College Life

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
College Life TV Poster Image
First-hand look at post-high school life; lots of drinking.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There are some constructive messages here about growing up and learning from your mistakes, but they're overshadowed by the frequent partying, sexual references, and strong language.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although the featured students learn from their experiences, many of them make some pretty iffy, irresponsible choices. There's also a whole lot of underage drinking. The students are from various backgrounds and regions of the country.


Drinking sometimes makes some of the students belligerent.


Some conversations about sex, as well as some strong sexual innuendo, including references to "getting laid." Images of male and female condoms. One student discusses her commitment to remaining a virgin until marriage.


Lots of strong language. Words like "douche bag," "ass," "screwed," and "pissed" are audible, while stronger choices -- like "s--t" and f--k" -- are bleeped.


Brands of items in dorm rooms are sometimes visible, like Tide laundry detergent. Beverage labels are blurred out, but verbal references are sometimes made to brands (like Crush soda).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking (beer, hard liquor), much of it underage. Some students drink so much that they get sick and/or wake up with hangovers. Cigarettes and cigarette smoking are also occasionally visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series made up of personal documentaries filmed by four college freshmen is a pretty unfiltered look at life after high school. Expect lots of drinking -- much of it underage -- as well as strong language and plenty of strong sexual references. Teens may well be interested in checking out these college experiences, but this is one to watch with your teens so you can talk about the students' choices and challenges (try our tips on how to talk about these issues).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybooksense April 25, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written byLeelandfan13 May 8, 2009

A little inappropriate but loved it

Collage Life is an MTV series about what else but collage life. You get four people each with their own camera, all going to the same collage yet never seen eac... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bysilly_samsters April 14, 2009


This show is good! I would not let my 12 year old cousin see it because there is drinking, and sex plus swaring.... Othewise than that it is a good show

What's the story?

COLLEGE LIFE follows four college freshmen -- Jordan, Andrea, Alex, and Kevin -- as they film themselves during their first year of school. The students (who attend various schools across the country) document all the freedom, stress, and drama that come along with forming new relationships, balancing school work with a social life, and being challenged by different points of view. As they share their stories, they offer their personal thoughts about their experiences -- and how college life is changing their perspective about the world.

Is it any good?

Overall, the series offers a unique perspective on college life by allowing the students to film their day-to-day lives without the help or support of a production crew. But while the way in which these freshmen choose to share their lives may be unique, the scenes of students drinking, studying, arguing, and finding ways to entertain themselves aren't particularly inspiring. And even when they do seem to learn some life lessons along the way, it's hard to appreciate what they're feeling thanks to the fragmented way in which their stories are pieced together in each half-hour episode.

Ultimately, a lot of what's shown here doesn't break away from the typical (and often stereotypical) images of college students in the media. Teens will probably be drawn to the show for its entertainment value and because it gives them some ideas about what college life will be like if/when they get there. But some of the featured behavior -- including excessive drinking, conversations about sex, and strong language -- make it somewhat iffy viewing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what college life is really like. Do most students drink and party when they go to college? Are most college students sexually active?

  • How do you handle peer pressure when you're away at school?

  • If you were asked to document your life 24/7, what kinds of things would people see? What kind of story would you tell? Do you think it would be interesting enough to show on television?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

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