What College Students and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Have in Common

There are many parallels between the life of a college student and the FIFA World Cup, which is currently underway in Brazil. 

The event, played every four years, brings together teams from across the globe to compete for the game’s ultimate prize.

So, exactly what are these connections between the World Cup and college students? You might be surprised.

1. Philosophical Discussions

In addition to debates about soccer tactics, the World Cup also opens up discussions about the nations’ socio-political climates.

There was even speculation that if host nation Brazil won the World Cup, the country’s current president would be virtually unbeatable in the next election, while a loss would further question the nation’s spending in preparation of the event, according to a post from The Economist.

Debate is a healthy part of the college life; you’re gaining an education and learning how to think critically.

Meanwhile, Chilean fans broke through partitions and stormed the press area of Maracana Stadium before a World Cup game, which, for criminal justice students, can raise questions about security protocol.

Critics have also blasted FIFA for alleged corruption, which may spark discussions for business students.

2. Celebrations

Soccer fans in general are known for their raucous celebrations; college students, too, have a knack for merriment.

Want to nab a World Cup beer from your favorite club? The Big Lead has a list of the most popular beer from every nation competing in the World Cup. Bonus points for a short description of each brew.

As people often do in college, World Cup fans also express themselves in unique ways. Check out the haircut this England fan got to show his support.

For the World Cup, Brazil is also allowing alcohol sales at games for the first time in 11 years.

Then there are the great post-goal celebrations from the players themselves. Nothing like a little coordinated team dancing to show your exuberance.

3. Worldwide Exposure

College is a time to be introduced to new cultures and ways of thinking. The World Cup is no different. 

We get a glimpse into each competing nation’s society: how it values sport and its viewing habits and traditions. Even the United Nations gets in on the spirit of the event.

The Washington Post has an article on diversity in the game and its impact on success during the World Cup, postulating that having players with an array of styles and philosophies can boost team performance.

And if you have a strong sense of your general worldview, check out comical this flow chart telling you which team you should support.

4. Science

What can the behavior of people during the World Cup tell you? Plenty, it turns out.

Deadspin has a post about Berlin’s water usage during a game between Germany and Portugal showing spikes at halftime at the end of the game. The notion is that people were staying in their seats until there was a break in the action.

For college students interested in technology, you can track web hits for search terms related to the World Cup. Google Trends has some notes about what people look for on the web as the action unfolds. One nugget: Searches for a player from the Netherlands outpaced those for famed painter Vincent Van Gogh.

FIFA also has a popular video game, which could make the series of matches insightful for game and application development students.

Of course, there are always stats to compile from the games themselves. Sports Illustrated has a breakdown of scoring trends through the first weeks of the World Cup, opening the door for software development students to figure out ways to cull and present data.

5. Up All Night

Since the 2014 World Cup is being played in Brazil, the game times are fairly manageable for those who want to check out the matches.

Some years, however, World Cup fanatics in America sometimes have to get up at odd hours to watch the games. And students who are working adults will have utilize their television-recording devices… and still may end up watching matches late into the night.

College students, of course, are used to late-night essay writing or cramming for tests.