- Pitch Perfect
Confidence — without it, you won’t get very far. And whatever you have, flaunt it. Except in public showers. That’s just weird and uncomfortable for everyone else there. Also, remember that you don’t have to act on every impulse. Want to go out instead of study for the midterm you have tomorrow? Mmm, better not. Don’t be afraid of change. Just because your posse no longer dresses like 1960’s flight attendants doesn’t mean you can’t conquer the fields just the same.
- Pulp Fiction
I finally watched “Pulp Fiction” over the summer and I now realize what all the buzz has been about. No matter who you are, college student or retiree or homemade jam-maker, you need to see this movie. In a world where “cinematic masterpiece” is an over-used term, “Pulp Fiction” is of a rare breed that genuinely lives up to that assessment. As I was watching it for the first time, I didn’t see how it was applicable to me. Even though most of us don’t adhere to the characters *ahem* livelihoods, I still believe we should all heed some interwoven ideas, such as “Play with matches, you get burned” and “Pride only hurts, it never helps.” Most importantly, “Anytime of the day is a good time for pie.”
- Office Space
Time and time again, cubicle life is portrayed as a grey, bleak career. In this movie, that theme is the basis of the plot. Peter, a corporate drone working in the stereotypical office cubicle, hates his job, considering it a prison sentence. Life is too short to work a job you hate. No matter the benefits or pay grade, it’s not a good job if you don’t enjoy doing it. There’s no shame in working what many would consider a “menial” job. If you’re happy walking dogs for a living, do it. Don’t waste your time on a career path you dread partaking in.
- The Big Lebowski
The Dude is the epitome of a carefree, life-loving individual. He doesn’t have money, he doesn’t have a job and he doesn’t have a care in the world. Maybe slackers don’t become the most successful people, but they hold the key to one of the biggest parts of life: stress. How does The Dude do it? Well, The Dude abides. The same can be for anyone. The Jeff can abide. The Emily can abide. The Cassie sure does abide; well, she tries. It’s about finding a balance for the stress in your life. Go bowling. Make a clay bowl only your mother could love. Do something other than work once in a while. Sometimes the bear eats you and sometimes you eat the bear. Essentially, stuff happens. Don’t take it too seriously. And always remember, a nice rug can really tie a room together.
- Animal House
The need to belong in a group is a powerful psychological imperative, and we often sacrifice our beliefs, dignity, and comfort to achieve it. College ends up being four years of finding the group you sacrifice part of yourself to become. And no, it’s not a bad thing. While you want to maintain who you are, sharing a commonality of the group dynamic is a bond not easily broken. So much time is spent searching to answer the question of “Why?” no matter what it is about. Sometimes, just say “Why not?” and enjoy the everything, especially the free stuff.
- Big Fish
Through a fantastical tale that is largely embellished by the father, each viewer of this movie learns some interesting, albeit magical, life lessons. Edward Bloom, the man behind the myth (literally his own fabricated, or otherwise exaggerated, stories), shows us how important it is to take your own path and be dedicated to something. Be kind to even the strangest or the most ridiculed individuals, because not everyone is the same. Go ahead and work a crappy job if that’s how you get to your end goal. I don’t think you will have to put your head in a lion’s mouth, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have your fill of traditionally-viewed-as demeaning jobs. All in all, forgive your past and see that family, although frustrating sometimes, is very important.
- Edward Scissorhands
People always have been and always will be afraid of things that are different. But when it comes to love, everyone deserves it. You need to be able to trust, which is entirely possible (you don’t have to worry about your significant other amputating your finger every time you hold hands). Make the best with what you have, because people will try to take advantage of you and sometimes bad things happen to good people.
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
We aren’t in high school anymore, but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has some things to teach everyone, from the angst-ridden 16-year-old to the crotchety old lady at the end of the street. Life moves fast. Wicked fast. You think you have time to do everything and enjoy it all, but all the sudden you will realize you just spent the last 20 years preparing for something you think you don’t have time for anymore. This is college, so I know everyone knows the anxiety of procrastination. Stop procrastinating with life itself. Enjoy the ride and realize that confidence will get you pretty far.
- Good Will Hunting
Some people are born smarter than others, and you shouldn’t spend your time worrying about that or writhing in envy. We are all looking for our place in the world, whether that means you belong off the coasts of Australia scuba diving or teaching five-year-olds that they shouldn’t eat glue. You have the same mission as every other young adult. Take your time, and realize that there are more important things in life than your intellect.
- Wayne’s World
I hate cheesy motivational sayings, with “be true to yourself” being high on my most-hated list of ones. I understand that it is actually rather decent advice, but I can only stand to see those words plastered in loopy script on pictures of flowers and Instagram-esque, over-done selfies so many times. That being said, if there was ever a movie to masterfully portray that advice, it would be Wayne’s World. Wayne’s World exemplifies life wisdom us college students need to heed: College doesn’t have to be bad! Don’t let your small town, small job or small experience define you. Keep your friends close and don’t sell out. And when you start out on your dream, you have to start small. SCHAAAA-WING!