Best movies that capture university life perfectly

College is a place of self-discovery, where many young people try to find out what their passion is, who they are attracted to, what kind of lifestyle they want to lead, etc. — all while gaining a degree of some kind. The average college student is in their early twenties, so college is basically kids running around and doing what they want without supervision because they are technically adults. College is a hot bed of experimentation, where people try new things to see what they enjoy and what they do not.

But college is not just fun and games. Whether you are in a simple undergraduate program or you have been admitted to medical school, college still requires a bit of academic focus. Movies showing university life tends to focus on the experimental side of college. Show off the noisy parties and the spotless drug use because those are things that happen at college. Here are the best movies that capture university life perfectly.

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8 The Paper Chase

While many college films have the academic side of college life more in the background, The Paper Chase is not such a movie. James Hart follows during his first year as a Harvard Law student, James finds himself in a relationship with his professor’s daughter. James struggles with the balance between his academic life and social life, as he believes that failure is the worst thing that can happen to him. The Paper Chase also brings up the question of whether College is worth it or not. The Paper Chase won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor thanks to John Houseman’s performance as James’ professor.

7 The Graduate

Mike Nichols se The Graduate is not a college movie in the sense that it takes place on campus and revolves around a group of college students. The Graduate follows new graduate Benjamin Braddock returning home. Ben feels pressured by those around him to reach certain milestones, and begins a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, an old family friend of the same age as his mother. When he meets Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine, he falls for her after discovering that they feel the same way about many things. Benjamin This iconic classic shows Dustin Hoffman trying to figure out how to handle life in one of his best roles as a college kid, something college did not teach him.

6 Mona Lisa smile

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Katherine Watson has just been appointed to teach as a professor of art at full-fledged Wellesley College. Plays in the 1950s, Mona Lisa smile shows the struggle of the female community to even get a university degree. While the women are there for higher education, most of them are still training to become housewives and Katherine is determined to break the mold and show her students their potential. With the stir of the pot, Katherine is having a difficult time by both her colleagues and students as she tries to make a difference for women in the Academic world.

5 Jumpstraat 22

The sequel to 21 Jump street, police officers Jenko and Schmidt go mysterious again, but this time as university students to infiltrate and get to the source of the new drug “why-phy”. Jumpstraat 22 depicts college life perfectly with everything from a freak chase to those unpacking in their residences with typical college equipment such as a shower cabinet and a pop-up laundry basket. The crushing reality of how Jenko and Schmidt’s friendship is put to the test as their differences steer them in opposite directions. While Jenko and Schmidt are not actually college students, they are going through the same levels of growth as college students do.

4 Animal house

National Lampoon’s Animal House or not Animal house is a timeless classic based on first-years Larry and Kent mortgaging Delta and being named Pinto and Flounder respectively. Delta House is known for its noisy parties and pranks, one of which goes horribly wrong when they steal a competitor’s horse, take it to the Dean’s office and give it a heart attack after firing a gun with spaces. While Animal house is over 40 years old, the messages and activities seen throughout the film are still relevant today. With the hilarious John Belushi as Bluto and Tim Matheson as the Delta leader Otter, Animal house was and still is a perfect university movie from which any student will have a good laugh.

3 Dear White People


Dear White People, the movie that was later turned into a Netflix series, focuses on racial tension between the black and white community at an Ivy League college. Dear White People expands on the black perspective of university life. Dear White People is an informative look at the struggles that black students face when they become successful in a White majority world. The pressure to succeed is tenfold, not to mention the attempt to break stereotypes and to work harder to just be on the same level as a White student.

2 The Social Network

Based on the true story of Mark Zukerberg, creator of Facebook and his journey, The Social Network follows Mark Zukerberg, how Facebook came into being and how he handled the lawsuits that followed shortly after his success in creating the website. As a young Harvard undergraduate eager to prove himself, he creates Facebook and becomes a billionaire. While the entire film does not play out during his college years, the time Zurkerberg spent in College was enough for viewers to get a taste of the atmosphere under which he worked when he created Facebook. It was nominated in eight categories at the Oscars and took home three.

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1 Good Will Hunting

Janitor at MIT Will Hunting has an ingenious IQ and his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambau. The professor is determined to help Will realize his potential, but after Will is arrested for assaulting a police officer, he seeks the help of therapist Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams. Good Will Hunting is praised for the performances, especially of Robbins who is known for his comic role in tackling this change into a serious role. The therapy sessions open Will to the deeper issues he faces, both within himself and in his relationships. This is the ultimate symbolism for what college does for most students. College forces us to look ourselves in the eye and sometimes things have to change to get better.

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