What 'Mean Girls' Can Teach You About Back to School


Before you go back to high school this year, take a couple of hours to watch Mean Girls. Then check out this article about what the movie can teach you.

There is perhaps no high school movie more beloved than Tina Fey's 2004 masterpiece, Mean Girls. But the film's hilarity and endless quotability are only part of its appeal. One of the things that makes Mean Girls special is that it has real lessons to impart upon its audience. Here are four things you can learn from Mean Girls before going back to school this year. Grool.

Female high school students sit on the campus stairs

You Lose Friends Who You Try to Control

There's a reason that Gretchen and Karen are able to so quickly stop being friends with Regina: they're relieved to get out from under her domination. From refusing to let 'fetch' happen to not letting Karen go to Taco Bell, one of Regina's biggest mistakes is that she's so controlling of her best friends. The lesson here is that you have to let the people you care about be themselves. People aren't characters in the Sims.

Know Who Your True Friends Are

One of the saddest things that happens in Mean Girls is how easily Cady gets mixed up and forgets that Janis and Damian aren't just her partners in anti-Plastics crime, but her true friends. Remember how heartbreaking the scene is when Janis throws her award-winning painting at Cady? The one depicting their happy trio? Even as you grow up and meet new people, don't forget the ones who have been there for you from the beginning. They're probably the ones who will still be there in 10 or 20 years.

A group of high school students bully another girl

Judging Others Won't Make You Better Than Them

This is perhaps the clearest lesson in all of Mean Girls: 'Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter.' We all have our insecurities and the way to approach them is with self-love and positivity. Focusing on the things you don't like about somebody else isn't going to make you like yourself any more, and bullying others about those things is only going to make everybody feel worse, including you.

It's All Just Plastic

Here's the thing about high school: it's all just plastic. Cold, shiny, hard… Okay, not literally. What we mean to say is that high school is as temporary as a plastic Spring Fling tiara. As much as the experiences you have in high school might seem like the end (or beginning) of the world, it'll all be over before you know it. So, yes, treasure it, but also know that the challenges won't last forever. Soon you'll be older and wiser and there will be Junior Plastics to take your place.

High school girls gossip at a table

Are there other high school movies you can learn from? Let us know on Twitter @studydotcom.

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By Daisy Rogozinsky
July 2018
k-12 school life

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