The sun is out which means (in the words of the Fresh Prince) it’s summer summer summertime! It also means a new crop of freshers will soon be starting their university adventure. The word university conjures up a lot of different mental images depending on your experiences so far.
It’s worth mentioning that the experience is very different to school or college and it’s certainly different to the American High School or College depicted on TV and in movies. But there are some aspects in popular culture that are relevant and some that are essential, not only to prepare you for life at Uni but also how to make the most of your experience.
1. Dead Poets Society
With all the extra stuff that comes with going to uni – living in dorms, socialising, meeting new people, exploring a new city – it’s rather easy to forget that your prime goal is to enhance your education. So let’s start with a film to inspire and get you excited about studying and learning. Dead Poets Society stars the late, great Robin Williams as a teacher who inspires students to find their own voice, and the confidence to stand out from the crowd and be themselves. This is an important message when going to university as there will be pressure to fit in, when really it’s the time of your life when you need to find what you enjoy and who you are.
This list is hopefully going to help you prepare for life at Uni. Boyhood is a film that follows a young boys life from the age of 5 until his first day at University. It was filmed over 12 years it’s an honest and moving movie about childhood and growing up. Things you need to embrace at University.
3. Starter for Ten
James McAvoy stars in this this heart-warming comedy about a fresher who’s desperate to get on University Challenge to impress the girl of his dreams. McAvoy’s character takes in freshers’ parties, flatmates and first loves, in what is is basically essential watching for all First Years. You’ll also spot early roles for Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve and Dominic Cooper.
4. 22 Jump Street
“You two are going to college” exclaims Ice Cube as he sends Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum on their way in this hilarious comedy sequel. The film gives you a glimpse of the ‘extra-curricular’ side of University. While we don’t have American-style sororities or fraternities in the UK, the depiction of campus life is more or less accurate – minus the narcotics. Just don’t get too friendly with the Captain’s daughter, yeah…
5. Back to the Future
Back to the Future is just a film you have to see. So if you haven’t watched it (I mean, come on, who hasn’t?) before going to Uni, you must! That’s an additional entry requirement! There are some Uni related themes such as first loves, how to deal with bullies, owning Johnny Be Good and, of course, the dangers of dealing with nuclear material and Iranian terrorists… ok, one of these is not true, we hope. Oh, and please watch your speed around campus, those fiery tyre marks are a pain to clean up.
6. Harry Potter
Somewhere in between the American College we see in 22 Jump Street and the Hogwarts Academy in Harry Potter is a pretty much the standard University experience. While you won’t be getting mail via an owl or flying around on a broomstick, there are some things you can take away from the series: making new friends, living away from home, sports (sadly Coventry don’t offer a Quidditch society just yet), classes, professors and flying eagle-horses! (Ok, maybe not the last one.) We do ask that you keep your wand out of sight please gents!
7. The Breakfast Club
I can’t believe there are still people who have not seen this film. It is an absolute classic. The story is about five students from very different walks of life who are thrown together in detention. While the story is set in an American High School, the messages are just as relevant to UK University students. The students in the film are roughly the same age as university freshers and they would never normally mix with each other on campus. But the film shows that while you think you have nothing in common with someone, if you look past those differences you may just find a friend for life. This happens all the time at Uni.
8. Mean Girls
Not everyone is a nice as Charlie’s friends are! Watch catty classic Mean Girls, the movie that made a massive star of Lindsay Lohan, and make mental notes to stay away from anyone still trying to make fetch happen.
Superbad is another film about a group of friends set on making the most of their last summer together before going their separate ways as they start their degrees at different universities. Watch it, then go and make some memories with your best school mates.
10. Legally Blonde
If you’re feeling nervous about all the hard work that a degree entails, don’t be! If Reese Witherspoon has taught us anything, it’s that you should have always have faith in yourself because if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.
So there you go, 10 films that will get you fully prepared for life at University. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below or via social media.