6 Movies You Should Watch Before Graduating College

The home stretch of senior year is generally a great time to enter existential crisis mode. Here are a few movies that may or may not provide you with some insight* as you enter the next phase of your life.

*I apologize how demanding the title made this whole thing sound. You should watch whatever you want. People enjoy different movies for different reasons, and for a 23 year-old to talk about them in an ivory tower, “I know stuff” sort of way seems dishonest to both you, the reader, as well as movies in general. What I take away from a movie is probably gonna be a bit different than what you take away from a movie, because I just ate a great chicken cutlet sandwich and I’m in a great mood so am obviously gonna like the movie. It’s all relative. That’s #art. Art. Yay art. 

1. Swingers


Take articles about Tinder etiquette and text analysis, and apply it to the 90s. This is what Swingers mostly is — a thorough take on relationships, breakups, and the postgraduate dating scene that’s just as relevant 20 years later.

2. Clerks


For the almost college graduate, aimlessness predicated on having #deep opinions is a pretty big theme.

Most 18-23 year-olds don’t exactly go full Randall (probably a good thing), but his aphorism and general vibe is something many a 21 year-old has, and yearns to explore further.

3. Tiny Furniture


This is the thing Lena Dunham did that helped make her Lena Dunham. Tiny Furniture deals with a very specific subsection of NYC culture, but the themes are certainly universal — it tells the story of a girl returning home after graduating college, with pretty much zero plan for the future.

When I watch Girls, characters will have sharps quips that make me think “ah. that is very true.” Tiny Furniture is of that same mold.

4. Take Me Home Tonight


I went and saw this movie during a college spring break. A friend from school was visiting, and we figured this would be a good way to pass the time and tell ourselves that we did something that night. Neither of expected to really like the movie, but it was applicable to our age demo and was said to have a solid soundtrack.

We both ended up being big fans of Take Me Home Tonight. It’s not gonna make you rethink the world and your life’s purpose, but it really captures the helplessness you feel as someone trying to do something in the world, despite having no idea what that something is. Vastly underrated.

5. Slacker


Every school has those people that stick around. You’re not exactly sure why they’re still around, and you’re not exactly sure whether to admire them or feel bad for them.

Through small, interrelated stories about people in a subsection of Austin, Slacker touches upon the same things all the movies on this list do, but in a very unorthodox way. Instead of focusing on a small group of specific characters, Slacker focuses on a world and its very distinct mood.

6. The Puffy Chair


Dealing with people gets to be increasingly difficult at this stage of life — you’re transient, you’re starting to make your mark on the world, and maybe the way you’re making that mark is a bit different than what people close to you wanted or expected.

The Puffy Chair is a very up-close look at managing difficult relationships, all in a time where no one really has any idea what they’re gonna be doing a few years, let alone months, down the line. It can be a difficult watch, but definitely a rewarding one. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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