Before you ever set foot on a college campus, you probably had some idea of what to expect thanks to the many college movies out there.
Of course, I’m sure there were many differences between the college experience you saw in films versus reality, but some flicks actually do a pretty good job of portraying college life.
And so, here are five classic college movies to compare your experience to.
This musical comedy follows Barden University freshman Beca Mitchell, who joins The Barden Bellas, an all female a cappella group on campus. She soon finds herself immersed in the competitive world of college a cappella and needs to work together with her fellow a ca sisters to beat their rival all male group, The Treblemakers.
If you’re in college, you know collegiate a cappella is a real thing and people take it seriously. But even if you’re not musically minded, college is a time to find and make connections with people who have similar interests to you via clubs, classes and other activities. Those connections can last a lifetime.
The a ca awesome movie features Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp and Rebel Wilson and will have you singing long after the last credits have rolled.
“Good Will Hunting”
Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, this 1997 classic went on to win two Oscars. The story follows MIT janitor Will Hunting who happens to be extraordinarily gifted at mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to unlock his potential.
After going to college, you realize how realistic parts of this movie are — take, for instance, how smart Will is. He was mostly self-educated, and that’s something you’ll learn in college: knowledge can come from anywhere, and learning doesn’t always happen in a classroom. The film stars Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck.
“The Social Network"
This biographical drama won three Oscars and follows real-life Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg as he creates the social networking site that would become Facebook. He is later sued by two brothers and fellow Harvard students who claim he stole their idea, as well as a co-founder he forced out of the business venture.
The film is immersive in Harvard culture and provides viewers with the story behind Facebook. Also, since Zuckerberg was a college student when he started programming the site, the movie makes it onto this list of college movies to see.
Of course, while you may not go on to create a multi- billion dollar business, college is a great place to take initiative and make connections, like Zuckerberg did. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake.
When slacker high school senior Bartleby Gaines doesn’t get into any of the colleges he applied to, he creates his own university: the South Harmon Institute of Technology. Gaines actually creates a physical school with his friends on a rundown property close to where they live and unknowingly start an educational revolution.
This great college movie will have you wanting to join the masses at this fictional uni- versity, and even though the idea’s a bit far-fetched, the movie has some realistic com- ponents and lessons you can learn from.
The comedy stars Justin Long, Jonah Hill and Blake Lively.
This well-known Golden Globe-nominated romantic comedy is a quintessential college movie. After Elle Woods is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back. Woods gets into Harvard and sets out to recapture her beau, along the way realizing she’s got a true passion for the law and won’t let anyone stand in her way.
College is a time to be selfish — to study when and what you want, to focus on yourself, to uncover where your true passion lies; don’t let members of the opposite sex distract you from reaching your full potential and excelling, as Woods learns. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson and Selma Blair.
So with winter settling in and the weather getting cold, consider watching one of these five college flicks — you may find they’re more relatable and realistic than you’d think.