All grown up: Best entertainment for college students


By The A&E Staff

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Early last summer when Vampire Weekend’s in-your-face double entendre of a song “Diane Young” could be heard at your local Kohl’s or township swimming pool, the band also released its most mature and introspective record to date. On Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend’s members have left campus, are less concerned with “the kids” and genuinely don’t seem to care about punctuation anymore. Instead, themes of mortality, bracing for the banality of life and confronting our maker take center stage. On “Don’t Lie,” the “low click of a ticking clock” looms over frontman Ezra Koenig, but he resolves that “there’s a lifetime right in front of you/ And everyone I know.” This life-affirming sentiment is just one of the many lyrics that is sure to echo those late-night conversations with your roommate that tackle far more gargantuan topics than an upcoming test or weekend plans.

– Shawn Cooke       


HBO’s “Girls” follows four friends in their early 20s trying to survive and thrive in New York City. Each character realizes, in her own way, that after graduation, doing what you love and what is necessary to pay for your lifestyle is rarely the same thing. Like the typical college student in that weird limbo between childhood and adulthood, the girls find that growing up is not always fun or easy. Still, they manage to make the most of their situations and find fun in the most unconventional and innovative places. This show reminds us that young adulthood is one of the most exciting times of our lives.

– Britnee Meiser

“Frances Ha”

Much like director Noah Baumbach’s first feature, 1995’s “Kicking and Screaming,” “Frances Ha” updates the mid-20s crisis for the 21st century. “Ha” provides mumblecore wonderkid Greta Gerwig a proper starring vehicle as the titular character — just a few years before she’ll become the new Ted Mosby. As a struggling 27-year-old dancer, Frances realizes that college wasn’t much more than a safe and sheltered waiting room for the crushing pressures of life. She’s an “undateable,” yet affable, young woman who longs for simpler times when her professional life and friendships weren’t slipping through her fingers. Believe it or not, this one’s quietly hilarious — and it almost ends on an optimistic note.

– Shawn Cooke

“Good Will Hunting”

Every college student knows “that guy” — the one person who needs to be the smartest person in the room and regurgitate fact after fact just to elevate himself above his peers.

Gus Van Sant’s 1997 drama “Good Will Hunting,” starring and written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, features an excellent takedown of “that guy” in one of its best scenes and remains one of my all-time favorite movies. 

Will Hunting is a janitor at MIT, but he is far from ordinary — he’s a genius. So, when Hunting and his buddy Chuckie (Affleck) are scouring the local college bar, a yuppie graduate student comes into the frame and attempts to call Chuckie out for pretending to be a college student.

When Hunting sees this, he proceeds to belittle every aspect of the graduate student’s persona. That diatribe is more than worthy to search on YouTube, but what makes the scene special is the final phrase Hunting utters after he sees the grad student eating with his friends later that night.

It’s a famous and glorious exchange in which Hunting asks the student if he likes apples. The grad student replies yes, to which Hunting pulls out a piece of paper and states that he procured the phone number of a Harvard student, topping it off with, “How do you like them apples?”

The whole film is terrific, but that scene is a magnificent moment of retribution and victory for every college student who ever took a class with “that guy.”

– Dan Sostek