Well, fellow seniors, we are standing at the precipice of something very terrifying and awesome. But, as we had cartoons in our childhoods, such as the lineups of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and angsty books for our high school years, such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, we have films to guide us through these stressful and uncertain times.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Andy Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway before people hated Anne Hathaway, originally arrives in New York to be a journalist after college, but instead becomes a minion (okay, assistant) to Meryl Streep’s Anna Wintour-esque Miranda Priestly. The go-to movie in describing horrible bosses and crappy first jobs, Miranda has Andy running around New York City doing ridiculous tasks, such as the infamous Harry Potter manuscript incident. This deliciously snarky movie will put your first job into perspective. Data entry isn’t so bad when at least your boss calls you by your own name.
The Paper Chase (1973)
Another law-school movie, but like with “Legally Blonde,” the essence of this movie can also be applied to grad and medical school. Incidentally, this movie also takes place at Harvard Law School. Hart (Timothy Bottoms) arrives at Harvard Law and is challenged by his tough professor Kingsfield (John Houseman). Hart begins to date a girl named Susan, but learns that Susan is Kingsfield’s daughter, so he uses her to get back at his professor. Like “The Devil Wears Prada,” this movie is essential if you need perspective. You’ll be under a lot of pressure in law school, but may you never sit in your underwear with a friend, surrounded by paper, obsessing over a grueling professor.
St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
Starring the famous Brat Pack, “St. Elmo’s Fire” is like if the kids from “The Breakfast Club” graduated college and became more insufferable. (The Breakfast Club and the Brat Pack even share a few members–hello, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy!) This movie follows seven friends as they try to romance each other, follow their dreams and find out who they really are as people whilethey are caught between the rigors of college and the responsibilities of adulthood. It’s a good movie to watch if you’re worried about friendships after college, but be warned, this movie is so blatantly 80s that the DVD comes with its own little Members Only jacket and neon makeup (I’m guessing).
Legally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is a perky sorority president whose WASP-ily named boyfriend Warner Huntington III dumps her before he goes to Harvard Law School. She initially gets into and attends Harvard Law School to win him back, butdiscovers a passion for law that makes her happier than a relationship withWarner Huntington III (you really have to say his full name every time you mention him) ever could. This movie is a tad … girly, since major exposition scenes take place in a nail salon and there is a Chihuahua who wears clothes. But if you ever feel like law, medical or grad school is too difficult or you don’t belong there, watch this movie and you will feel uplifted. And fabulous.
The Graduate (1967)
Raise your hand if you’re surprised that I included this. No one? Okay. Ben (Dustin Hoffman) doesn’t know what to do with his life after he leaves college, so he does his father’s business partner’s wife (Anne Bancroft). Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson! Anyway, over the course of his post-grad soul-searching, Ben falls in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine, which pisses off Mrs. Robinson. This movie is necessary if you’re finding yourself develop a “let the chips fall where they may” approach to post-grad life and you need to be proactive in your career and relationships. It is also a warning to not sleep with older sociopaths after you graduate college, or any time, really.
Into the Wild (2007)
If you don’t watch any of the other movies on this list, you must at least watch this one because you and Christopher McCandless will both be Emory grads. Emile Hirsch plays McCandless, who gave away his life savings to charity after hegraduated from Emory to travel to Alaska and be Thoreau-ghly immersed in the wilderness. Even if you know McCandless’ story by heart after four years of having people tell you, “You know who else went to Emory? That ‘Into the Wild’ guy,” this movie has some interesting gems in the form of a pre-“Twilight” Kristen Stewart and a pre-“The Hangover” Zach Galifianakis. A must-see movie to live vicariously through McCandless when you have those “eff it all” moments.
So, there you have it. No matter what direction you take after college, Hollywood has your back. Whether you have the Mother of All Internships, are going to Harvard Law School (apparently the only law school that exists, according to movies) or will be finding your footing elsewhere, there’s a movie for that.
–By Grace Cummings