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Netflix Guru: Inspiration in Desperation


Sagging eye bags, sweatshirts and unwashed hair are uncanny symptoms of pre-midterm week. During this stressful time, Netflix can be the remedy to all problems. These motivational films will ease deadline panicking.

Good Will Hunting:

Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a poor 20-year-old from the south side of Boston, is a hidden genius. After another public misdemeanor, M.I.T. professor, Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) agrees to bail Will out of jail on two conditions. One, that Will assists Gerald in his mathematical work. Two, he must see a therapist. Will’s mundane life is soon changed with the help of his love interest, Skylar (Minnie Driver), his loyal best friend, Chuckie (Ben Affleck) and his therapist, Sean (Robin Williams). His arch from an aggressive janitor scrawling math problems on bathroom mirrors to someone who takes control of his destiny proves well worth the watch.

Best time to view: Do not watch this before or after a math exam. The best part about Good Will Hunting’s math equations is watching Matt Damon solve them. Luckily, no other subjects were harmed in the making of this film. Therefore, viewing it before/after any other exam would do the trick. If the plot isn’t inspiring enough, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote Good Will Hunting after Damon failed a playwriting class at Harvard, and became the youngest recipients of the Best Writing (Original Screenplay) Oscar for the script in 1998.

Beyond The Lights

The pressure to maintain a specific image almost sends pop singer, Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), over the edge. When police officer, Kaz (Nate Parker), comes to her rescue, Noni gains the courage to break away from her old life and rediscover herself. The relationship between Kaz and Noni holds importance, but ultimately it is Noni who chooses to save herself. This empowering theme is heart warming and showcases the power of self-acceptance.

Best time to view: The epic soundtrack and storyline will make this film impossible not to watch on repeat. Beyond The Lights possesses a colorful and theatrical quality that should be enjoyed to the fullest. Stressing about an exam while watching the film will ruin the experience. Therefore, watching the film after an exam is the way to go. The glitz and glam of Noni’s famous life is intriguing, but the inspiring element surfaces when this is stripped away. Usually, films glorify the star studded life, so finding a film that glorifies normality is refreshing. Noni’s happiness in the end seals the deal. Whether or not an exam went well, smiles are guaranteed to be as big as hers when the credits roll. Added bonus: the soundtrack is prime dance break material.

4 Minute Mile

High school student, Drew Jacobs (Kelly Blatz) uses running as an escape from his difficult home life. When former track coach, Coleman (Richard Jenkins), takes Drew under his wing, Drew sets out to run a mile in four minutes. Soon, the rigorous training strengthens more than just his legs. Under the guidance of Coleman, Drew develops a new perspective on a future he once viewed as hopeless. The impactful relationship between Coleman and Drew causes the audience to root for both of them.

  Best time to view: This film should definitely be watched before an exam. The physical endurance in 4 Minute Mile is insane. Superhero films are great, but watching Drew use his human muscles and endurance to succeed puts a refreshing spin on what it means to be super. The amount of heart and determination in this film is bound to translate to an exam taking mindset. Usually, the blasting AC motivates a person to stay indoors, but exercise helps reduce stress according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Drew’s work ethic and insane running skills encourage at least a lap around the track. Walking into an exam with reduced stress and wind blown hair is bound to improve results.

Adeline Davis can be reached at

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