Higher Education By John Hughes


John Hughes. "The sportos, the motorheads, the geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads ― they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude."
   Like most '90s kids, I grew up watching Hughes. And, I've picked up some valuable information along the way.

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"A person should not believe in an -ism; he should believe in himself."
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

The '-ism' suffix. Don't believe in -isms. Fascism, cynicism, romanticism, or any -ism for that matter. Don't let bigger people's opinions change yours just because they are above you. Believe in what you believe. Be part of a group (or don't), but think for yourself.


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off

If you haven't already seen it, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (as the title suggests) is about a high school student taking a day off from school to have fun. He takes an expensive car, goes to a parade, and sees Chicago (his city), from a new perspective. It was healthy for him to get out of the four walls of his class and experience things.
   One day, you're going to wake up and you'll be fifty-nine years-old, and you'll think of what you did and who you are ― and you're going to have to be content with it. You won't be pleased with that 99% you got in grade eleven physics when you're fifty-nine, because it won't matter if you didn't experience anything. You're going to need a story to tell. Make it a good one.

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"Well, I like art; I work in a gas station; and my best friend is a tomboy. These things don't fly too well in the American high school."
- Some Kind of Wonderful

You are allowed to like art or math class, or anything you want. You're allowed to work at a gas station, or as a waitress, or anywhere you want. As long as you want to do or like something, you can ― and you shouldn't care whether people agree with you or not. You shouldn't care that the high school system tells you that art doesn't matter, or that you really shouldn't have a gal-pal that dresses like a boy.
   My art teacher told me something along the lines of this, today: "We only need one credit in the arts to graduate high school. That's one credit in music, visual art, dance, or drama. One credit. You know what that tells you about the arts? That they're not important. Think about this. You only need one credit in PE (physical-education/gym class) to graduate. Does that mean your health isn't important? You can take the three Sciences and the four English courses you need to graduate, and you can go on to be a lawyer or a doctor, but if you're sick or ill, it wont matter how smart you are. Think about it. Art is important." I think what my art teacher was trying to say is that art (or working at a gas station, or having a friend that's a tomboy) is seen as unimportant, maybe even disgraceful, in the high school setting. Keith is trying to say that it's okay to do what you want, even if others don't agree that it's important. All that matters is that it's important to you.

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"Screws fall out all the time; the world is an imperfect place." 
- The Breakfast Club

Nothing, and nobody, is perfect. Things happen, people change, and the world keeps spinning. You need to be able to recognize this in order to be happy with yourself. No, you're not perfect. But, who is?

"Well, if you say you haven't, you're a prude. If you say you have, you're a slut. It's a trap. You want to, but you can't―and when you do, you wish you hadn't, right?" 
- The Breakfast Club

   I think this is more of a warning than a lesson. It's warning you not to lose the passion and imagination you had as a child. No, your heart doesn't literally die, but a part of your heart, that part that trusts and believes in things without hesitation, slowly fades away. In The Breakfast Club, Alison warns us of this so we are aware, and so we can at least try to preserve our childhood heart―our loving, understanding heart.

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   This quote is really referring to sex, and the pressures that go into having your first time. No matter what you do in life, sometimes you'll just never be good enough. You didn't like your hair long, so you cut it short, only to realize you don't like your hair short either, and it was never really your hair that was the problem.