The simplicity and comedic relief of G-rated movies

Zac Efron is the only self care we need


Our lives are hard — at least, right now, our lives are hard. It’s hard to be a student nowadays, especially at the University. It’s hard to juggle 15-plus credits at a time, along with social events and personal emergencies and extracurricular obligations. We’ve got a lot on our plate — late nights, non-stop days, etc. We’ve all been in the position of having 48 hours to complete 80 pages of reading, a response paper, prepare a short presentation and even study for that exam we knew was coming. I definitely am not in the business of pity; in fact, college students deserve no pity. After all, we have the great opportunity to attend college — the University, no less — and receive a degree. We have the opportunity and privilege to lead a busy, rollercoaster-esque kind of life right now.

In the face of this current reality, it is important for us to keep self-care in mind. Everyone knows all the big ones — exercise, good nutrition, eight hours of regular, soundless, uninterrupted sleep. It sounds simple, but it can be hard to follow through. I’ve recognized this. In response, I have a brand-new self-care tip — movies.

Now, I must admit that this self-care tactic was not my idea. No, it came from a couple of my girls, my residents — first years who wanted to de-stress with a movie night. Their choice of flick? High School Musical — the Disney movie that stole the hearts of countless tweens in 2006. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed at the end of a long week — a perfect mixture of simplicity, bouts of comedic relief and the beauty that is Zac Efron. Sure, I’ll admit that the movie was cheesy and trite, but it had just enough storyline to keep me captivated and just enough songs to keep my vocal folds occupied.

Not only this, but it also emphasized a flood of nostalgia. It brought back memories of my tween years — being back home, having sleepovers with my other middle school friends and listening to the soundtrack on repeat on my MP3 player. By watching this movie, I was brought back to my awkward middle school years. I felt an unexplainable amount of nostalgia and comfort, which actually served to reinvigorate me. Somehow, it was a reminder of how far I’ve come as a person — from an awkward teen at Cooper Middle School to the semi-adult-like University student that I am today. At the very least, I’m no longer a young tween that drools over Zac Efron. Nope. Now, I’m a young adult that drools over Zac Efron.

Now, I don’t necessarily mean to say that the best self-care movies star only Zac Efron. He’s an added perk, of course, but there are plenty of other movies that are just as easy to watch. You know, the ones that involve princesses and princes, talking animals and a whole lot of singing. Sure — this an epic generalization, but the stereotype typically holds up. These movies are easy to watch, stress-relieving and offer a restful break for your brain.

For me, animated movies best fulfill this standard. This includes anything from Disney princesses to Pixar adventures — honestly, anything with a musical soundtrack is my movie of choice. Throughout this last month, I fell into the habit of putting on cute, animated movies whenever my brain was overworked and melting into a pile of jelly. I’d open Netflix and pick the first animated movie I could find. It was something easy and something mindless. Admittedly, this may not be as healthy as exercising, eating well and sleeping regularly, but it is more fun. After all the work we do, we could use some simple, comedic, animated fun.

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