Summer movies to hit you with those good times feels

Noelle Henry

Finals season is probably one of the toughest things to go through as a student, so it doesn’t hurt to have a little light at the end to pull you through.

In between your study sessions, check out any of these five movies to remind yourself of all the good (or the crazy) that is to come this summer.

“Dazed and Confused”

Featuring UT alumnus Matthew McConaughey, this 1993 classic celebrates summer for what it truly is — a time for getting up to no good. The film begins on the last day at a high school in Texas and follows a myriad of young students, from incoming freshman who are being terrorized to senior football players who destroy mailboxes.

“Dazed and Confused” captures what it is to be young, lost and so free that you go a little wild and stir up trouble by trying to throw parties when your parents aren’t home, by drinking underage and by finding young love.

“High School Musical 2”

Although this movie might seem like a less obvious choice for some, it is a classic “school’s out” movie, with students belting out,“What time is it?” and others crying out, “Summertime!”

“HSM2” takes a second look at Troy and Gabriella over the summer as they, and all their friends, get jobs at Sharpay’s family’s country club. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the gang dances in a variety of places, including some that they probably shouldn’t be dancing in, such as the country club’s golf course. Plus, the songs are catchy, and no matter how hard you may try to deny it, you know them and can sing it up while watching. 


The classic summer movie about an enormous shark who goes on a wild killing spree is sure to make you feel wary of the ocean, happy that you can remember that sunlight and beaches exist or afraid that the shark represents your exams trying to eat you. 

Set in a New England resort town, the shark starts by killing a young woman, and it only gets worse from there. With its iconic soundtrack, “Jaws” is a summer movie that is sure to distract you from finals and take you to a pretty beach and bright blue ocean — even if there is a giant man-eating shark. 

“Wet Hot American Summer”

A ridiculously silly movie about a dysfunctional summer camp is just what any student needs this finals season. Featuring the likes of Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper and more, the movie is a retro comedy that follows the shenanigans of campgoers and counselors on the final day of a 1980s summer camp, which to many of those at camp means one last chance to hook up with their one true crush. “Wet Hot American Summer” is a more lighthearted take on summer, as it mimics classic comedies such as “Airplane” and approaches summer love in the funniest of ways.


“Adventureland” takes a hard look at a struggling grad student, named James, who comes home from college only to discover that his parents don’t have the money to subsidize his backpacking trip across Europe and that he has to get a summer job. 

Finding the only place that will hire him is an amusement park, James joins a group of misfits and falls in love. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of James brings relatable awkwardness to anyone who’s struggled to fit in or impress the one they love. All the while, summer shenanigans go down, as there are pool parties and the constant reminder that, at some point, school will restart.