Five Movies All High Schoolers Should Watch Before Graduating

Movies are a great piece of entertainment to immerse yourself in and even learn something from. As high schoolers, new and old, we can all gain something about life from movies, which is why I believe there are five movies every high school student should watch before they receive their diploma and leave into the real world.

Eighth Grade (2018)

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This movie appeals to Freshmen the most but is a great watch for all grades. Transitioning from middle school to high school isn’t easy; you feel like you have to become a more mature person when you still feel like a kid. Eighth Grade, directed by popular comedian Bo Burnham, is a film about a girl named Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) who is going through her final week of middle school. This film explores anxiety and self-confidence during one of the most emotionally challenging periods teenagers can face. It also teaches an extremely important lesson to teenage girls when it comes to relationships with the opposite gender. This movie is perfect for those finding their self-image and those who need encouragement to persevere through tough times.

Lady Bird (2017)

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This film is targeted more towards Seniors, but again, can be enjoyed by all grades. In Lady Bird, we follow Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), or Lady Bird, a senior trying to make the best of her last year. One of the main plot lines in this movie is her relationship with her mother as they constantly argue about Christine’s future and have a strained view of each other. This film explores dating, friendships, popularity, and family issues. Any teenager can relate to at least one of the problems Christine faces throughout the movie. Lady Bird illustrates how high school can be both the best and worst time of someone’s life, but more importantly, how family is important when it comes to growing up.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

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Would I recommend students to skip on the official school news site? No, of course not. However, I do recommend making the most of high school before letting it slip away. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is about, you guessed it, Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) taking the day off. Ferris, in his last year of high school, decides to fake an illness so he can get out of school for the day and decides to take two of his friends out on his adventure. The message he presses towards the audience is that “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This movie tells you that if all you do during your high school years is walk in, go to class, and go home, then you are wasting your precious time. 

Go experience things at Blake outside of education. Go to a football game, go to homecoming, sneak out to the shopping center up the street. Do something that you find fun and can experience with friends because before you know, high school will be over, and so are your teenage years.

Whiplash (2014)

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Academic achievement is a very mentally tolling process for many, especially when parents and teachers expect a lot from you. In Whiplash, we follow Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), who spends his first year at a prestigious music school as a talented drummer. One day, he gets offered to be transferred into the advanced jazz band by the school’s strictest professor. Andrew spends the film balancing the physical and mental toll of keeping up with the class and his dwindling relationship with others. This film is not only a lesson on succeeding academically but is also a great film about passion. This movie teaches students how to achieve greatness and follow their passion when doing these things start to not feel fun anymore. Before you succeed for the sake of others you must succeed for yourself. 

King of Staten Island (2020)

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This film is also aimed more at seniors because of its theme of adulthood but again, can be enjoyed by all. Life outside of high school seems very distant, but it is something that approaches very quickly, and many students don’t know how to face adulthood. King of Staten Island is a film starring and written by popular comedian Pete Davidson. Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) is a 24-year-old high school dropout whose father died fighting fires at a young age. Reality starts to hit when the people in his life are moving on with theirs, but  Scott stays stagnant. Scott has to face the real world as he tries to battle his depression. 

This movie teaches people how to become an adult and not become stagnant in life plus how to deal with grief. Watching this movie helps students figure out what their life will look like after high school. Will you continue your education or will you choose to work? Whatever you choose should not only bring progression in your life but should be the best option for you. This movie is a great watch for those who feel lost with themselves when it comes to their future. 

These films are not only great watches on their own but teach great lessons about life. I believe if every high schooler experiences these movies, they will have a new outlook on their future and will be able to enjoy their youth.