If you’re anything like me, coming back from Fall Break can be an absolute drag. You still have half of a semester left, and honestly? You’re not sure if you can face finals.
You glare at your “to do” list on Canvas.
You groan at that calculus homework you have to do and that biology quiz you have to study for.
You’re actually pretty sure that communications paper is going to give you a heart attack if the stroke from your sociology presentation isn’t going to kill you first. So, you debate writing a quick goodbye letter to your loved ones, explaining why college is going to be the death of you.
And suddenly? Cuddling up, whipping out the Red Vines and binge-watching your favorite movies with your closest pals is looking like your best option.
So you sit down, and you watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Princess Bride, Back to the Future, and other snuggle-worthy flicks, and then?
It’s 3:00 am — too late to study anyway!
Even after that marathon, that drudgery is still going to be there. Waiting. Watching.
Your grades are still going to be solidified in December, and now you’re considering hitting your head against the wall until the people down the hall from you are starting to think you’re up to something a LOT more fun than stressing about the crazy workload you have.
But, you’ll zone out to movies instead of doing your homework time and time again, buried within the cycle of binging that Amazon Prime and Netflix have groomed us into.
However…there is a loophole.
Why not watch a movie that will make you want to study?
I know, I know. The idea’s crazy. A movie that will inspire you to work harder and be the best that you can be?
But hear me out! Oftentimes, we compare ourselves to characters that we see in TV and movies. For example, I sing all the time, wear retro-inspired dresses and hang out with my guy-pals all the time, so I’m often compared to Jess Day from New Girl.
Sooooooooooo why not compare yourself to someone who works really hard and achieves a lot? Why not binge great films that inspire you to be the best student you can be?
I compiled a list of my personal favorite “YOU SHOULD REALLY GET YOUR ACADEMIC ACT TOGETHER” films (set in no particular order) so you can hopefully get the same amount out of binging that I do.
1. Dead Poet’s Society
To me, this film is the epitome of why we should study. It really explains why working hard will actually help us succeed in our lives, and reach our goals! It also really makes me feel supported and loved by my friends and mentors.
The plot centers around a high school English teacher (played by Robin Williams), who goes to work for a prestigious all-boys school. Through unconventional styles of teaching, he really helps the students become who they want to be, instead of adhering to the structured goals provided by the outside world.
This movie is definitely a tear-jerker, but it’ll prompt you not only to study but to follow your dreams THROUGH YOUR STUDYING.
2. School of Rock
This is definitely a snuggle-worthy movie that all of your friends will enjoy, so put it on your next procrastinating-sesh list! From a hysterically adorable storyline to the unforgettable music, I find this to be one of the greatest feel-good movies of all time.
Much like Dead Poet’s Society, School of Rock is about a teacher who has some pretty unconventional methods. And that’s because he actually isn’t a licensed teacher!
Jack Black plays the unforgettable character of Dewey Finn, a man who, in need of some cash after getting kicked out of his band, decides to pose as a substitute teacher at a preppy elementary school. Once he discovers some hidden musical talent in the kids in his class, he decides to introduce them to the rock and roll lifestyle and take them all the way to the BATTLE OF THE BANDS.
This movie is super motivational and adorable, and it has a fantastic cast! It also stars Miranda Cosgrove when she was SUPER little, and it’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
3. Hidden Figures:
Need some inspiration for that STEM-based exam?
WATCH. THIS. MOVIE.
Based on the true story of three incredibly strong and brilliant women, Hidden Figures was labeled as one of the best films of last year. Because of Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson ( played by Janelle Monáe), NASA was able to win the Space Race against Russia, and take many other scientific and mathematic strides. These women fought against racial and gender biases in order to further the American scientific community.
They sacrificed EVERYTHING to utilize their intelligence. And you’re privileged enough to be at a college, right? Take advantage of your education!!!
And speaking of privilege, here is a movie that will truly motivate you to be grateful for the academic opportunities you have. This flick is one that is not for the easily-triggered, so be aware of that. It is really difficult to watch.
The plot centers around someone who is disadvantaged in her race, class, and gender. Claireece “Precious” Jones (played by Gabourey Sidibe) is an impoverished, black, teenage girl who is impregnated by her father for the second time. She is also constantly abused by her mother, and only begins to read and write when she begins a class to get her GED. Through the class, she finds a support system and a mentor, and is able to begin to turn her life around.
This movie not only inspires me to take advantage of the opportunities that I have, but it also inspires me to help those who are struggling. It is incredibly powerful.
5. Big Hero 6
Another movie that could be listed in the “feel-good category” would be this zinger right here! This movie is great to watch before group project or a necessary team-bonding experience. It’s a movie that really demonstrates the importance of bonding with other people and the project you’re working on!
The story revolves around a young boy named Hiro, who leaps into his own intellectual action when tragedy greatly impacts his life. Accompanied by a very parental robot and a rag-tag group of college students, he is able to accomplish feats he never originally imagined.
After watching this film, you’ll be able to see both the importance of teamwork and its outcomes.
6. The Imitation Game
Another tale of triumph for disadvantaged people in STEM programs is the story of Alan Turing, a gay man in Great Britain during World War II. Like the women featured in Hidden Figures, Alan Turing was a man who was incredibly brilliant in mathematics. Turing was able to become a decoder for Britain during the war through his excellent tactical skills.
This movie is inspiring because it exemplifies a person who uses their skill to fight against all odds, just to be able to solve the puzzles that he loves. It is a very great film, although you should definitely expect some tears!
Okay, but who doesn’t love this classic?? Matilda is definitely one that can give you some MEGA nostalgia, and remind you how love is intertwined within your academics, helping you succeed even more.
If you haven’t seen this movie before, you definitely should, as AGAIN, it’s definitely a classic! It’s about a little girl who lives in a neglectful household, who discovers that she has telekinetic abilities. She also has an incredible love of reading, which she uses to her advantage all the time.
8. St. Elmo’s Fire
If you need a little bit of motivation to actually finish your degree and get a job afterwards, there’s nothing more motivating than seeing what’ll happen if you don’t study!
Featuring some of our favorite 1980’s actors, St. Elmo’s Fire tells the story of a gang of kids after (most of them) graduate from college and have no idea what to do with their lives. With stars like Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy, it really brings on the Breakfast Club and Outsiders nostalgia, while providing a decent plot line.
Personally, I don’t really want to end up regretting the decisions that I made in college like some of these characters, so if you need some Schadenfreude-based motivation, this is the movie for you!
9. Good Will Hunting
When it comes to academically inspirational movies, the one that normally comes to my mind is Good Will Hunting. Oftentimes, I find myself procrastinating because I underestimate my own abilities. I want to avoid doing my assignments or studying for my tests because I’m afraid to fail.
Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) has a similar complex. He’s a janitor working at MIT, even though he has a genius-level-IQ, which is discovered by a professor, who decides to take Will under his wing. After Will is arrested for assault on a police officer, the professor offers him leniency in exchange for treatment with a therapist (played by Robin Williams).
This movie is one that will really help you overcome your inhibitions and put faith in yourself!
10. Legally Blonde
As a bubbly, glitter-adoring sorority girl, there isn’t a more empowering movie than Legally Blonde. This movie is a great example of how often women are objectified and how they are inhibited by that objectification.
The iconic character of Elle Woods (portrayed by Reese Witherspoon) is a UCLA sorority woman who doesn’t believe her life will go past marriage after she graduates. However, after her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her to go find someone more “serious” at Harvard, she follows him, getting into the Ivy League school as well. After studying her socks off, she begins to realize she might be worth more than the pretty face her ex saw her as.
This movie will prompt you to work really hard and look dang good doing it!
So let’s face it. You’re going to procrastinate. So why not get inspired doing it?
Binge movies that make you want to be the best you can be!!!