The transition to university life is one of both excitement and trepidation. For many it’s the first taste of independence, a chance to make your mark on the world and meet people from all different walks of life. For others it’s a chance to get out there and live the student lifestyle. So, I’ve put together five ‘must-watch’ films that capture the multi-faceted life of a student.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Based on the novel of the same name, the film is the story of Charlie, a young man who has recently been discharged from a mental institution due to his difficulties with clinical depression. As he goes back to high school he meets Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) who befriend him. The film (and book) is a great depiction of depression and living life in the face of struggle.
Starter for 10
This film follows Brian Jackson; a working class boy wins a scholarship at Bristol University. He’s spent his life reading and absorbing information and his love of knowledge leads him to one day realise his dream of appearing on University Challenge. Through his story, Brian learns that he doesn’t always have the answer but he also learns things he never knew. Not only does this film recreate 1980’s Britain to perfection, it also gives us a funny and sometimes gut-wrenching look at student life. Benedict Cumberbatch also appears as a very funny and rather nerdy University Challenge team captain.
Mona Lisa Smile
Set in 1953, the story follows Katherine Ann Watson, a grad student and new teacher at Wellesley College, where she teaches Art History. At first glance she realises that the girls in the college have memorised and read her syllabus so instead she teaches her students to look past the textbooks. A progressive of her time, she encourages her students to use their educations for more than finding marriages to suitable men and to blossom as scholars and women.
A trope breaking film and a favourite among many; if you haven’t seen it yet you really need to! Legally Blond tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority fashion major who is dumped by her boyfriend Warner for being too blonde. She applies to Harvard Law School with the initial goal of winning her ex back and discovers that she has a real flair for the law. Elle goes to prove that blondes aren’t always dumb and you don’t have to change yourself for anybody to achieve your goals.
Although really based on the cusp of leaving high school for college, this is a real coming-of-age story as well as a hilariously funny romp as four friends make a pact to lose their virginity before they part ways to college. As a bonus, watch American Pie 2 to see what they get up to over the summer after their first year.