The 13 Best College Movie Lessons

It's that time of year. Time to buy a new MacBook instead of a new binder, and to get ripped off at the campus bookstore. Yes, terrified high school graduates everywhere are packing up their favorite blankies and backpacks and are heading off to start the next chapter in their lives.

I remember leaving for college. It was simultaneously the most exciting and daunting time in my life. I didn't know anyone, so I was forced to meet new people and try to forge friendships, all the while scoping out the best fraternity parties. My mom didn't go to college, so I couldn’t ask her for tips about how best to adjust and not look like a loser in the process. I was forced to turn to any avenue I could for advice about how to survive that first semester.

My friends offered no guidance because they too were in the same scary boat. My teachers encouraged me to be myself and embrace the experience, whatever that meant. My only hope was to turn to movies for advice on what the college experience was all about. I didn’t know what to expect before popping in the VHS copies of these movies, but fortunately, I emerged with a somewhat accurate view of what my college days had in store anyway.

Here’s a few of the lessons I learned from college movies.

Good Will Hunting

Although this was set at a prestigious university, it's fair to say the life lesson applies to all institutions: The janitor just might be smarter than you think.

Old School

Aside from realizing an old Trans Am doesn't pull in the ladies like it used to, Old School also taught us that the best parties are thrown by old dudes. A bonus lesson: It's always a good time to go streaking, but it's important to make sure your friends actually join you.

The Social Network

Rowing team guys are hot, but they can't be trusted.

Real Genius

Make sure your research isn't being used to promote terrorism.

The Nutty Professor

Your favorite professor might just have a family of people who look just like him, all of whom especially gassy.

Van Wilder

Never give up. Your 7th year of college might just be the best year.

American Pie 2

This movie introduced us to a new term:"friendly goodbye sex." It also taught us that it's never a good idea. What is a good idea, however, is to know what time your parents will be visiting. Oh, and forget your penis cream.


It's important to make sure your college is legit and not just a dressed up old mental institution.

Road Trip

If you're going to make an illicit sex tape, make sure you don't accidentally send it to the wrong person. It makes for a long drive with friends, and French toast with sugar.

Pitch Perfect

A Capella is not a joke.

Revenge Of The Nerds

Jocks don't like being defeated by nerds. At all. Booger is also the coolest name ever.

Animal House

Food fights are always fun, no matter the decade. Same goes for toga parties.

Legally Blonde

The lovable Elle Woods taught us many things, but most importantly, she taught us that if we ever need to use the restroom, a sorority house is the best place to go because they always have Charmin toilet paper. Sorority girls are strongly opposed to chaffing.

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