Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 20, 2020

Top 5 movies a college student must see

By KEVIN JOYCE | September 20, 2012

College is a highly scrutinized, ridiculed and caricaturized portion of the American experience, and rightfully so. It’s a strange phenomenon: thousands of people just entering adulthood coming together to learn, grow and let’s face it, party. This eclectic mix of seemingly discordant lifestyles that college students have simultaneously led for four years has fascinated filmmakers for decades. Thus, the “college movie” has become a genre of its own. Here are the top five ones you should watch, if you haven’t already, as a college student.

1. Animal House (1979): If you haven’t already seen this masterpiece of debauchery, stop reading this article, put down your bagel from Einstein’s and head back to your dorm/apartment/house to watch it. This is the quintessential college film, a movie that celebrates and embraces the endearing decadence of frat life and shows us the closest college can get to being pure anarchy. Watch this film as an overarching pregame for the rest of your college raging adventures.

2. Old School (2003): A classic in its own right, Old School shows that even the oldest of us have yearnings to return back to the glory days of college life. It’s hilarious and sad, and hopefully it’ll teach you to appreciate what time you do have here. Plus any movie with Will Ferrell shouting the words, “We’re going streaking!” deserves to be on this list.

3. Revenge of the Nerds (1984): A frat film flipped on its head, Revenge of the Nerds shows a group of geeky outsiders attempting to start a fraternity in order to overthrow the classic power structure of the jocks being on top. Along the way they get involved in some side-splitting shenanigans as they try to use their wits and assert their dominance over the brainless but popular Alpha Betas.

4. Accepted (2008): A great movie that deserves to be included in the upper echelon of college movies. It’s got it all: the underdog guy getting the popular but kind-hearted girl, partying, gratuitous swearing, douchey frat bros and stuffy college administrators getting figuratively flipped off. And, of course, Jonah Hill in a hot dog costume telling people to, “Ask me about my wiener...”

5. Back to School (1986): This sometimes overlooked gem stars Rodney Dangerfield as a man following his son to college, after which, needless to say, hilarity ensues. If you liked him in Caddyshack, give this film a shot.

Well there you have it, the top five movies a college student’s got to see. If you’ve seen them all, props to you. If you haven’t, get to it — it’d suck getting caught not knowing where the phrase “Toga! Toga! Toga!” originated from.

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