5 Movies to Inspire You to Succeed in College & Life

By Staff Writer Published on December 20, 2017

These Movies Will Inspire You to Succeed in College & Life

Movies have a way of transporting audiences and teaching lessons that can resonate with our souls in a deep, impactful way. When trying to juggle school, work, family, etc., it’s easy to sometimes feel a little overwhelmed.

Movies can provide not only an escape but encouragement and resolution as well. If you’re in need of a little extra motivation, take a look at any of the following movies.

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward (2000) is a charming tale based on a novel of the same name written by Catherine Ryan. When a middle school social studies teacher challenges the class to create a plan that will change the world for the better, 12-year-old Trevor McKinney devises a clever plan to do just that.

Trevor decides it’s time to “pay it forward.” He does a favor for three people and asks them, in turn, to do a favor for three new people. He stipulates that the favor should be something significant that the recipient can’t do for himself or herself.

The movie is a story of kindness and healing. Be aware that there are many strong emotional moments in the film, both negative and positive. It’s a moving film that will leave viewers feeling bittersweet but hopeful.

Dead Poets Society

This film has been recognized as one of Robin Williams’s most popular films over the past 30 years. The story follows a group of senior boys in a prep school who all take an English class from the unorthodox new teacher, Mr. John Keating (Williams). Keating teaches the boys to seize the day through odd methods such as standing on their desks and ripping out pages from their books. He also emphasizes the importance of poetry.

These unorthodox methods attract the attention of the strict headmaster as well as the students’ parents. The students in Mr. Keating’s class secretly resurrect the old club Keating was in during his time as a student, the Dead Poets Society.

Much like Pay It Forward, this movie is bittersweet and may elicit more than a few tears. It teaches the importance of being true to yourself and making your own life extraordinary every day.

Life Is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella)

This 1997 film takes place in Italy in 1939. The protagonist, Guido, is an endlessly optimistic Jewish man who seeks to win the heart of the beautiful Dora. They marry and have a son, Giosuè. Their happy life is interrupted as WWII begins and the family is taken to a concentration camp.

Guido works hard to hide the horrors of their new reality from his son Giosuè. He convinces the small boy that they are all in a competition to win the most points by performing various tasks and staying hidden.

This story, despite the dark setting, features humor, romance, and beautifully happy moments. Viewers should also expect deeply emotional scenes as well. You might need tissues on hand.

If you need motivation to stay positive and move forward in the face of hardship, this movie is for you. You can view this Italian film with subtitles or watch a version that is dubbed in English.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Inspired by a true story, this follows Chris Gardner, a hard-working man, and his son, who become homeless. Throughout the film, Chris fights for a better life. This story shows the hard-fought fruits of hard work, tenacity, and an unwavering belief in yourself.

After obtaining an unpaid internship at a well-known firm, he works hard to rise into a paid position. Along the way, he and his son struggle to survive in homeless shelters.

The movie can be difficult to watch at times with emotional scenes with seemingly unyielding obstacles, but that makes the happy ending all the sweeter.

Remember the Titans

This film may be one of the most-loved underdog stories ever told. In the heat of desegregation, Herman Boone is assigned as the new head coach at T.C. Williams High School. Boone’s appointment was controversial, as he is a black man coaching a team of both black and white boys.

The team struggles to bond together because of racially-charged confrontations. Boone’s strict coaching and motivational leadership eventually help them come together as a team. Just before the season starts, Boone is told that if he loses one game, he’s out.

This film tackles difficult themes of growing up, sacrifice, and racism in a compelling, emotional retelling of a true story.

All of these movies can help push you to become the best version of yourself and can motivate you to continue your schooling.