For years, I’ve been witnessing my friends effortlessly spending hours at the library, cramming, and stressing about their exams, while I was at the very same library, scrolling for miles on end on Twitter or TikTok. As I was starting my master’s, it started to dawn on me that after all those years of being a university student, I had never really studied like them, nor did I have the slightest clue as to where I could possibly find the drive and motivation to do so.
I was determined to change my ways and so I started a Studygram. I quickly became part of an online community, where I was embraced by diligent students who shared pictures and videos of the prettiest notes, the most aesthetically pleasing bullet journals, and admirable daily routines. Motivated by all those posts, I began romanticising going to campus, doing my readings, taking notes and summarising, sharing every step of my journey with my followers.
One day, I found myself posting a story about the fact I was rewatching Gilmore Girls (for what I think was the 6th time) and after about an episode or two, I caught myself at my desk working on a research paper that had taken me ages to get started on before. That’s when it hit me that even something so simple as watching a series could motivate me to start studying.
Inspired by my ‘What To Watch’-series on Instagram I hereby present you: 10 Series and Movies That Will Make You Want To Study:
Gilmore Girls allows you to follow the life of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a mother and daughter duo who live in a small American borough called Stars Hollow. The dreamy small-town scenery, the delicious goods from Luke’s Diner, Lorelai’s strict parents, and Rory’s never seen before determination to get into Yale are the perfect combination to make you feel productive. On top of that, I think most Studygrammers will agree if I say that Rory Gilmore is an absolute comfort character, with catchy one-liners such as, ‘Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?’
Are you a woman in STEM? Or have you ever dreamed of working for NASA? Hidden Figures should be right up your alley! The main characters Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary are three African American women who can solve the most complicated maths problems. When Russia and the US end up in the Space Race in the 60s, they start working for NASA as mathematicians. Unfortunately, they are repeatedly confronted with the fact they are black women, so they must keep a low profile. Driven by ambition, they try to struggle through the inequality in the hope of ever occupying a high position at NASA, which unfortunately is a process of trial and error… This story is a textbook example of hard work, perseverance, and determination.
If there is one fictional character who is absolutely THAT girl in every way, it’s Elle Woods. As a fashion major, she decides to switch gears to avenge her ex-boyfriend. With some books, a plan, and a killer video essay, Elle starts her application journey for Harvard Law School. Legally Blonde and the sequel Legally Blonde 2 are the perfect inspirational feel-good stories you need to finally get started on those assignments that have been lying around for weeks. And to be honest … Who wouldn’t want to be able to say ‘What? Like it’s hard?’ when asked how they got into Harvard!
Becoming allows you to have a closer look at former First Lady Michelle Obama’s life. After reading her book, which bears the same name as this documentary, I felt empowered both as a woman and as a student. Her remarkable story, her ordinary background, and all the things she has already achieved in life so far serve as an example for all the girls and women who dream of being just as influential one day. If you can’t get enough of women in politics: Knock Down the House follows Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others in their battles against big-money politicians.
Ever thought about what it would be like to drop out and work for a top-notch law firm without a degree? Mike Ross is living that dream! Suits is not just another legal drama, it tells the story of Mike Ross, who accidentally walked into a job interview with Harvey Specter, a high-profile lawyer in New York City. Despite knowing that Mike doesn’t have a degree, Harvey decides to hire him as an associate, based on his ability to memorise legal facts down to the letter. On top of that, the series follows a bunch of other associates as well as paralegal Rachel Zane, portrayed by Meghan Markle.
6.The Devil Wears Prada
Are you an aspiring journalist who dreams of working for Elle, Vogue, or Cosmopolitan? The Devil Wears Prada follows Andy Sachs, a journalism graduate. At her job as an assistant for Runway, a fashion magazine run by Miranda Priestly, she quickly finds out that the fashion industry entails a lot more than she anticipated. In the hopes of ever securing a job as a journalist, she devotes all her time to the job, but at what cost? When her co-worker falls ill, Andy must cover for her on an important trip to Paris fashion week, where she works directly with Miranda Priestly (who, by the way, she is frightened off). This story ticks off all the boxes, it’s exciting, funny, glamourous but most of all motivational! *Miranda Priestly voice* “That’s all.”
7.The Good Wife
I know, I know … I’ve already included two law-related stories in this article, but The Good Wife is just TOO good not to mention. Like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Alicia Florrick decides to turn her life around after experiencing issues in her love life. Instead of an indecisive ex-boyfriend, this series features a husband who is intertwined in corruption and sex scandals. Alicia returns to her previous job as a litigator, to repair her damaged reputation and to provide for her children. The many challenges and ups and downs make The Good Wife an interesting watch for students who want to reinvent both themselves and their motivation to work towards their goals.
I know what you’re thinking ‘oh no, another ugly-girl-in-glasses-trope’ and yes, although that IS true, Ugly Betty portrays the story of a dedicated and driven girl who is dying to breakthrough in the publishing industry but keeps running into a wall because of her unique and somewhat quirky appearance. The struggles Betty faces on both a personal and a professional level are sometimes farfetched, yet so relatable at the same time, the perfect combination for some self-reflection. Betty’s undeniable strength and passion are two qualities we should all possess!
9.Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker was an African American entrepreneur who controlled the haircare business in the United States. The four-part series Self Made showcases her strong, fearless, and ambitious personality. Given that she was born in 1867, her road to success was chockfull of obstacles. However, with each setback, she seemed more determined and ambitious to become a key figure in the same business that went all out to dismiss her. This story is especially motivating because it showcases the struggles, hard work, and effort that was needed for Madam C.J. Walker to claim her throne as the first black female millionaire in the United States. It is nearly impossible not to admire such a strong and inspirational woman.
10.Dead Poets Society
English literature students, this one’s for you! Dead Poets Society is the story of English teacher John Keating, who inspires his students through teaching poetry. His unorthodox teaching methods are not well received by the staff and the parents in the slightest, but they made him incredibly popular with the students. When one of his students finds out that Keating was part of the Dead Poets Society, he reinvigorates the club, sneaking off to a cave to read poetry with his classmates.
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