Credit: Pixar

The transition from high school to college can be a rough one. With all the planning, dorm shopping, and general nervousness about moving out for the first time, it can be easy to get lost in a sea of stress. It’s important to take time out purely for yourself to reminisce about old times and get excited about making new memories. Movies are a great way to get yourself in the mood for daydreaming. Not only can you sit back and forget about your worries for a few hours, you can also prepare yourself for what’s to come in your big adventure to college!

Before you pack everything up and move on (literally) to that next stage in your life, here are 10 movies you need to see. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did once you’re starting fresh at college.

The Kids Are All Right

Set during the critical time of adolescence, The Kids Are All Right takes a look at how families are affected by drastic changes in the routine. The eldest daughter of Jules and Nic is headed off for college and they are desperate to spend as much time as they can with her. Maybe this is ringing some bells? Spending time with family before leaving for school is something that tends to fall to the wayside. It can be difficult to stay still and simply enjoy the company of your family when there’s so much to do, but trust me, it’s worth taking the time out.

Legally Blonde

Elle Woods makes getting into law school look easy. She tackles everything that’s thrown at her with grace and integrity that makes us all think we can change the world as long as we wear enough pink. Elle makes anything seem possible as long as you work hard and stay true to yourself. It’s cliché, yes, but it can be hard to hold onto who you are when you’re faced with a way of life you aren’t used to yet.

Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

Disney sequels are the greatest diamonds in the rough in the entire existence of movies. Well, maybe not, but they’re pretty great. One of my favorites as a kid — and now — was the second Pocahontas film. You only have to listen to “Where Do I Go From Here?” to realize its relevance to leaving for college. Pocahontas has to make some of the toughest decisions she’s ever come across and she has to do it with all eyes on her. Sound familiar to you incoming freshmen?


College is all about taking on challenges. From time-to-time, those challenges come out of nowhere and slap you straight in the face. Or in Juno’s case, right in the womb. It can be a lot to take in, and it can seem like you aren’t prepared enough for any of it. Juno certainly wasn’t ready to have a baby, but she ended up choosing the best path available to her. Getting older is scary, but that doesn’t mean you should completely shy away from it. Who knows? You may learn to enjoy more mature things, like laundry and taking out the garbage! Alright, that’s a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea.

Pulp Fiction

You may be thinking “Pulp Fiction? What does that have to do with college?” and you’d be right, for the most part. The content doesn’t really have anything to do with teens, or college, or anything normal for that matter. Taking the time to watch this film does have its advantages, though. It’s always good to have a few cult classics under your belt that you can discuss with new people (AKA potential friends). It’s always awkward when you’re talking with a group of people and can’t contribute because you don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. That being said, you can pretty much substitute any cult classic you like in this slot on the list, but Pulp Fiction is one of my favorites so it beat out its competitors for my pick.

The Virgin Suicides

Of all the movies on this list, this one wins the award for darkest and most thought-provoking. Even though it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a story of tragedy, its honesty makes it a great fit for your first year of college. Not everything is going to end pleasantly, and sometimes it isn’t okay. What’s really important to remember is that over time, you learn to handle problems you never knew you could overcome, and life goes on.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Nothing says stress relief like a day off, and no one does days off better than Ferris Bueller. Whether it be going to a Cubs game, or visiting the Art Institute of Chicago Ferris spares no extravagance as he gallivants across Chicago with his two buds Sloan and Cameron. He reminds us all to have fun with whatever we do, and to share those experiences with those closest to you.

The Breakfast Club

You meet a lot of people in college. Most of them are different from you. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has a story they wish they didn’t have. People that wouldn’t have been friends in high school become so close you’d think they grew up together. The kids in The Breakfast Club share a bond that no one else understands, regardless of their differences. Shared experiences bring people together, and going to college will give you the opportunity to bond with people from all walks of life.


Change is a common theme when taking off for college. You get your whole life flipped upside-down basically. But fear not! You could be Tristin, the leading man of Stardust. He starts out wanting to retrieve a fallen star for his crush, but ends up finding a whole girl instead. Talk about needing to adjust your plan. Despite his girl-sized setback, Tristin rolls with the punches and decides to take Yvaine (the star girl in question) to his love. However, by the end of the film his whole world gets turned around. Finding a fallen star that isn’t really a fallen star is basically the same as college. If Tristin can make it through, so can you.

Monster’s University

Time to take another step back into childhood with the last movie on the list: Monster’s University. The adorableness is off the charts and brings back a whole lotta feelings for Mike and Sully. #BROTP without a doubt. Besides that, there’s plenty of insight into how classes work in college and how different study habits impact performance in the classroom. Mike, for example, studied his little eyeball off and proved to be one of the best in the class while Sully tried to make it with his raw talent alone and ended up trailing far behind. The whole thing is a reminder that college isn’t the same as high school.

Going to college is definitely a surreal experience. Hopefully, this bunch of movies helps cushion the blow of such a crazy change in your life. Remember, college is all about learning new things and gaining as many memories as you can. Keep your mind open to all its possibilities and you’ll do just fine.

(Images via , , and here.)