College movies are a time-honored tradition. Whether you’re looking for gripping drama with an undertone of social justice or just gross-out comedy good times, college movies are as diverse as college life itself. If you’re preparing to take the leap into college, consider it research!
Reese Witherspoon goes to law school and defies all expectations. This girl power flick is written with great humor and might just empower you to bust the stereotypes and fulfill your own dreams. Written off as a sorority bimbo, Witherspoon’s character ultimately cracks the case, proving along the way that your gender and appearance should never hold you back.
Loosely adapted from a book of non-fiction, Pitch Perfect offers a realistic glimpse into the world of collegiate competition. It has an all-star cast to get you hooked, including Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick and Elizabeth Banks. As they quest to make their acapella singing group a world beating ensemble, they figure out their identity and build some powerful friendships. Ultimately this is a movie about how college is a place to find yourself.
This is a heart-warming prequel and anyone with fond memories of Pixar’s Monsters Inc. will love revisiting these favorite characters. In Monsters University, Mike and Sully form their lifelong friendship as they become the heroes of the local sports team. Despite its non-human characters, this is a surprisingly relatable college film as all the hopes and anxieties of new students are represented.
Good Will Hunting
A classic Robin Williams film tracking the way students, professors and other university staff can build relationships. Good Will Hunting is the story of how an M.I.T. janitor is discovered as an undercover math whizz. A heartwarming story about friendship, student identity and the defiance of expectations.
The Social Network
The story of how Facebook came to exist makes for a compelling drama as Mark Zuckerberg takes his big idea all the way. This drama unfolds with Harvard’s competitive environment as a background, and the ruthless ambition of these Ivy-Leaguers is put on display. This is a movie as much about student relationships as it is about making your tech fortune.
Revenge Of The Nerds
A story about how social dynamics can be turned on their head – this college classic movie from 1984 explores how roles can be reversed as you make the move from high school to college. The nerds of this film take their revenge on the jocks by outsmarting them and ultimately come out on top.
This inspirational college drama from the early ’90s is all about pursuing your dreams in the face of opposition. It follows main character Rudy, who escapes his small town to pursue college sports, despite being told that he’s not smart or athletic enough. As Rudy overcomes the naysayers, we are taken on a powerful journey about how ambition can take you anywhere.
This classic college tale is about never growing up! They say your college days are the best of your life, and Van Wilder doesn’t want to find out if that’s true – he’s seven years into college with no plans to graduate, throwing wild parties and enjoying popularity and success. This film gives you a look into fraternity life and it’s uproariously funny.
Mona Lisa Smile
Set in an all-girls school in the 1950s, this film is about college life and the early days of women’s liberation. An all-star cast of Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal are inspired by their art history professor to break out of the dated expectations for women at that time and pursue a life of their own making.
A classic fairy tale transposed to a college setting as Sydney White echoes the story of Snow White as the eponymous character discovers sorority life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and rejects it in favor of a community of (seven) misfits living outside the college norms. You’ll get a look into the ins and outs of college life and learn about how college is the best place to grow into your own identity.
College offers a place to explore new experiences and grow into yourself, discovering your identity along the way. These movies offer a glimpse into that life, so tune in!
Katherine Rundell is a writer at OX Essays and Custom Paper Writing services. She is a film and TV critic and remembers her college days fondly. Also, she is a blogger at Big Assignments.