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17 Life Lessons We Learned From "Mean Girls"

Posted Oct 3 2013 - 5:00pm

We all know that Mean Girls is one of the most iconic films of our generation, and a lot of us have memorized every line of the script. But what life lessons can we learn from this amazing modern classic? It seems that there are quite a few…

1. Even mathletes get kissed at Spring Fling.

Lesson: Being smart is sexy.

Guys like a girl who can hold her own and who knows who Anna Karenina is. Don’t be afraid to be smart, collegiettes; it’s sexy! You don’t want a guy to be interested in you just for your looks; you want to have common interests. Don't even think you should dumb yourself down for a guy!

2. "Ex-boyfriends are just off-limits to friends. I mean, that's just, like, the rules of feminism!”

Lesson: Be a sensitive friend.

It’s true: you’ve got to be sensitive to your friends' feelings. We’re not saying that exes are a totally off-limits area, but you shouldn’t assume that you can date your friend's ex without seeing if she’s okay with it first. If she doesn't give you her blessing, then this is one to avoid. Just remember that she’s your friend, and that no matter how hot her ex is, he probably isn’t worth hurting her. 

3. "There’s a 33 percent chance that it’s already raining."

Lesson: Market all of your skills when applying for jobs.

You might think one of your "skills" is random and unrelated, but it could make you stand out from other candidates! Whether you’re looking for an internship or your post-grad job, employers are looking for attributes that set you apart from the rest of their applicants, so don’t be afraid to mention all your skills on your resume – an employer will certainly pick up on the interesting ones. Also, you’ve probably learned transferrable skills from your extracurricular activities, so even if something doesn’t seem directly related to the job, it might just secure the place for you. For example, you may not have gained many finance skills at your hostessing gig, but you probably gained some great organizational skills!

4. “Is butter a carb?”

Lesson: Sometimes your "friends" don’t tell the truth.

Whether they’re trying to protect you or they’re just being mean, friends don’t always tell the truth. If you find out that a friend lied to you about something, don’t be afraid to ask her about it. But, don’t start the conversation shouting at her – try and resolve the situation calmly and try to work out if she was only trying to help you out. 

5. "I hear her hair is insured for $10,000."

Lesson: The school/college rumour mill isn't always truthful – and sometimes, it's vicious.

Rumors suck, end of story. Whatever you hear from the rumor mill, be sure to question it before you judge someone – or worse, spread the rumor along to someone else. Being on the receiving end of harmful (and untruthful) gossip is really hurtful, so avoid spreading it, collegiettes!

6. "I mean, it’s just plastic.”

Lesson: Some things seem like a bigger deal than they are.

It's oftne easy to get worked up about the littlest things, but sometimes you need to take a step back and realize that they're not a big deal. In Mean Girls, the competition for Spring Fling Queen was fierce... and it totally wasn’t worth it. Try not to get upset or stressed about things that don’t matter that much. If you get a bad grade on one paper, it isn’t going to stop you getting into grad school – you just need to make up for it on your next one! Recognize that little setbacks aren't the end of the world, and some things just aren’t worth getting stressed over!

7. “I pretended to be bad at math so you would help me."

Lesson: Never dumb yourself down for a guy.

You should want a guy to want you for who you are. So if your dream guy can’t understand anyone who doesn’t like college football, and you really hate going to watch the games, then maybe he isn’t the guy for you. Don’t be disheartened, collegiettes, but don’t settle for less than you deserve!

8. “I had to suck all of the poison out of my life."

Lesson: Apologize when you're wrong.

If you hurt someone, apologize and be a nice person. It makes such a difference. While it might take time for someone to accept your apology and for things to be normal again, telling someone "I'm sorry" after you’ve hurt or offended them is the first step to getting back to normality. It might be an overused saying, but treat others the way you want to be treated – karma has a way of coming back to bite you!

9. "You all have got to stop calling each other sl*ts and wh*res. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sl*ts and wh*res."

Lesson: Female empowerment starts with you.

Be nice to your fellow collegiettes; otherwise, it just makes it okay for guys to be awful to you!  Talking smack about other collegiettes, your friends, or your sorority sisters is hateful and totally unnecessary. If you want your male friends, your male boss, or just men in general to respect you as a woman, then the first thing you have to do is to respect yourselves. 

10. "I just have a lot of feelings."

Lesson: It’s okay to cry sometimes.

We’d recommend going to your friends rather than to a different school, but yeah, it’s okay to cry every once in a while. We all have bad days, and some of us have really bad days, so the best thing you can do is let it all out so you can move on. If you’ve had a hard day of classes, you’ve had a rocky patch in your relationship, or you just got a bad grade on a paper, don’t bottle it up! If you’re upset about something, make sure you talk to your friends about it. They won’t run for the hills if you start tearing up!

11. "It’s not my fault you’re like, in love with me or something."

Lesson: Don’t be arrogant.

Least attractive feature. Ever. This goes for whether you’re looking to make friends or find a boyfriend – avoid arrogance. While being smart is one of the sexiest attributes a girl can have, arrogance is one of the worst! Be confident in yourself and your abilities, but don’t be so confident that people find you obnoxious. Striking the balance between confidence and arrogance is difficult – especially in interviews – but be sure to try and get this right.

12. "Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries."

Lesson: It's okay to treat yourself every once in a while.

Even if you’re trying to lose three pounds, you can treat yourself every so often. When it comes to your diet, remember the mantra: "everything in moderation." If you want cheese fries one day, then have them - just don't go overboard! If you’ve been trying to eat more healthily, then those cheese fries will feel like a real treat, and not just like every other lunch food. In fact, this life lesson isn’t restricted to your diet. Treat yourself every once in a while! If you want a manicure or a new purse, then why not? As long as it doesn’t break the bank, then treating yourself occasionally can do wonders for your mood. 

13. "On Wednesdays, we wear pink."

Lesson: Don’t follow the crowd.

Be your own person; not everyone has to wear pink on Wednesdays. Everyone is individual and unique, so why waste this by following the crowd? If you want to join a sport that none of your friends are involved with, or take a class where you don’t know anyone, then do it! Think how many friends you could make and how much fun you might have doing something different. This goes for peer pressure as well: if, for example, you don’t want to drink at parties, but all your firends are, then you shouldn’t feel like you have to! Be yourself, collegiettes. 

14. "Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier."

Lesson: Don’t take your own problems out on other people.

You have to deal with your own problems; don’t start being mean to other people because of them. We’ve all been in a situation where a friend is taking out her issues on us, and it really isn’t pleasant. If have an issue, then you need to work through it, but don’t start being awful to your friends and family just because you're feeling down about yourself. They’re more likely to help you work through it if you’re calm and kind – and much more likely to walk away if you’re taking out your anger on them. 

15. "Get in, loser, we’re going shopping."

Lesson: Shopping is (almost) always a good idea.

Shopping is great – even with Regina George. Retail therapy is one of the most underrated types of therapy: fact. And it's also a great way to celebrate accomplishments! Whether you’ve just been accepted to the sorority that you wanted or you and your boyfriend are going through a rough patch, there are few occasions where shopping isn’t a suitable response. Even if you’re on a student budget and can’t afford to buy much, window shopping and trying clothes on is almost as fun!

16. "Four for you, Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco!"

Lesson: Always be proud of your accomplishments.

No matter how small they are, always be proud of what you’ve achieved. Every achievement should be something to celebrate, whether it’s making it onto a sports team or just handing a paper in a week early. Make sure that you reward yourself for these accomplishments, even if it is just taking an afternoon off work or going to visit a friend at a different college. Be proud of what you’ve achieved, and make sure you take the time to celebrate it. Also, who is Glen Coco?!

17. “You can’t sit with us!”

Lesson: Don't snap at people.

Even if you’re really stressed and in a bad mood, try not to lose it with other people. Snapping at people is unlikely to get you anywhere, ever. We all do it occasionally, but it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. If you’re tired, get some sleep. If you’re stressed, take a deep breath. And finally, if you do snap at someone, apologize immediately and explain that you didn’t mean it. 

P.S. Mean Girls is nine years old; feeling old now?

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