Lessons can be learned in almost any way, shape or form. Some people prefer to learn the hard way, personally experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly as a way of teaching themselves. Others prefer learning about everything in the safety of a classroom in which a teacher spoon-feeds the class information to absorb and accept. Then there are a select few who enjoy what I would identify as a good mix of both learning methods: witnessing experiences occur to other people, whilst learning from them in the process. The best way to do just this is through movies. I cannot begin to tell you how many incredible life lessons I’ve learned from watching movies. These lessons not only apply to your daily college life, but also well beyond into the future. Here are just a couple of college lessons I learned through watching these timeless movies.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
There were a couple of lessons I learned from watching this classic film. The first and most prominent one was that there is more than meets the eye. When in college, don’t be too quick to judge someone by how they look or act. Get to know them first; you never know what their story may be.
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
In “Mona Lisa Smile,” a new professor is put to the test when her methods are considered inappropriate. Watching this film starring Julia Roberts, I learned to stick up for what I believe in. If you don’t stick up for yourself, you’ll find yourself unable to get the respect you deserve. This goes for both in the college classroom and later, in the office. If you have no backbone, you’ll ultimately only be letting yourself down.
Legally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods was every girl’s role model in 2001 when “Legally Blonde” premiered in theaters. Not only was she bursting with personality, but she also was able to defy all odds and become one of the best lawyers Harvard Law had in her year. You too can defy all odds and create your own legacy while in college. Join a team, start an initiative, make a difference – there’s no such thing as “too late.”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Save Ferris! “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is just another classic film showcasing some of the best ways to enjoy life. Early in the movie Ferris pauses to talk to his audience, as he does often throughout the movie, and makes some very thoughtful observations. He says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” or in short, live in the now and enjoy life.
This is probably the most recently movie that I will reference in this article, but I do it because it makes a very important point. As you watch the main characters go through their ups and downs (but mainly downs), you start to realize that bad things happen and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. How you deal with all of it is another matter. Not everything will go your way come time for college, and you just have to remember that hope is never completely lost.
Stuart Little (1999)
Who else remembers the little white mouse that could speak and skateboard? If there is one thing I learned from this rather inspirational little mouse it’s that every cloud has a silver lining. For everything bad that happens, something good will come out of it. For every little mishap that can happen at college (and trust me, there can be so many), something good will eventually come from it.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
There are times when you just want to curl up on your bed with a bowl full of chips and a soda ready. When those sorts of moments hit you, just remember what Joe the driver said to the young Princess Mia before school: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Though you may not be a Princess (or a Prince), the same rule applies to you. No matter who says what, and no matter what unfolds, nothing can make you feel any less of yourself than you wish.