Ten awesome movies about college to get you psyched for the new school year

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Wonder Boys, 2000

Like it or not, it’s time to kick off the new school year!

Whether you’re a senior who finagled a schedule consisting of the easiest courses your school offers or a freshman who’s excited, but overwhelmed, at the prospect of higher education, it’s time to get pumped about being back on campus. To get you geared up and excited, we compiled a list of 10 must-see movies about college life. After all, you need to have something to aspire to in order to ensure that this is the best year ever.

(Don’t forget to click on the links, to see get the cheapest copy of the DVD on BIGWORDS.com. Most are under $5!)

1. Animal House

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I mean, “duh,” right? Animal House is the seminal college flick, filled with drinking, debauchery and, of course, togas. Centered around the fictional Delta Chi Tau fraternity, the film – starring the late, great, John Belushi as a seventh-year student with a GPA of 0.0 – focuses on the frat’s attempts to keep their doors open despite the attempts of the Dean to close it. Any proper marathon of college movies should kick off with this classic.

2. Van Wilder

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If given the choice, most of us would probably kill to extend our college experiences and delay entering the “real world.” Set at the mythical Coolidge College, Ryan Reynolds plays the title character in a film filled with juvenile antics, laughs and a far-fetched attempt by a Peter Pan-esque man to stay in college forever. The movie also features Tara Reid during a time when she was more known for acting than botched plastic surgery.

3. Love Story

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Given that this movie came out in 1970, chances are good that today’s college students haven’t seen – or even heard of – Love Story … but you should. Living up to its title, the movie introduces us to star-crossed lovers at Harvard University and Radcliffe College who are separated by class lines. They fall in love and marry against their families’ wishes … only later to learn that one of them is terminally ill. The tearjerker was named number nine on the American Film Institute’s list of “the most romantic films of all time.”

4. The House Bunny

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Ok, so this film might not exactly be “classic” material and is admittedly a waste of Anna Faris’ comedic prowess, but we need to throw in a comedy for the ladies. The movie chronicles aspiring Playmate, Shellie’s, decent from one of Hef’s top gals to the house mother of a sorority of misfits. If you guessed this film would end with lessons on superficiality and friendship, then you are correct.

5. Wonder Boys

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Staring Michael Douglas alongside a cast of a pre-rehab Robert Downey, Jr. and pre-Tom Cruise Katie Holmes, Wonder Boys tells the story of an English professor struggling to finish his second novel as his life unravels around him. This comedy/drama features themes of love, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled dreams, and is perfect for a night when you need a reminder that “it could be worse.”

6. Rudy

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Need to feel inspired? Look no further than the saccharine – and often factually inaccurate – football flick chronicling Notre Dame student Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger’s quest to someday play for the Fighting Irish. Story dramatizing aside, Ruettiger’s determination is just as inspiring in reality as on the big screen, and the movie can get anyone from a little leaguer to intramural sports participant fired up before a big game.

7. Old School

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Can we really put together a list of the top college movies without including one from a group of actors known as the “Frat Pack?” No way. Centered around a group of 30-somethings who decide to relive the best time of their lives by forming an unconventional fraternity of misfits, the film features Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughan at their best as men who turn their backs on their lives as upstanding citizens to host Jello fights.

8. St. Elmo’s Fire

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Before the Frat Pack, there was the Brat Pack – who, in general made much more depressing movies than Todd Phillips films. Among them is the classic St. Elmo’s Fire, which revolves around a dysfunctional group of Georgetown University graduates who grapple with love, drugs, loss and every in-between as they try to move on from college life. If you find the subject matter depressing, take heart in the fact that you’ll get a good laugh out of the 80’s fashion and haircuts.

9. 21

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If only we could all be brilliant MIT students making a killing counting cards in Vegas, maybe we wouldn’t be facing a student loan crisis. (Kidding.) The film is – apparently – based on a true story chronicled in the book Bringing Down the House. Remember, kids, no matter how dire your financial circumstances may seem, counting cards is illegal – and chances are, you can’t pull it off, anyway.

10. Revenge of the Nerds

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Before the guys on The Big Bang Theory and start-up millionaires made being a geek kinda cool, owning a pocket protector was a sure-fire way to write your own death sentence. This movie follows a group of nerds’ attempt to get back at their tormentors through a series of pranks that humiliate the jocks and frat boys on campus. Nerd power!

Seriously though. Demi’s apartment…

Meghan Schalk

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