5 Must Watch Movies For New College Students


If you're just starting college and want to get a sense of the experience to come (or just get excited about your future), here are 5 movies you must watch.

Are you about to start your freshman year of college? If you're anything like us, you might be itching to find out what the next 4 (ish) years of your life are going to be like. What better place to find out then to watch a college movie? Here are five of the greatest.

Animal House

1978's Animal House basically invented the college movie genre. This film stars comedy legend John Belushi as part of a cast of misfit fraternity members who set out to prove a point to the dean of their university. Animal House covers classic college misbehavior topics such as pranks, anti-authoritarianism, academic dishonesty, and partying. It's a wild ride that doesn't shy away from portraying the less-than-palatable parts of college life, earning it the distinction of being considered the first 'gross-out' movie. Critics call the film 'rambunctious' and 'subversive,' and the United States Library of Congress has selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. So, yes, it's an important film but, no, do not expect it to reflect your upcoming college experience.

People at a movie theater eat popcorn

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect is one of the most successful original film franchises of recent years. It is set at fictional Barden University where the all-female a capella group, the Barden Bellas, seek to win an a capella championship and restore their reputation to its former glory. Pitch Perfect is above all a comedy meant to entertain, which means that in many ways, it is quite unrealistic. But one lesson that can be learned from it? Finding a club or group to belong to can make one's college experience much more meaningful. And yes, many American colleges do have a capella groups you can audition for.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is known best for two things: being the first collaborative film project of legendary film industry buddies Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and the endlessly quotable question, 'how about them apples?'. In fact, Good Will Hunting was directed by highly successful independent film director Gus Van Sant, and has a quite serious tone. It tells the story of a night janitor who is an unrecognized math genius. The film features strong performances, an emotionally resonant narrative, and some wicked Boston accents. We'd say it's the most realistic on this list. There's a reason it won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

A couple watches a movie at home on their television


Accepted isn't just another typical college comedy. It recounts the story of a smart and enterprising high school student who, upon failing to get into any of the colleges that he applied to, founds a fake college in order to avoid his parents' disapproval. This wacky premise unfolds into what is actually a very touching and inspiring tale. Accepted's fake South Harmon Institute of Technology becomes a refuge for chronically-rejected misfits who were too often told they weren't good enough, suppressing what they actually have to offer to the world. Don't expect this film to predict your college experience, but do allow its themes to inspire you to go into college with an open mind.

Monsters University

Hey, college movies come in the animated variety, too! Monsters University is Pixar's first prequel, telling the tale of how everybody's favorite monster duo met in their college years. You can expect to love this movie as much as any other Pixar film. It does a great job of being likable for audiences of all ages and is charming, colorful, and fun. One of the most interesting parts of watching Monsters University is seeing how the film translates the most familiar college movie tropes not only into animation, but for the monster-populated universe. It goes without saying that Monsters University isn't particularly realistic, but it's a delight nonetheless.

A person watches a movie on a tablet

If we've convinced you to watch any of these movies for the first time, let us know on Twitter @studydotcom. We can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Looking for your unique own college experience? Check out Study.com's College Accelerator, which lets you earn college credits for a fraction of the usual cost.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
June 2018
college freshmen

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