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A large majority of us are in college or about to be very soon which means we’re getting older. But that doesn’t stop us from learning from younger people, especially films geared towards them. Eighth Grade is a movie that follows the life of an eighth-grader named Kayla as she navigates her last week in middle school. Many of the experiences she went through in this movie we as college students and young adults can relate with and learn from. 


The statement made in the first few minutes of this movie is something that everyone needs to hear: be yourself. Many of us have spent our elementary school, middle school, high school, and even part of our college years living fake lives. We’ve hidden our true personalities under huge umbrellas so that no one can see who we truly are. We don’t live in a perfect world, so there will always be people that don’t like the real you. But take it from me–one of the best things you can do for yourself in this life is to stop caring about what others have to say and be you.


Another thing that Kayla mentioned was that the stage of growing up should be taken advantage of. Yes, it can be tough; we’re thrown into the adult world to fend for ourselves. But if we never grew up, we would never be able to be our true selves. We would always wear a mask for the rest of our lives. Growing up is the doorway to removing that mask and showing the world who you are. It’s even easier to remove toxic friends from your life at this stage and forge new, longer-lasting friendships. 


I related with Kayla in so many instances throughout this movie. She was the introvert type; she didn’t have many friends, she wasn’t outgoing, she spent endless hours on her phone and she tried so hard to fit in but failed. I knew how she felt because I had been through the same things.  I never expected to cry during the last fifteen minutes of this movie, but I did because it hit me right in the heart. But those sad tears later turned into tears of joy as I was so proud of Kayla’s growth in the end.


Every student in college or student that is about to enter college needs to watch this movie. It will challenge you to ponder over and rethink things that have happened in your past life. Yes, there are many comical parts in this film, but the lessons it teaches will stick with you for a while.


Ony is a freshman at NCSU, studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology. She loves listening to music, watching movies and reading novels in her free time.
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