15 Best College Movies That Prepare You For Campus Life

Are you preparing to get into college and have little or no clue what college life feels like? Grab the popcorn and relax with these college movies that will hint at what it feels like to live the life of an undergrad.

College is one of the most vital formative stages of your adult life. Of course, it is a time most people experience a taste of freedom away from home into the world without restriction from parents.

And maybe, college movies exaggerate college life a bit but there is no better way to feel what it’s like to be in those four walls of the university.

You probably might wonder what movies you should see before college.

So, in this article, we have compiled a list of the best movies that will crack you up and give you a better picture of college life this 2023.

Look through the table of contents for an overview of what to expect in this article.

Why Should I watch College Movies?

College films give you a better sense of the on-campus experience as told by actors and scriptwriters.

Of course, most actors try to mirror the different personalities that get admitted to the university. So, they feature their lifestyles, relationship, and also challenges they face while adapting to campus life.

I remember watching some movies where I could see myself in the eyes of the character that was featured as he tried to adapt to college life and women.

I’m sure you can relate to that too.

So, a few things that college films help you learn are:

  • To build better relationships.
  • To better empathize with other people.
  • Understanding firsthand the dynamics of the campus experience.

Who Can Watch University Movies?

You can be a high schooler preparing to go to college. Or a graduate that wants to relive the university experience and have a good laugh. You can also be a parent looking to recommend a college movie for her kids.

In general, there are many lessons about college life you can pick up from watching university films. Of course, even if you are just starting your freshman year.

Is College Like the Movies?

The movies try their best to capture the on-campus experience of various personalities in college. Although movies exaggerate what really happens on campus, they capture the fundamental activities you can expect going into the university.

But how much of what you see in the movie is actually accurate?

Or Is Hollywood just playin’ you?

Most college films tell you a little white lie, especially about how easy it is to get into Ivy League schools. It’s really hard to get into Ivy League schools. Also, don’t expect to be best friends with your roommate. You may never even talk to each other for a very long while!

Does Tv and Movies Affect College Students?

In reality, movies affect the way we see life. So, TV and movies are a great way to experience college life virtually.

This inadvertently affects students’ thoughts and performance even when they enter college. If they spend their time watching bad college movies, then surely they will be distracted and it will hamper their studies.

Where Can I Find Good College Movies?

There are various places to get great college films. Some people even prefer to pick up movies from rental stores to add to their collection. But, the best place to stream your movies is Netflix.

Here are other channels that will let you watch free HD movies online:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Google Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Popcornflix
  • Vimeo

List of Best College Movies of All Time

Of course, there are some all-time top Hollywood college movies that can tickle your fancy but, for the sake of this post, we have picked the 15 best college films on Netflix that give you a better view of campus life.

#15 Accepted (2006)

In this movie, Justin Long is the character of a high school slacker who’s rejected by every school he applies to. So, he opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown property near his hometown.

This is one of the funniest college movies of all time but also teaches a vital lesson. Getting rejected by any college of your choice will pain you but you shouldn’t give up just yet. There are always great colleges that will be right for you.

#14 The House Bunny (2008)

A Playboy bunny, Shelley, is kicked out of the mansion and seeks new work and a place to stay. She gets a job managing an unpopular sorority and learns the values of what makes a sisterhood in a sorority as she becomes their house mother.

In this comedy movie, you learn a lot about sorority life and parties on campus.

#13 The Internship (2013)

Age is just a number as two men not-so-fresh out of college enroll in an internship program where they enter fierce competition with fresh graduates to work at a top company.

This movie sheds light on post-grad life, internships, group work, community building and the fierce competition in the job market.

So, this is a Netflix college movie definitely worth watching.

#12 Rudy (1993)

This movie was set in 1993 and featured Sean Austin “Rudy” who comes from a small town where people just mind their own business. In this college film, Rudy always wanted to play college sports but was always ridiculed because of his small size.

Nevertheless, this lad proves everyone wrong in the end. So, this movie teaches a lot about college sports and achieving your dreams despite what the world says.

#11 The Social Network (2003)

This college tech movie tries to highlight the life of a Harvard student and computer genius who has an idea. And, what starts as a small and interesting project turns this student into a billionaire in just 6 years. But becoming a self-made billionaire and creating something the entire world uses comes with a huge set of personal and legal issues.

The social network is a must-watch if you want to venture into student entrepreneurship, tech, computer programming. It also puts the Ivy League school culture under the spectacle too.

#10 The Great Debaters (2007)

In this inspiring college film based on a true story, Wiley College debate coach Melvin B. Tolson attempts to provide his black debate team members with the same opportunities and advantages as their white rivals.

Set in the 1930s south, Tolson’s journey proves difficult as racism strives to water down the spirit of healthy competition.

Definitely, this is one of the most heroic college movies on Netflix that encourages team spirit.

#9 Life Of A Party (2018)

Here, movie star “Melissa McCarthy” plays the role of an overbearing “nontraditional” student, i.e., the middle-aged person going back to school. They’re often annoying in real life, but they’ve definitely got a story to tell and Deanna’s (McCarthy) is particularly heartbreaking: Her husband (Matt Walsh) dumps her on the day they drop their daughter (Molly Gordon) off at her sorority for her senior year.

McCarthy moves into the house and enrolls, of course, and she surprisingly plays the “straight” character in an ensemble of weirdos, including Gillian Jacobs as a fellow returning student (she’s internet famous for being in a coma for years).

So, Deanna does college right, giving everything a vigorous try and engaging in various adventures and fun life in college. The truth is that many adults have found out that getting a college degree is best for them.

This is just one Hollywood comedy-packed university-life movie you don’t want to miss.

#8 Higher Learning (1995)

A college film that highlights the meaning of college education through the eyes of various people from different walks of life, racial tension. In this movie, people tell difficult tales of the vices that go on in the university-the rape, drama, and scandals.

This movie raises awareness about the racial tension one might encounter even while on campus.

#7 Animal House (1978)

Set in a 1962 college, this movie stars Dean Vernon Wormer who is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity but encounters some serious trouble.

This Hollywood movie shines a light on serious issues about college life, politics, parties, and fraternity life.

Hey! You gotta see this movie. I guarantee you’d learn a whole lot. tbh, it’s one of my top favorite college movies of all time. Even the United States Library of Congress has selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

#6 Revenge Of The Nerds (1984)

This university movie shines a light on a group of nerds who were always bullied by the jock frats and similar sororities. So, the campus misfits grow determined to unite and take action to gain back their self-respect.

This storyline is one that makes viewers root for the underdog to take back the glory! You will learn firsthand, about life as a freshman, college cliques and fraternities, dating, and other college relationships.

#5 Pitch Perfect (2012)

In this movie, Anna Kendrick acts the role of “Beca”, a freshman at Barden University who is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much-needed energy into their performance, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

Pitch Perfect is one of the famous college movie sequels on Netflix that teaches about student groups and extracurricular school activities.

#4 Monster University (2013)

Monster University features some adorable monsters going off to university for the first time! These monsters learn the value of working together and finally using their unique abilities, and you will too.

So, this college movie from Pixar takes a critical look at the relationship between Mike Wazowski and “Sully” Sullivan during their days at Monsters University, when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.

#3. The WaterBoy (1998)

This is a film about college life for a football waterBoy who discovers his talent for tackling. And also, he has to overcome the struggles in self-confidence and team playing.

So, this movie highlights parents’ influence on their children’s self-confidence. Also, if you want something, just take the first step, and you are on your way to achieving it.

#2. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

This movie features Julia Roberts acting the role of a female art professor who recognizes great potential in her college students and encourages them to see life through new, progressive eyes.

In this historical movie set in a 1950s all-girls school, you’ll learn quite a bit about college life and women’s struggles in college during the 1950s. While many of the issues addressed might not apply to the modern-day, it shows how teachers impact students and how much college can change one’s future.

#1 Legally Blonde (2001)

Legally Blonde features movie star Elle Woods, a fashionable college sorority queen who her boyfriend dumps. Then, she decides to follow him to law school. Even as an unlikely applicant, she then realizes that there is more to her in law school than just cute looks.

This movie is one of the best movies you’d ever watch that shows you the right attitude towards college life.

So, this college movie featured an Ivy League school, the admission process, and internships.

Frequently Asked Questions

What lessons can I draw from seeing college films?

There are various lessons from college films, from building great relationships to improving self-confidence and overcoming challenges in campus life.

Where can I access college movies?

Popular places you can access college movies are Netflix, Popcornflix, Amazon tv, and YouTube, among others.

What do movies tell about college life?

Movies tell a little white lie about college life. They try to exaggerate college experiences a bit.


Whether you are looking forward to college soon, looking to reminisce about your college days or you’re currently in college and looking to let some steam off with these movies, it will do you good to check out these 15 movies and what they can teach you about college life.


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