School is back in session! I know, as if, right? On the one hand, I relish this time of year as a sort of second new year, a refresh, a restart, a good excuse to circle back to those resolutions I dropped back in February. On the other hand, as someone whose years of school (save for the everyday schooling I get from real life) have come and gone, I loathe back-to-school season a little, simply because I don’t get to go back to school.
That said, I’m cool with reliving my days as an academic pupil via the extensive selection of back-to-school movies that populate my TV guide this time of year. And, if there’s one movie that pulls me right back to my days roaming the halls of my private school, it’s Clueless.
From the killer fashion to the bounty of quotable quotes, Clueless is iconic in every way that a quintessential '90s teen comedy can and should be. So, it should come as no surprise that the abundance of priceless wisdom it imparts has stuck with me through the years. Here, I share the critical lessons this back-to-school cult classic taught me just in time for the return to the classrooms.
Find Friends You Can Be Honest with
School, at any level, can get complicated quick. It’s absolutely critical that you link up with someone to weather the many ups and downs of the year, sooner rather than later. But the Dionne to your Cher can’t be just anyone. You need to find someone who is equal parts ride-or-die and reality check. Suitable partners include someone that might call you selfish (but obviously not to your face) and someone who also knows what it’s like to have people be jealous of her.
Dont Stress About Boys
When Tai fatefully questions, “If I’m too good for him, then how come I’m not with him?” we all felt a knot tighten in our chest. Who among us has not muttered those exact words to ourselves after our crush once again circled "No" on the “Do you like me?” note we passed in fifth period. But you’re in school to work, not flirt, so when situations like these arise, it’s important to remember this thoughtful advice from Cher: “Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.” And, if all else fails, take the position of Cher’s father, Mel, and assume that any boy that doesn’t like you is “a complete moron.” Manxiety quelled.
But if You Can’t Help It ... Be Picky
If you can’t shake the boy crazy bug and your Dionne is currently too wrapped up in her Murray, the best advice Clueless can offer is to simply be highly selective in your game of man multiple choice. A good litmus test for pickiness is to gauge your choosiness when it comes to high-end footwear and then triple that. “You see how picky I am about my shoes, and those only go on my feet,” says Cher, after all.
Respect Your Teachers
While we certainly can’t recommend staging a full-on makeover and matchmaking session for two of your teachers, à la Mr. Hall and Miss Geist, you know it’s important to be good to your educators. Remember, “old people can be so sweet,” says Cher. And, regardless of age, your teachers have dedicated their lives to making sure you achieve all of your educational goals, and, potentially, seriously help you when it comes to getting into college or snagging an interview for your dream job.
Don’t Believe Everything You See
In this heavy digital and social media age, it’s easy to get caught up in the false reality many people present on their accounts. The Insta-stalk is a dangerous thing, but who are we to judge? Simply remember Cher’s thorough analysis of the situation. “She’s a full-on Monet. It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s okay. But up close, it’s a big old mess.” We all have a bit of "big old mess" in us and it’s fine to share a more refined-looking existence on your social channels. But next time you’re doing a deep dive into someone’s ‘gram, just don’t forget that everyone goes a long way to create an illusion of perfection and don’t get too caught up in it.
It Does Not Say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty
This is the lesson here. Just in case you ever encounter this question on a test, Cher clarifies in a class presentation that it does not, in fact, say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty.
With that, here's to another successful school year!