You probably know firsthand that school is a place of extremes. There are awkward situations and triumphs galore. That’s why the excitement of any high school and college lends itself well to Hollywood. So here they are, the best films ever made about school:
10. The Emperor’s Club. Similar to popular Dead Poets Society, this film’s message isn’t just to seize the day, but to try to live a life of truth. A bold task for any high school flick.
9. Revenge of the Nerds. A comedy classic that chronicles a nerd crusade against the in crowd. A must-see.
8. The Social Network. The award-winning film about Mark Zuckerberg’s college days and his colossal invention: Facebook.
7. Good Will Hunting. An emotional story about a 20-year-old blue-collar worker who is forced to go to therapy and study advanced mathematics in order to avoid jail.
6. High School Musical. A group of kids dance down the hallways of a high school singing catchy songs. Sounds like Glee. Except not. In reality, HSM paved the way for the schoolyard musical. It’s also a quite a guilty pleasure.
5. The Breakfast Club. Out of all the films on this list this is probably the closest to vintage, as it shows the good time you can have even when trapped in detention. Definitely expect to feel nostalgic when you watch it.
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter? Of course. Hogwarts is as much a school as any other, complete with challenging courses, zany teachers, and just the right amount of teen angst.
3. Mean Girls. One of the most a quotable movies of all time, this one fearlessly mines the depths of high school, with plenty of laughs to spare. With a script written by comedic juggernaut Tina Fey, what did you expect?
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Here, the age-old quest of skipping out on a day of school is taken to the max, complete with a show-stopping parade, a cruising convertible, and the attempted avoidance of a particularly cantankerous principal. Perfect.
1. School of Rock. Perhaps the best movie ever made about rocking out, it’s also the best one about the classroom. At any rate, it’s definitely the loudest.
While college is a place to make lifelong friends, carve out a path for your future, and to pig out in the dining hall, it’s also a place where you can–and should–immerse yourself in academics. Obviously. Think of it this way: college is the land of opportunity, so embrace it. Below are some examples of lectures and conversations that show just how awesome the academic side of college can be:
1. Justice. What’s the Right Thing to Do? In this Harvard University class titled Moral Reasoning, professor Michael Sandel asks an impossible question: If you had to choose between killing one person to save the lives of others or doing nothing, what would you do? On the flip side, what would be the right thing to do? Find out the answer:
2. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. In this scientific yet accessible lecture, Leonard Susskind of Stanford University outlines and interrogates Einstein’s most famous finding. It’s exciting stuff. Seriously.
3. Organization of Body. What hits closer to home than your own body? (Hint: nothing). With this in mind, you might want to check out the University of California, Berkeley’s own Marian Diamond discuss general human anatomy with her Integrative Biology 101 class.