10 Must-See Coming Of Age Movies

10 Must-See Coming Of Age Movies

Ageless movies that have the power to change your life.

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A few movies that have stuck with me as I grow into my twenties. Watch with friends, family, or alone on a Saturday night but pay attention to details and learn from the life lessons.

1. Stand By Me (1986)

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Being an older film and slightly slower than this generations movies, four friends take on a journey that will change their lives forever. With bad influences around every corner, Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern learn that you do not have to be your parents and you have every opportunity to be who you want to be.

2. Almost Famous (2000)

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Sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll. A Cameron Crowe classic. Touring around the country at 15-years-old, William Miller discovers the inner world of love, life, and friendship. Kate Hudson's iconic character, Penny Lane, teaches you how to be a great friend and a badass woman.

3. Dazed and Confused (1993)

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Despite being Matthew McConaughey's big break, "Dazed and Confused" takes you through the last day of school for the average high school student in the 70's. Doing nothing but partying and making memories, this movie makes you want to stay 17 forever with your high school friends.

4. The Breakfast Club (1985)

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If you haven't already, watch "The Breakfast Club." Iconic quotes, relatable feelings, and tears of joy and sorrow, this movie hits hard for the struggling teenager who feels like they have no place to belong.

5. Boyz N The Hood (1991) 

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"Boyz N The Hood" has the harsh reality of a kid that can grow up in South Central with the things we love about childhood and the fears that come to us during adulthood. This movie holds a high remark on friends that turn into family.

6.  The Perks of Being a Wall Flower (2012) 

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In my opinion, "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" is a top 10 movie of the 20th Century. Focusing on mental health and finding your place, this movie allows you to develop empathy throughout the entire film and teach you that you are never alone. Of course, let's not forget the iconic tunnel scene.

7. The Sandlot (1993)

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The reason why "The Sandlot" is constantly in the debate of one of the greatest sports movies of all time is because of the word innocence. No matter what age you are, when you watch "The Sandlot" you can relax and enjoy watching nine boys enjoy their childhood and make memories that last a lifetime.

8. Good Will Hunting (1997)

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Two reasons to watch "Good Will Hunting"

1. Life, love, relationships, family, friends, money, and everything in between. Good Will Hunting is a movie that works every part of your heart and brain. A Robin Williams classic with lessons for any situation.

2. Young Matt Damon

9. Dead Poets Society (1989)

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"Dead Poets Society" teaches you that your life is your own. Words are not just words and ideas are not just simple thoughts. You have the power to not be who your parents want you to be but be somebody that you're proud of.

10. The Way, Way Back (2013)

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"The Way, Way Back" uses tough life decisions and hard teenage feelings and presents them in a way with humor and summer fun. Learning to be nothing but yourself and standing up for what you believe in, this movie is a perfect summer night idea.

While these are certainly not the only coming of age movies in the genre, these are the movies that have stuck with me as I have faced hard truths in the reality of growing up.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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The Original Disney Princesses Are Just As Important To Young Children As The New Ones Are

The animated princesses have paved the way for children in ways the live-action films sometimes can't.

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Disney Princesses, particularly the animated ones, have somewhat of a stereotype built around them.

When people think of Disney Princesses, they usually think of the classic princesses from the 1930s through the 1950s, the Golden Age of Disney. They think of Snow White's high-pitched voice, Cinderella's passive nature, and Aurora's tendency to waltz through the woods singing a pretty little song. These were the original princesses, and they definitely started a trend of delicate characters who aren't entirely helpless, but they also aren't too willing to advocate for themselves and fight for what they want.

The Disney Renaissance, however, brought about a whole new world (yes, that was intended) of Disney Princesses.

In 1989, Disney kicked off their animation Renaissance with the release of The Little Mermaid, a film which introduced an entirely new Disney Princess. Ariel was stubborn, got into serious trouble at times, was endlessly curious and amazed by the world around (and above) her, and was more than willing to fight for what she wanted. She still maintained her status as a princess, but that wasn't her only personality trait.

And the stereotypes kept breaking more and more with the introduction of two new princesses, Belle and Jasmine. They both followed Ariel's example of being more than just a pretty face in their own ways. Belle was the most beautiful girl in her village, but she didn't allow that to define her. She was well-read, confident, loyal, and desired nothing more than adventure. Jasmine, on the other hand, was the daughter of a Sultan and was forced to choose a prince to marry. But she wanted no part in this, and she set out to find herself and married the man she chose for herself. She was fiercely independent and didn't let anyone stand in her way.

I recently read an article about how the live-action remakes of Disney films are giving Disney princesses like Belle and Jasmine entirely new roles and how they're better role models for girls than ever before. While I do agree that young girls who go to see the remakes of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast in theaters will definitely have good role models to look up to, we really shouldn't be dismissing the original princesses, either.

These new Disney princesses are not replacements for the old ones. Just because the old princesses don't have as much of a "strong independent woman" complex about them doesn't mean they still can't teach important lessons to young children. Yes, the original Belle and Jasmine may not have been as outspoken as they are in the new remakes, but they always had a quiet strength about them and a certainty in who they were. This is just as good of a lesson to teach young children.

One of the most important lessons a child can learn is to be themselves in all parts of life, no matter how many people may think they're strange. Both versions of Belle and Jasmine teach this lesson, but as we start to move into an era where children may grow up with the remakes instead of the originals, it's also extremely important that they learn the lessons the original Belle and Jasmine taught us in the first place. Sometimes, a person doesn't need to be incredibly outspoken in order to be who they are. Sometimes, all they need is a good head on their shoulders, a joyful heart, and quiet confidence in themselves to live the life they've always dreamt of.

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