College. It's the ultimate experience every incoming freshman looks forward to and what every current student doesn't want to end. It’s the time to let loose, fill up your red cup and cherish every memory you may or may not remember.
Certainly, every student’s experience is different, but these movies sum up college life in a nutshell. From Greek life and parties, to "hooking up" and "helicopter" parents, many college students can relate to certain aspects of these films.
Waiting for your college acceptance letter is a stressful process for all, especially when your eager parents are highly anticipating the wonderful news that you got in. It’s too bad you didn’t get in, though. Anyone who has been denied from college or a dream school could relate to Accepted.
After being denied by every college, Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) decides to create his own college and prove to his parents that he has been accepted to South Harmon Institute of Technology. Of course, a lie that big does not fly without some trouble. Every college-hopeful can learn something valuable from Accepted: don’t slack off!
GREEK & PARTY LIFE
Sydney White (2007)
Amanda Bynes stars as Sydney White, a college freshman who eagerly decides to pledge a sorority but is then booted out and decides to go against the school’s hierarchy in an attempt to transform Greek life.
Pledging a sorority or fraternity can be great, but the journey along the way can be even better. The pledge process invites you to meet hundreds of other students, and you meet people you’d never expect to become close to. Sydney White demonstrates this perfectly.
Turn down for what? Remember that one frat party that got shut down by the police because neighbors complained about the noise disturbance? Yeah, Teddy and Pete don’t either.
In Neighbors, fraternity brothers Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) party every night with the music bumped up so high that new neighbors Mac (Seth Rogan) and wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) decide to no longer tolerate it and report Teddy to the police. However, things backfire on Mac when the police side with Teddy, and an epic neighbor war ensues.
Parties, girls, alcohol—that’s what college is all about right? Most definitely, especially if you’re in a fraternity. (Oh, but Teddy's marijuana-themed frat party towards the end? It sounds epic, but we're having a hard time believing any frat would be able to pull that off).
21 and Over (2013)
Besides all of the wild partying going on in this film (starring Miles Tellar and Skylar Astin), 21 and Over also touches on an aspect of college life that’s not so glamorous: extreme pressure.
Although the main character, Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), is having the time of his life on his 21st birthday, trouble in school proves to have a severe mental effect on the guy. Anyone who has stressed out like crazy over exams or has an overbearing parent can relate to poor Jeff.
DATING SCENE & “HOOKUP” CULTURE
The House Bunny (2008)
In this comedy, Anna Faris plays Shelley Darlington, a former playmate that joins sorority Zeta Alpha Zeta to become its house mother. This sorority is made up of a group of girls who are awkward, not-so-attractive and don’t get many guys. So, Shelley decides to makeover these girls into every frat boy’s dream.
At the end of the movie, although the girls are now more confident due to their new style, they realize that they haven’t been true to themselves, so they decide to give themselves a second makeover by being “Half-Shelley and Half-Themselves.”
This synopsis feels a little too similar for most college students. Many college guys and girls who went through an awkward, nerdy stage in high school try break out of his or her shell to fit the “cool college student” mold, sometimes to no avail. College dating is not that easy; it's tough, and the House Bunny demonstrates that.
The To Do List (2013)
Although Brandy Klark, played by Aubrey Plaza, isn’t technically in college yet, her multiple sexual experiences, that are meant to prepare her for college, accurately portray the college "hookup" scene. And, Aubrey's nonchalant attitude toward this fact resembles the spirit of the modern college woman.
Throughout the movie, Brandy decides to perform various sexual acts with a different guy despite their looks or her relationship with them. After she finally reaches her ultimate goal of having sex with Rusty Waters, she declares that sex isn’t as big of a deal as people make it out to be.
Her announcement reveals why, to college students, a hookup can be just a hookup. To us, sex does not have to be a romantic and special act between couples; it can be fun or random, and that's okay.
Monsters University (2013)
They say college is the place where you will meet some of your best friends, and perhaps that's true. You might hate each other at first, but as roommates, eventually things must get resolved. After all, you’re stuck with them for a whole year.
For college roommates Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman), friendship didn’t come right away. But after overcoming certain obstacles and setting aside their differences, the pair became an unstoppable duo. Yes, it’s a cartoon, but Monsters University has some surprising depth to it.
Spring Breakers (2012)
When spring break approaches, a few things come to mind: adventure, bikinis and parties!
In Spring Breakers, Faith (Selena Gomez) and her three best friends (including Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens) party hard and flirt with danger to earn some cash during a spring break trip they’ll never forget.
Ok, so the typical college student doesn’t get involved with drug dealers and go on a shooting rampage during spring break, but most of them #turnup like no other on the beaches of Cabo, Cancún and Miami as a result of college’s sometimes suffocating environment. Spring Breakers does a good job of capturing that angst and need to break free many college students experience at some point.
College Road Trip (2008)
Realistically, every parent wants their child close to home, and every dad wants his little girl to stay little forever. As cute as that sounds, we grow up and life goes on whether we are ready or not.
Melanie Porter (Raven-Symoné) is a high school graduate on a road trip to find the perfect college, and she's super excited. But, things get a bit hectic when her controlling cop father (Martin Lawrence) hits the road with her, trying to convince her to choose the campus closest to home.
Now, how many of you have a parent like Melanie’s?
*Nicole Sazegar contributed to this post.