5 lessons we learned from coming-of-age films

Photo of Lady Bird movie
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As an enthusiast for coming-of-age movies, I was guided through my teenage years by the films under this niche genre as they prepared me for adulthood by illustrating the journey of characters who were at the same stage of life as me. Whether the movie is funny, sad or romantic, I believe there’s something to be learnt from each of them. Here are five quotes from coming-of-age movies that are bound to inspire you.

“Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.” — “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

When I think about movies that made me just sit and think about life, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” immediately comes to mind. Hearing this line for the first time made me truly realize that some things don’t last forever, and that is OK. It’s just a part of life.

“And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty.” — “Clueless”

While this quote isn’t about growing up or adulthood, Cher Horowitz in the iconic “Clueless” debate scene takes an important stance on immigration that still remains prevalent today. The humor of the scene masks the seriousness of it, but the words still ring true. Cher might be clueless, but her advocacy is inspirational.

“People totally like Brutus just as much as they like Caesar. And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh?” — “Mean Girls”

The 2004 film “Mean Girls” is one of the funniest and notable coming-of-age films with many famous quotes and one-liners. However, this line, said by Gretchen Wieners is the most underrated. Who knew Brutus and Caesar alongside Gretchen’s wise words could teach us about dismantling social hierarchy?

“Just because something looks ugly doesn’t mean that it’s morally wrong.” — “Lady Bird”

Christine, also known as “Lady Bird,” has her angsty yet relatable teenage moments, but this line still carries weight as an adult. Christine reminds us to look beyond the appearance of things when we are judging them. The beauty of this quote is that you can practically use it in any situation.

“You know, there’s a difference between like and love. I like my Sketchers but I love my Prada backpack.” — “10 Things I Hate About You”

Although we have our artistic feminist lead, Kat Stratford, who does have some profound lines, her girly-girl sister Bianca gives us the most inspirational one. Whether it’s dating or shopping for clothes, Bianca teaches us life and decision-making will be easier once we learn how to differentiate between like and love.

Sometimes the best advice is given by fictional characters, and these five quotes help prove that. Maybe next time you watch a movie, whether it’s a coming-of-age film or not, see how you can incorporate some of the lessons in the movie into your daily life. 

Contact Zara Koroma at [email protected].