Your palms are sweating. Your anxiety is at an all-time high. You have no idea what to expect from college and how to best prepare yourself for one of the most life-changing time periods of your life. Fear not, reader. Here are 15 movies that will set you up for a successful college experience.
1. Pitch Perfect
Sure, High School Musical was a fun movie, but the more realistic musical experience comes from everyone’s favorite–Pitch Perfect. From the distant roommate to joining on-campus festivities, to the camaraderie you get from joining a legacy organization–this movie gives hope to every college student who wants to just put themselves out there and try something fun. Get yourself a clique of Barden Bellas and find your voice. You’ll have some fun singing in the process of it all.
2. Legally Blonde
Feeling low in your confidence to go after what you want? You are an intelligent and capable human being. Just ask Elle Woods about her journey to getting into Harvard Law School. Your sorority sisters are always going to have your back and are there to remind you that what you bring naturally is enough to set you apart from anyone else. For a successful college experience, bend and snap with this fan favorite for a chance to learn how to have faith in yourself.
3. Sydney White
Just like Amanda Bynes’s character, putting pressure on yourself for college can send you over the edge. It helps to have a group of supportive friends, even if they’re misfits. Where Legally Blonde portrayed some loving sorority sisters, this movie gives the sad reality that there are also people you’re not going to get along with. But like Sydney, it’s important to stand up for yourself and for your friends, to promote inclusivity regardless of elite status.
4. The Roommate
This movie is every college freshmen’s worst nightmare. Having the right roommate can either be a good start for a successful college experience, or it can haunt you for years after. Not sure how to tell if they can be trusted? Watch this movie and take notes. Do a background check. There are signs that your roommate may not be right for you and it’s important to know what red flags are worth taking note of–especially if they’re possessive and controlling like Rebecca.
All those band geeks that were made fun of in high school? They’re moving on to some epic events in college. This movie gives you a taste of what to expect at football games and is especially helpful if you plan on performing in some way. The expectations on what it takes to succeed are realistic and it’s the ideal underdog story. A Harlem street drummer makes it big, proving that no matter the background, you can find success just as Nick Cannon’s character did.
6. The House Bunny
Although Greek life is a huge part of universities, it’s not the only type of social interaction you can get for a successful college experience. Just ask the ladies of Zeta Alpha Zeta in this movie. They’re down on their luck until they get an unexpected house mother that turns everything around for them. This is a good reminder that social status isn’t as important in college compared to high school and that there is something attractive to being intelligent in this environment.
One of my favorite successful college experience films, this is great to check out if you’re dealing with a lot of rejection in your life. Whether it’s the college of your dream that turns you down and you’re stuck with your backup option, or even if you’ve been rejected from an internship or a job you were vying for, this movie reminds you that you just need a desire to learn and the will to better yourself. This is also a great inspiration if you want to start your own organization at your campus, as well.
8. Monsters University
This list would not be complete without everyone’s favorite animated duo–Mike and Sully. When you set off for college, there’s this feeling in the back of your mind that you need to prove yourself to everyone around you. Sometimes, this pressure can get the best of you. Watch this film for some relief in knowing that your best friend is also going to be your biggest fan to cheer you on toward your goals and dreams.
9. Happy Death Day
Ignoring the cheesy scares and horror film plot twists, there’s a lesson to be learned watching this for a successful college experience. Happy Death Day shows the terrifying concept of reliving your college experience over and over again, even just one day of it. So it’s best not to take any moment for granted and really take the time to get to know yourself during this time period. Also, birthdays can go wrong if you’re not careful…sometimes.
10. The Social Network
Besides the intriguing insight you get on Mark Zuckerberg’s life and the invention of Facebook, you also get wit, humor, and a lot of heart with this next movie. Sure, very few of us can proudly say we created a billion-dollar social media app. The point of this film, though, is to recognize how important it is to stand up for ourselves and to take pride in our accomplishments. Find something to be passionate about and put your soul into it. Just be careful not to get sued by your enemies.
11. Scream 2
This horror sequel is a scary reminder that your past can come back to haunt you, even in your college years. Just like Sidney, it’s important to face what’s happened already in your life so that you can press on for your future. You can’t let fear control you and prevent you from having a successful college experience. Watch this film for some inspiration on how to combat your baggage so that hopefully you don’t end up with a few more sequels afterward.
A real tearjerker, Rudy is an inspiring film you need to see if you feel like giving up on your dreams. College can make or break you, but only if you let it. Take Sean Astin’s character, for example. The odds are against him as he tries to get into Notre Dame and become a great football player. He’s short, small, and lacks some athletic ability. Yet, through determination and hard work, he never gives up. Having this unbreakable mentality will set you up for a positive mindset going into college.
Terence Fletcher is a monster, we can all agree on this. There’s something to be said, though, about Miles Teller’s character. Despite the horrendous pressure and abusive circumstances placed on our protagonist, he overcomes these obstacles and masters his performance by the end of the movie. Having a successful college experience requires turning trauma and tragedy into motivation for becoming a better person, which is important for any young adult to understand.
Noah Centineo stars in this must-see movie, Swiped–a film about a wild idea and some college students who are behind it. Relationships are hard to navigate now that dating apps and hook up apps are popular among young adults. Check out this fun movie for some notes on how to maintain what you’re looking for out of someone you connect with. Just be careful not to get trapped in some sketchy situations with people you can’t trust along the way.
15. Higher Learning
This 90s movie holds some heavy topics in it ranging from racism to assault. Consider watching this for some ideas on how to approach these issues, as you are sure to encounter them during your time in college. A successful college experience is a diverse and compassionate experience. While your time at a university should be fun and exciting, it’s also a chance to learn and grow as a human being before you enter the “real world” beyond the campus limits.
Are there any movies I missed? What sort of films has helped make your college experience a successful one? Comment below some suggestions!
Featured Image Source: https://weheartit.com/articles/345187860-movies-i-watched-in-may
Scott Hill is a former middle school educator and current poet with multiple self-published collections. He has a degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Houston and resides nearby where he can be seen tending to plants at his job, snuggling with his dog on the sofa, or spending time with loved ones. He enjoys whiskey and wine nights and loves writing about other poets, personal life experiences, mental health, food, and sometimes Taylor Swift. Feel free to follow him on Instagram @scotthillpoetry!