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My Favorite TV Shows and Movies with School Settings

Whenever I’m watching TV or a movie, it’s usually to escape the stresses of everyday life. So why would why I watch something so similar to my real life? Personally, I find after watching college and high setting TV shows, I can look back at my own life with a sense of relief and just enjoy the dramatic version of a life that is like my own. With that being said, here are five TV shows and movies that fall (somewhat) into that category.

#1 Greek

Greek is a 2007 Teen Drama, that I find is criminally underrated. It makes me laugh, but also has some serious and touching moments. As someone in Greek life myself, it is very funny to compare my experiences to the ones on the show! Even if you’re not in Greek life, there are so many relatable college moments that are fun to watch. The show revolves around sister and brother, Casey and Rusty Cartwright, facing everyday struggles at the fictional Cyprus Rhodes University. This show touches on love triangles, house parties, and other mainstays of the conventional teen drama. If you are looking for something different than your usual high school drama, this show is for you!

#2 Pitch Perfect

When talking about classic movies with a college setting, Pitch Perfect will always be at the top of that list.

This 2013 hit movie has been seen by practically all of Gen Z, so if you have watched it before, it may be time for a re-watch! College student Becca knows she does not want to be part of a clique, but that’s exactly where she finds herself after arriving at her new college. Thrust in among mean gals, nice gals, and just plain weird gals, Becca finds that the only thing they have in common is how well they sing together. She takes the women of the group out of their comfort zone of traditional arrangements and into a world of amazing harmonic combinations in a fight to the top of college music competitions. This movie has everything! Romance, comedy, drama, and music. As a middle schooler, this movie made me want to have my own “riff-off” moment and be a college student, just like the characters. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, get to it! 

#3 Freaks and Geeks 

Freaks and Geeks may have only lasted for one season, but that season is better television than many long-running shows. The teen “dramedy” that aired in 1999, is seen as ahead of its time by many.  

It’s the 1980s and at McKinley High, there are two different groups of teenagers, the Freaks: too cool for school Daniel and tomboy Lindsay and the Geeks: Lindsay’s younger brother Sam, Bill, and Neal. The show chronicles the normal teen/adolescence problems any teenager goes through including acceptance, drugs, drinking, and bullying. This show has stood the test of time and no matter who you are there are themes that anyone can relate to. Over 20 years later, this show gets more and more viewers, which goes to show just how timeless of a series it really is. 

#4 Community

In this sitcom, a former lawyer attends a community college when it is discovered he faked his bachelor’s degree. In an attempt to get with a student in his Spanish class, he forms a Spanish study group. To his surprise, more people attend the study group, and the group of misfits forms an unlikely community. This quite frankly is one of the funniest TV shows I have ever watched. The writing is incredibly clever, and even though it is just a sitcom, you find yourself becoming very attached to the characters and story lines. As the seasons progress the show becomes crazier and crazier, but that’s what makes it fun. If you are looking for a light-hearted show in a community college setting, this show is for you.

#5 Monsters University 

Lastly, I must mention one of my personal favorite Disney/Pixar movies, Monsters University. I seriously believe this movie is one of the best prequels ever. One thing I think that made this film so special was how close the attention to detail about everything school-wise was. The animators of the movie based the university off UC Berkeley, and just watching the movie makes you want to become a fictional monster majoring in “Scaring”. If you haven’t seen the movie, Monsters University tells the story of the main characters of Monsters, Inc., James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski, and their time at college, where they start off as rivals, but slowly become best friends. Not only is it heartwarming, but it’s super silly and never gets old. 

Every single one of these movies and shows I love, better for many different reasons. If you finish an assignment or a midterm (midterm season…) and find yourself bored, get to watching.

Junior at Rowan University, from central Jersey (yes! it exists) who loves everything pop culture and spends her free time reading and writing.
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