“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make (us write) an essay telling you who we think we are.
“You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case… and a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club”
So ends the great movie which recently celebrated 30 years since its release. This John Hughes movie starred: Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall.
I was in high school at the time this movie was released. It is one of my favorites. I watched it again this weekend when it was on television. Now that I am an adult, I saw it a little bit differently but still appreciated it and loved seeing a glimpse again at high school.
Let’s face it, a lot about high school is great but there are also things that are awful. People are in cliques, don’t normally seek out friends who aren’t in their group, and can be truly mean and condescending to others, as demonstrated in this movie.
One line that stuck out to me this weekend was Brian telling Claire, “God, you are so conceited Claire.” She then answers, “I’m not saying it to be conceited.” They then compare the fact that they are both under lots of pressure — peer pressure, pressure of grades, and other pressures.
The fact of the matter is that all of us have tough things to deal with, have pressures, and have good things as well. And, as these five students found, we are more alike than we are different. And, we are more than the labels we give to one another.
Here I am with one of my best friends Jennifer at our high school graduation. How do you like my glasses? So 80s! Jen is still one of my closest and dearest friends and I am truly thankful for knowing her as long as I have.
I had a fun experience in high school and had quite a few friends. I was active in church youth group, the drama club, showchoir, and chorus, and did a column for our town’s paper on teen activities. So, I suppose I could be called a Theater geek. I was shy, and sometimes was made fun of and teased.
I was by no means in the popular crowd, but that’s okay. I knew some great people and am still in touch with many of them today. And, I am happy to say, I am now friends with people who I didn’t hang out with very much in high school. That has been a great blessing.
I have served on the planning committee for two of my class reunions and plan to for a third one next summer. We have classmates who want to come back for these reunions and truly enjoy doing so. We have a great turnout and so much fun. That is a blessing to me.
It is truly awesome that people who may not have been close during high school are now friends and regularly keep in touch via Facebook, texts, phone calls, and visits. I know that is rare so I don’t take it for granted.
For those of who are currently in high school, I hope and pray that you have a fun experience. Please remember that you are special exactly as you are, you are worth a lot, and that teasing and bullying from others doesn’t need to define you or change who you are. It’s okay to be different and uniquely you. At the time, it may not seem that way, but speaking from someone who has been through it, life does get better.
When you grow up, you may even be friends with people who you never expected. And, as this movie teaches, we all have much more in common than you may realize. We aren’t our labels. I hope and pray that you can remember that. And, if you are struggling, please talk to a friend or adult. There are people to listen and those who care about you.
To my classmates, I am so very thankful for you and the friendships that we have. I look forward to seeing you next year at the reunion! The class ahead of me is having their reunion this fall. That should also be fun.