Another college semester has rolled around and many are approaching the new academic year with enthusiasm, as new subjects to explore and a calendar crammed with parties and events promise a fresh start. There are others, however, who cast their wary eyes past September to the dark specters of much-dreaded assignments and exams. Then there are freshers, who are nervous about all of the above. 

In any case, these early weeks can be jarring. Readjusting to early rises, getting through a never-ending list of readings, and losing yourself in the twisted maze of the Newman Building can be stressful. So, what better way to settle into the new term than by ignoring all that rubbish entirely?

To aid your procrastination and help you avoid the dangers of excess thinking, here are five college-themed films and television shows to ease you back into college life. 

Community (2009)

Boasting a terrific cast, whip-smart writing (courtesy of, amongst others, Dan Harmon, the creator of Rick and Morty), and well-rounded characters that gleam in comparison to the cheap, cardboard cut-out stereotypes marring many a comedy – Community is the definitive college sitcom. The humour is confident and sparky – as the blessed absence of a laugh track can attest, the stories can be wildly inventive, and at its core lies a real warmth and soul that most other sitcoms lack. Given its serialised approach to storytelling, you are better off watching from the start. But if you’re looking to just dip your toes in the water without too much in the way of spoilers, the episodes ‘Contemporary American Poultry’,’Football, Feminism and You’ and ‘Introduction to Statistics’ are brilliant season one examples of the hilarity on offer.

Shithouse (2020)

Less comedy and more thoughtful drama, Shithouse bucks the trend when it comes to the general glut of college films. Instead of focusing on wild misadventures and raucous parties, Shithouse takes a quiet, more human approach. The story follows Alex, an introverted freshman struggling to adjust to his new life away from home. It’s a character-driven, coming-of-age story with echoes of Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” woven throughout its story. A perfect film for any freshers student who may feel a bit overwhelmed and lost amidst their new surroundings.

Bad Neighbours (2014)

Veering in a completely different direction, we have Bad Neighbors. The king of college party films, it chronicles the bitter war that erupts between party animal and fraternity leader Teddy Sanders and not-so-settled family man Mac Radner. The best of the jokes hit right in your gut, and the worst will still give you chuckles. With vengeful pranks, wild set pieces, and gloriously over-the-top characters, this is a comedy with few pretensions beyond keeping you entertained for ninety minutes … and what could be more noble than that?

The Social Network (2010)

(Queue the eye-rolls) Yes, I know, it’s a rather obvious choice, isn’t it? Everyone has seen it, but some films can be as warm and cosy as an old blanket … not this film, though; it seethes with lies and deceit, plots and schemes, jealousy and betrayal. I recommend it as a comfort for all those poor, unfortunate souls sitting group projects this semester. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few who emerge unscathed, but odds are you’ll find the backstabbing, treachery and general chaos of Facebook’s founding painfully relatable.

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

Directed by Richard Linklater of Boyhood fame, this is a delightful hangout film following the triumphs, trials and tribulations of a university basketball team in 1980s Texas. It’s a slice-of-life sort of film that perfectly captures the easy-going freedom that college has to offer. There are no grand antagonists, no boiling rivalries or bitter conflicts, it’s a chill, feel-good film that wanders through its pastiche of university life without a care in the world

Joshua McCormack – Reporter