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5 Movies Every College Freshman Should Watch

The first year of college can be rough. Right about now your son or daughter is probably having lots of anxious thoughts like, "Why am I here?" and "Will I get through this?" and "Can I make ramen in the toaster oven?"

Sometimes all it takes to ease their minds is to see something they can relate to, inspires them or gives them some perspective on their new world. Here are five movies that take place in college that might give them some food for thought and maybe show them that they're not alone.

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(I didn't include that perennial college favorite "Animal House" because we don't want to encourage these impressionable kids to spend their time at naked drunken dorm parties—although let's face it that's probably what they're doing right this very minute.)

1. "The Social Network"

Besides the fact that this is a really good movie, I think the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of the monster that is Facebook goes to show that being an awkward outsider isn't necessarily a bad thing. Forget those stupid frat parties; instead hole up in your dorm room and invent something on the Internet that ends up making you a billionaire—and leads to a very successful motion picture being made all about you.

2. "Pitch Perfect"

Sure it's got a great soundtrack (weren't you humming "Don't You Forget About Me" for days afterward?) but this movie also serves a very important purpose: vindication for every art and performance major who was ever looked down on in college. If you want to dance or paint or sing a cappella with your besties, you should just go ahead and do it, even if everyone keeps asking you what your "real major" is. Side note: Lady Gaga was a music major in college and that didn't turn out too badly for her.

3. "Legally Blonde"

It's easy to dismiss this as fluff and completely detached from reality, but who can resist cheering on Elle Woods as she cleverly and inexplicably finds a way to gain admission to Harvard Law. Yes, it's just to win back her slimy boyfriend, but along the way she realizes what a douche he is and moves on and up with the help of her loyal friends. See, you can do anything with a fearless determination to be yourself and your trusty college crew by your side.

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4. "Drumline"

Entering college freshmen should watch this for all of the reasons that "Pitch Perfect" is on this list, and also because it's one of the few films to feature the black college experience. It's about overcoming adversity, following your dreams and that sometimes the football game is just something that happens before and after the halftime show. Also, this movie will guarantee you'll never look at the band geeks in the same way ever again.

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5. "Good Will Hunting"

It's a great movie with an outstanding script and Robin Williams' moving performance, but the real-life inspiration comes from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's first screenplay getting an Academy Award. Apparently Affleck left Occidental College after his creative writing teacher ridiculed an early draft of "Good Will Hunting," leaving us all to wonder what was going through that teacher's mind when Ben and Matt were on stage accepting their Oscar. This is not an endorsement to drop out, but more a lesson about believing in yourself and your work. Stay in school, kids!

Photographs by: MovieFone

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