Holiday Break To-Do: Watch These 5 Classic "Going to College" Films {guest post}

Today a freelance writer who recently discovered my blog is sharing five going-to-college movies now considered classics.  Before this list, I'd only seen (or heard of!) Toy Story 3.  Guess I'll be watching some Netflix over Christmas break!

Holiday break is quickly approaching. It’s time to start planning how you will spend your time off. One entertaining way to spend your evenings is by watching a few good movies at home with family and friends. The following five movies tell timeless stories about growing up and making big life changes; stories that everyone can relate to. Also known as “coming of age” films, all of these flicks are also American film classics.

American Graffiti
Released in 1973, American Graffiti is about teenage life in the early 1960s. It tells the story of a group of teenagers who recently graduated from high school, and their adventures during one summer night on the town. Two of Hollywood’s greatest actors of all time, Harrison Ford and Ron Howard, have roles in the film, but what really make this movie so enjoyable are its soundtrack, costume design and settings. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and was also nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It is rated PG.

Breaking Away
Released in 1979, Breaking Away tells the story of four working class teenagers who have come to a crossroads in life. They’ve just recently graduated from high school and have to make the decision to either go to college or get a regular blue-collar job. The boys quickly find inspiration by forming their own cycling team and racing against the wealthy fraternity teams in the annual university cycling race. Breaking Away is ranked eighth on the List of America’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies, and it won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was also nominated for Best Picture. It is rated PG.

Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society was released in 1989. Set in 1959, the film tells the story of a prep school English teacher who uses poetry to teach self-confidence, self-expression and wisdom. This new-found confidence leads his students to do things they didn’t have the courage to do before. Unfortunately, this leads to disaster for one student, but the moral of the story is everlasting. The movie won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, as well. It is rated PG.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This classic John Hughes film was released in 1986 and tells the story of Ferris Bueller, a high school senior who decides to skip school one day and tour Chicago. He brings along two of his best friends, Cameron and Sloane, and the three spend the entire day looking for fun, while trying to avoid getting caught. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has been a hit with audiences since it first hit theaters, and today, it is still one of the most popular comedy films of all time. It is rated PG-13.

Toy Story 3
This one may come as a surprise, but Toy Story 3 is actually not just a movie for kids. In fact, the film’s storyline grew up as the main human character, Andy, did. For this reason, the movie can be enjoyed by all ages; even older adults will find it moving. Originally released in 2010, Toy Story 3 begins with Andy packing up and moving away to college. Andy doesn’t want to give his toys away, so he puts them in the attic. However, his mom finds them and gives them away to a nearby daycare. The film tells the story of the toys’ journey to their eventual new home. This film won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. It is rated G.

Happy Holidays to all!

Caroline Ross is a freelance writer for several education and career websites, including Although her writing often focuses on recent education news and trends in learning, she also enjoys sharing information and advice on just about anything! Caroline welcomes your questions and comments below.


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