ByJoby Bongco, writer at
Martial arts instructor, walker stalker, movie lover, Disney fanatic, pop culture junkie, MMA enthusiast and all around nerd
Joby Bongco

Back to school time — that crazy time of year where summer is winding down, parents are rejoicing for an empty house and teachers are excited to get paid again. It's also the time students dread and their train of thought can only be summed up by Billy Madison:

I wasn't the biggest fan of starting a new school year. Sure, there were some things that were exciting to look forward to — seeing who's in your classes, meeting the new teachers, hoping someone cute recently moved in and needs a friend — but most of the time, people think of things to dread: homework, less free time for other things, homework, having to study for test, homework, writing papers and homework.

If you're one of those who relate and need a bit of a boost to get in the right mindset, here's a list of school-related movies help get you ready.

Elementary/Middle School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Max Keeble's Big Move, School of Rock, Akeelah and the Bee, Harry Potter 1, Sky High, Matilda, High School Musical

This list of movies is a perfect blend of kid-friendly entertainment, underdog stories and messages about inner strength — all things that are incredibly important when dealing with kids who are around 5–11 years old. It has a pretty solid all-around vibe — nothing too dark or upsetting — and every movie is centered around new beginnings and how to work through even the toughest of situations (not having powers in a superhero school, starting middle school full of bullies, dealing with troublesome teachers, etc).

Although some of these movies are a bit dated (the oldest being Matilda, circa 1996), they are timeless and the overall themes friendship and self worth never get old.

Middle School/High School

Mean Girls, Billy Madison, Dead Poets Society, Breakfast Club, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Remember the Titans

Although this list of movies is much more diverse than the previous one, is more appropriate for kids around 12–15 years old. Despite the different tones and genres, some overall themes in these movies still hold true: the importance of an education, personal growth, embracing everything in this world, and realizing that everyone is not as different as appearances lead you to believe. All these life lessons are great to reinforce within middle school and high school students, especially in a time where equality and bullying are huge issues.

High School/ College

Perfect Score, Charlie Bartlett, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, American Pie, Accepted, Pitch Perfect, Animal House, Old School

Movies for high school and college students aren't centered so much around life lessons (not to say there isn't something to learn from these movies). This group of movies is meant more for reminiscing and nostalgic entertainment — themes like: looking back on the stresses of fitting in, standardized testing, applying to college, and the joys that come from friendship, crazy experiences and coming together for a greater cause. High school and college are the years where a lot of memories are made, and it's always fun to take a trip down memory lane with our without friends present.

Final Thoughts

Being someone out of school for a few years, I tend to look back, remember the old days and really miss some of those times. Life goes by pretty quickly and you can't forget to enjoy the ride while you can. If you still can't wait to be done with school, Billy Madison has some words of wisdom for you:

Got any other movies you would marathon? Leave it in the comments!


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