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Our team at NatWest Student Banking has put together a list of six of the most motivating movies for students to help keep your mind focused and remind you of the importance of learning. We hope that these films can motivate you on one of those days when you’re feeling low about your studies.
Take a look at our essay refuting the five most common movie stereotypes about college life.
1. Dead Poets Society (1989)
As John Keating, an eccentric English teacher at Welton Academy who utilizes his love of poetry and classic literature to break down Welton’s stifling walls, Robin Williams is in top form. Keating encourages his students to’seize the day’, defy the school’s rigid norms, and be who they actually are.
There are many heartwarming passages in the film, but this one, in which Keating’s students sing, “Oh Captain, My Captain,” is sure to make your hair stand on end.
2. The Pursuit Of Happiness (2006)
For Chris Gardner, the real-life story of how he went from sleeping on the subway to being a millionaire founder of his own brokerage firm is told in The Pursuit Of Happiness.
Chris, a tireless worker who never misses an opportunity, rises up the ranks from medical equipment salesperson to financial whiz in a matter of years. Chris’ tale is a perfect example of why you should never give up, no matter how difficult things become.
3. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Matt Damon’s portrayal as Will Hunting, a 20-year-old math genius with a history of street fights and run-ins with the law, is flawless. The movie demonstrates the power of a determined underachiever to change his or her fortunes.
It’s during Hunting’s therapy sessions with psychotherapist Sean (Robin Williams) that we first see his defenses come down and his genius begins to shine.
4. School of Rock (2003)
Here, Jack Black stars as a struggling musician who, via a combination of impromptu interviews, Led Zeppelin riffs, and his own unbridled passion for music, manages to transform a group of jaded upper-class youths into a mini-rock band.
The film was never going to be a contender for the Best Picture Oscar, but it’s a fascinating example of how even the most unlikely of people can be changed for the better by education.
Watch Jack Black use song as a teaching tool.
Those of you who loved the film when it originally came out may be interested in this shot, which was taken when the cast recently reunited for a celebration of the film’s 10th anniversary:
5. Freedom Writers (2007)
Inspired on Erin Gruwell, an inner-city teacher who developed a unique method of teaching that helped students from low-income families rise through the ranks, this film was released in 2007.
Hilary Swank portrays Erin, a lady driven by a deep desire to learn, and she does an excellent job. It’s a joy to watch how her students’ lives and fortunes change when they get serious about their education.
6. Stand and Deliver (1988)
Stand and Deliver, based on a true incident, follows the tale of Jamie Escalante, a math teacher who quits his job to work at a school known for its unruly children and a strong emphasis on order above instruction. Escalante’s students progress from failure to success over the course of two school years, culminating in a triumphant graduation in which they all pass their advanced calculus tests.
Academic achievement can be achieved by anyone, regardless of their history or current situation, as demonstrated by Stand and Deliver. The narrative shows that no matter what you’ve been told in the past, anything is possible.
The NatWest Student Banking staff have compiled a list of the six most inspirational films to help you stay motivated in the classroom.
Take some time off to watch one of these movies if you find yourself disillusioned with your course or if the homework is too much for you to stomach.
Yes, I’m loving it! Check out our piece on the most common misunderstandings about university in movies here.
More movies? Yes, please!
7. The History Boys (2009)
To get into the prestigious universities of Oxford or Cambridge, a class of rowdy and charismatic boys teams up with their two oddball teachers. In the end, the lads discover that their rambunctious nature is what sets them apart and makes them an ideal addition to their upcoming institution.
8. The Social Network (2010)
In an attempt to fit in with specific Harvard social circles, two pals decide to document their whole college experience on the internet. Instead, the individuals they tried to get associated with turn against them and turn them into targets. The influence of social media should not be underestimated, in any case.
9. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
Reviving her vocation as an opera singer, she joins a Catholic school’s drive for state championship glory. With the correct support, any kid may find their place in the classroom.
10. Educating Rita (1983)
Rita, a newlywed, makes the conscious decision to finish her degree. As a result, she meets a new teacher who sparks her enthusiasm in learning new things, which causes problems at home. You never become too old to continue your education, and Rita agrees with this sentiment.
11. Starter for 10 (2006)
Brian, a first-year student at Bristol University, aims to avoid any scrapes or bruises. Brian won’t be able to get his hands on a copy of this 1985 novel. He realizes that it is best to avoid cheating while in college…
12. The Breakfast Club (1985)
There are five pupils from different social classes detained on Saturday. Their similarities become increasingly apparent as the day progresses. Often, the differences between people are superficial, and preconceptions can be formed based on something as superficial as clothing choices.
13. Monsters University (2013)
Mike Wazowski and James P Sullivan (Sully) meet at Monsters University in this prequel to the 2001 current Disney hit, Monsters Inc. In the beginning, they were arch-enemies who became closest friends. Monsters, too, require a little bit of instruction.
14. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Tom, one of the brightest young brains in his generation, decides to forgo a career as a professor or researcher in favor of working for the Department of Defense. As a result of this shift, Tom realizes that success comes at a high price.
15. 21 (2008)
As a means of funding their education, MIT students travel to Las Vegas to study card counting under the tutelage of a professional instructor. It gets bad when the kids get caught up in their own lies. In some cases, math can be useful.
16. The Theory of Everything (2014)
Stephen Hawking’s life story as he establishes his legacy as a university student. The direction of his life is irrevocably altered when he acquires motor neuron disease while in college. One of the best stories ever to show how powerful our minds are.