Togas and a movie reel: Films for the graduate

While most of us are excited to get our graduation togas on, none of us really know what’s going to happen after we come down from the hill. Some already have job offers from various companies while others are still weighing their options, but the bottom line is: It’s going to be far different from college.


Marathon these movies and experience all the feels of graduation, adulthood, and university life one last time.


  1. The Graduate (1967)

This movie is more than the iconic poster and the scandalous plot. Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is the quintessential example of the lost and dazed character. As he faces questions on his life after graduating, he infamously tries to fill the void of confusion through a relationship with an older lady, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) but finds himself falling for her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross). The thought of facing the world without a syllabus can be crippling, but having the right people by your side might just lead you in the right direction.


  1. Good Will Hunting (1997)

The film follows the troubled Will Hunting (Matt Damon), who works as a janitor in MIT, only to be discovered as a math genius and offered a chance to turn his life around. The only provisions are that he’d need to study mathematics under an MIT professor and undergo therapy with Sean Maguire, played by the late, great Robin Williams. It’s a beautiful film that talks about the importance of love, strong friendships, reaching your potential, and battling your inner demons. College and life after throws a ton of curve balls your way, and if ever you need a little guidance or a few great lines to inspire you to be better, give Good Will Hunting a watch. You won’t regret it.


  1. Legally Blonde (2001)

Endlessly quotable and painfully funny, this early 2000s classic is a lighthearted take on the changes that happen during our academic years, whether it is undergraduate or postgraduate school. With the help of newfound friends, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) goes from ditzy blonde disparaged by other students to a sought-after Harvard Law graduate. It’s a classic movie for aspiring law students but it’s also perfect for anyone who’s getting their #MAGIS on.,h_630,c_limit/a-st-elmos-fire-30-anniversary-(1),h_630,c_limit/a-st-elmos-fire-30-anniversary-(1)


  1. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

The infamous 80s clique known as “The Bratpack” come together in this story to spend their afternoons cruising the streets before proceeding to St. Elmo’s Bar, their favorite college hangout. However, when the day breaks, they must face the reality of adulthood: Mediocre jobs, unemployment, lost love, and much more. The gang realizes they’re not in Georgetown University anymore. A number of us find our best barkada in college, the people with whom we spend lunch with or endure all-nighters. St. Elmo’s Fire tells us that the squad is going to go through some turbulence post-college, but a couple of changes here and there won’t hurt anyone.


  1. Monsters University (2013)

Monsters University, a prequel to the beloved Monsters, Inc. (2001), sees Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) off to college with hopes to make it into the biggest scare company in Monstropolis. Despite a large part of the film focusing on fraternity life, it’s easy to relate to themes like college failure, friendship, just fitting in, and being unsure about the future. It may not be as good as its predecessor, but Monsters University succeeds in showing that students just need to give their all and have hope. Life will pan out just as it should.


College, at one point or another, will be a struggle for everyone, but it can also be full of love, growth, hope and fulfillment. Each graduating senior has had their own story in Ateneo and, as these films show, they’re not only unique and beautiful; the stories are open-ended as well, with the best yet to come.

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