Lessons from Transformers

College plus Transformers movies usually equals late-night movie marathons or deep discussions about the finer qualities of auto mechanics. However! It is possible to extract valuable lessons for college-going from these movies. Here’s a light pop-culture-lesson snack for you to read before class:

1.       Know you were created for greatness.

Perhaps your mom, dad, or grandma never told you, but YOU WERE CREATED FOR GREATNESS! In the third movie, Dark Side of the Moon, that just came out this summer, the main character, Sam, kind of lost vision for his life when he went out looking for a job. Why? Because he knew he was made for greatness!

So were you. You may not be the bearer of the All Spark and need to defeat a race of alien warrior-machines, but you were made for something great. Feel like your major will not really impact the world? You never know! You could be the next great airplane pilot or be that person that welds the next state-of-the-art building underwater. Don’t settle.

Especially if a large, talking car tells you that you need to save the world.

What was it Shia LaBeouf’s character said in the first movie?  “Fifty years from now, when you’re looking back at your life, don’t you want to be able to say you had the guts to _________ (fill in the blank with your own adventure)?”

Don’t forget: failure is a part of the process! Bob Wolaver, vice president of TSTC, said in Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life, “Do not be afraid to take risks. Do not be afraid if you’re wrong or fail. Failure is part of success.”

2.     Find your own Bumblebee.

College is wicked hard. Especially if you’re used to slacking off in high school. There is more required of you, and you don’t have your mom, dad, or grandma to tell you what’s what every night when you’d rather be playing video games. You’re on your own! That’s why you need your own Bumblebee – a friend who will stick with you, challenge you, and even study with you.

Humans are social creatures. Brain research proves we learn best when interacting with others. Even if you may be shy, be bold and go find that friend on campus to hang with and study with. Perhaps your next friend is that person that likes to wear yellow thrift-store clothing, perhaps considered a bit odd, but wicked-awesome on the inside and only talks to you using movie quotes. You never know!

3.     Listen to those who have gone before you.

Remember the crazy character, Agent Simmons from Sector Seven? I’m pretty sure he had a screw loose. But that didn’t mean he didn’t have great advice! Even though he was pretty cocky and arrogant in the first movie, Sam kept going to him for help in the two subsequent movies. Simmons even helped save the world (several times).

You may not like or even agree with those in authority over you or classmates who have more experience, but they most likely have some words of wisdom they could give you. You never know!

As Ben J. said in Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life, “Communication is important. Being able to talk with teachers and get together with other students who have the same kind of drive and being able to communicate with them is a huge part of it” (p. 197). Their words could possibly be ones that change your life.

4.     NEVER back down from a challenge – there is more than one way to reach a goal.

“You can do just about anything you want to if you set your mind to it.” – Elton Stuckley, TSTC president in Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life

In all three of the movies, it never seemed like Sam could take on the challenges given to him by the Transformers just by looking at him. But he accomplished all of them! (OK, I know, with the help of computer-generated imagery and requiring the audience to believe the impossible – but stick with me here!) Sam accomplished every challenge thrown at him, but he didn’t always do it according to Plan A. In the first movie, he was supposed to get the All Spark past the evil robot, Megatron, and pass it off to the army. It wasn’t until Plan C or D that he finally “killed” Megatron by putting the All Spark into his chest. Did he deal with the All Spark the way he planned? No. Did he accomplish the challenge? Yes! He had his mind set on the goal, along with adrenaline pumping through his veins.

The plot line of these movies is not unique. Having to defy seemingly insurmountable obstacles defines many action-movie plots.

You, too, can star in your own action movie! As the president of TSTC said, you can do it if you set your mind to it! That math class you’re taking may feel insurmountably difficult, but with the help of your own Bumblebee, listening to crazy advisors, and knowing deep down you were born for greatness, you can reach your goal and conquer your challenges.


–          Kristine