the ones I’ve heard about at Bucknell. However, it still did a good job of depicting this issue at many colleges.

One thought on “The Realities of College”

  1. Glad you went! I thought it took what could have been trite material–the lives and travails of college first years– and they made some powerful and arresting drama out of it.

    Apparently, the “rape” (sexual violence? Not sure quite where to put it on the continuum) scene was controversial in the cast. They wanted Jacob expelled and a much neater tale of right and wrong, The faculty writers involved pushed them to make it more ambiguous. Not that Jacob was in the right, but that it is a murky topic.

    Can he be forgiven for what he did? That is the question… and one I think e need to answer in theory and practice. If campus sexual assault is a result of many males making many bad choices, we need policies and systems to help them change and not merely condemn their souls.


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