After a long, hard day at school or college, it can be tough to think of a way to survive the next day.
If you need a little help in the motivation department, these movies about surviving school and college will show you how the protagonists overcame their struggles and achieved their goals. Check them out below!
#1. 3 Idiots (2009)
The refreshing Indian Hindi-language comedy broke all geographical and linguistic barriers in 2009 with its universal theme of social pressure in the education system.
The film recounts the story of 3 friends who pursue engineering at one of the best engineering colleges in India. But, 2 out of the 3 friends only decided to study engineering due to family and financial pressure. Things take an unexpected (and dramatic) turn as the friends deal with pressures of college, but fret not, as hope prevails in the end!
#2. Legally Blonde (2001)
Blondes really do have more fun, as shown in this romp of a film that cleverly blends humour, empowerment and the law. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon who gives a sparkling performance as Elle Woods, a blonde sorority girl who tries to get back together with her ex-boyfriend by following him to law school. She comes to realise that she has a surprising flair for the legal world and proves herself more than worthy of him.
#3. Mean Girls (2004)
If you can survive the damaging teenage social cliques as depicted in the iconic Mean Girls, you can survive anything.
The cult movie follows 16-year-old homeschooled Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan) who attends public school for the first time. She’s then sucked into the world of the catty Plastics who rule the roost at the high school, and her life is turned inside out when the clique’s actions threaten to damage her for life.
#4. Adiwiraku (2017)
Inspired by the true story of 2 Teach For Malaysia teachers in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Adiwiraku is a triumph of a drama set in the world of education.
The tale sees teacher Cheryl and her colleague try their best to boost their students’ confidence in order to participate in an English choral speaking competition. Passion, hard work and determination fill the hearts of all parties, and the impossible happens when they emerge champions.
#5. Monsters University (2013)
In this prequel to the smash hit movie, Monsters, Inc., viewers are transported back to the college days of monsters Sulley and Mike. While they have a rock-solid friendship and partnership as adults, it’s revealed that they surprisingly started off as rivals when they were younger.
Fights abound and an unexpected turn of events threatens their studies, but the power of loyalty and friendship triumph and cements their status as a power duo.
#6. The Breakfast Club (1985)
The must-see 80s classic props up students from wildly different high school cliques and thrusts them into the same room for a 9-hour Saturday detention. The mix of personalities in the room include the rich little girl Claire, geek Brian, popular wrestler Andrew, rebel John and misfit Allison.
They begin detention trying to write their assigned 1000-word essay on “who you think you are”, but they end up spending the hours talking and opening up to each other. In the end, they survive detention, learning new things about themselves along the way.
#7. Easy A (2010)
If you’re the shy type who usually hides behind your book in school, you’ve probably dreamt of the day you could give your popularity a boost and become well-loved by all.
That’s what clean-cut Olive tried to do when she tells a white lie to her best friend, saying that she lost her virginity over the weekend. However, her fake story takes on a life of its own when it reaches the ears of the school’s biggest gossip. Olive decides to play along and bask in her newfound attention — until the situation gets completely out of control.
#8. Talentime (2009)
Talentime is acclaimed Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad’s last film. Revolving around an inter-school talent search competition and featuring entertaining music and performances, Talentime also showcases the pain and heartbreak a school student can go through.
Melur, a mixed-Malay girl and Mahesh, an Indian student, fall for each other when their paths cross in the Talentime contest. Other contestants, Hafiz and Kahoe, have a slight rivalry, with the latter resenting the former’s singing talent. The unlikely relationships formed and the competitive rivalry between the contestants make for a charged atmosphere at the school.
#9. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
The story may be set in 1953, but the issues Mona Lisa Smile tackles is still refreshingly relevant in the present world.
Julia Roberts takes on the role of an Art History lecturer at a conservative women’s private liberal arts college. She soon receives backlash from her students who wonder why she chooses to teach instead of settle down in matrimony. She’s also judged for her shockingly modern principles (for that era), believing that women should not have to choose marriage over a career. The students eventually learn from her and move on to richer, more improved lives.
After seeing these characters survive school and college, are you all set to take life by the horns and face your troubles? We sure hope you do! Leave a comment below if you have a favourite movie about surviving school that you’d like to share.