5 Motivational Movies For Recent Graduates

These movies will give you the courage you need to get off your butt and do something after you have graduated college. Whether you’re job hunting, lost, or waiting for an opportunity, these movies will give you the motivation to reach for your dreams and live the life you were meant to live.

1. Adventureland

This is one of my favourite movies about the post-grad life. It is so honest and a very accurate portrayal of what it feels likes to graduate university and have to move back home and work at low paying job. The movie follows Jessie Eisenberg’s character, James, who is forced to move back home after his parents refuse to pay for his Europe trip and his graduate studies. James lands a job at an amusement park called Adventure Land, where he meets an interesting group of people who will change his perspectives on life and himself. Plus, Kristen Stewart is in this movie, so you should just watch it!

What Makes It Motivational: Often people get stuck after graduating university; they often feel disillusioned and lost. The message of this movie is not to be the person who gets stuck in one place, at one crappy job. Have the courage to move on, even when it seems impossible.

2. Morning Glory

This movie starring Rachel McAdams is such a great example of the post-graduate path. The main character Becky works at a local TV station and gives it her all. She works harder than anyone else, but one day she is suddenly fired. There is a scene in this movie that struck me at my core. If you are currently looking for a job, applying, calling, e-mailing, and begging for someone to notice you, this movie will hit home big time. This film accurately portrays how it feels to be on the hunt for a job and how important it is to work extra hard when you finally receive that dream job.

What Makes It Motivational: This movie understands the struggle of being on the job hunt. The cycle of rejection and obstacles that never seem to end even when that job comes your way. It is honest and real; it will give you the motivation you need to keep going when the odds are against you.

3. Post Grad

Post Grad follows Ryden (played by Alexis Bledel), a recent graduate who moves back in with her parents. Ryden goes on the job hunt, interviews, and ends up working in retail. This movie is a cliché in the sense that it tackles every post-grad problem–but the truth is, we all have been there and many of us are still going through this.

What Makes It Motivational: The motivational aspect of this movie is the lesson of not being sidetracked by others’ success. Every post-grad needs to focus on themselves and their goals. You have to go at your own pace and have the wisdom to acknowledge your own success. 

4. The Devil Wears Prada

There are so many reasons to love this movie–the fashion, Meryl Streep, Stantly Tucci, and did I mention the fashion? But the true spirit of this movie is Andy played by Anne Hathaway. Andy gets a job in her “field”, but it is nothing like what she imagined. It tears her down, it destroys who she is, forces her to deal with people she could not have imagined dealing with; but she makes it through. All the female characters in this movie work hard, they are driven and they don’t sit around waiting for something to happen, they do it.

What Makes It Motivational: The lesson of this movie is you have to be focus, especially as a post-grad, you have to work harder and faster. Sometimes you have to sell a piece of your soul in order to get somewhere in your career. But you have to decide if that’s what you want and if that is worth it in the long run. No matter what choice you make, it is important to understand your own values and morals because it is the decisions we make that show the kind of person we really are. The movie shows that in the real world you will have over demanding bosses and co-workers, but it is important to build tough skin.

5. The Nanny Diaries 

This movie starring Scarlett Johansson follows the character of Annie, who after graduating from university gets a job as a nanny. This is not what she went to school for but this is often the sad reality for so many post grads. The point of this movie is that often, post-grad life is full of odd jobs and working in places you don’t want to work in. This is often the best way to build character and Annie builds a whole set of skills and characteristics that her university career could never have given her.

What Makes It Motivational: The motivational aspect of this movie is that the jobs we take to fill out our time or to waste are often the ones that lead us to where we truly belong, and need to be. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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