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Movies You Should Watch Before You Graduate

It’s that time of year to start applying for summer internships, to find jobs after college, and to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives! Thankfully there are Career Center staff members, job fairs, and parents to help us irn out all of those college wrinkles. But  sometimes being inendated with so much information about our future can be dizzying. 

When this happens, there is one more resource us college students can turn to — Movies. Movies give us the ability to see our own scenerios unfold through the lives of fictional characters, and this can provide a release, and sometimes offer a new perspective. These stories may help guide us to what is important in life, remind us what not to do, or even motivate us to move forward with that start-up venture that’s been on our minds. Here are a few movies that touch on the universal experience that is college, and — if nothing else — will be sure to entertain you in the process.

The Graduate (1967): This is the movie that shows you what not to do with your love life after you graduate! Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, falls into an affair with his father’s business partner’s wife, while falling in love with her daughter, Elaine, at the same time. Since its release, it has been heralded as an American classic, making famous songs such as “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel, along with others. The soundtrack along with the story has made its way into American pop culture. This flick is defiantly a good “how to” on picking the right relationships.

Good Will Hunting (1997): Matt Damon’s character, Will Hunting, in the embodiment of the student who is weary of his own auspicious talents. A young troublemaker from Boston and a janitor at MIT, Hunting has a secret gift for mathematics that is not put to use until he reluctantly connects with mentor and psychologist Sean Maguire,played by Robbin Williams. This story is definitely about the journey to finding oneself, and can remind us to not to be held down by our past. It also reminds us of the importance of letting ourself love and not being afraid of our own unique potential. Besides getting to watch Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on screen for 126 minutes, there’s also wonderfully thick “Baston” accents.

The Social Network (2010): We all know what Facebook is since we all have one, and guess what? There is a movie about it too! ‘Network’ reveals the previously untold story of the famous website’s founding, and is laden with themes from our own college experiences: power struggles between groups, defiance of authority, and difficult decisions. While your strength may not be in computers or crafting websites, many can relate the drive that Jesse Esienberg’s character, Mark Zuckerberg, showed by creating the social networking site. This story reveals unfortunate consequences of his path to success — lawsuits with best friends and other fall-outs, but it also says that college students have HUGE potential. Mark Zuckerberg’s portrayal reminds us that at the end of the day we just need to be true to ourself. 

The Devil Wears Prada (2006): Watching Anne Hathaway’s as Andy, the intern, who constantly gets put down by boss Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) was almost too hard to watch! Maybe that’s because the experience she has in the workforce might inevitably resemble my future — dealing with the evil boss. This tale of beginning at the bottom reminds us to laugh at our own embarrassing moments, and that there’s is potential to rise to the top — and (gasp!) not to like it there. In the end Andy figures out what is most important in her life — the decision between a  social life or the strenuous job. And of course we can see that even when things may seem to be going wrong, in the end, with a little sacrifice, everything will work out.

These movies are wonderful go-to college references for awkward moments, difficult decisions, and coming of age that we all will deal with. The important thing is to be happy with yourself as you embark on the so-called “real world.” Give yourself a couple hours away from the internship and job applications, and watch one of these great movies to give yourself perspective on life outside Lawrence, that none of those “preparing for college” guides will tell you.

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