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    17 Coming-Of-Age Movies For Everyone Missing The End Of Their Senior Year

    I promise these will be more fun than watching your commencement speech over Zoom.

    One of the unfortunate side effects of this quarantine is that high school and college seniors are not able to finish the year out with their friends or attend graduation.

    The CW

    I feel for you, guys!

    I can't give that time back to you – but I can recommend some movies that capture the feeling of the last few months of high school and graduation!

    The CW

    I know it's not the same, but it's something!

    1. Booksmart

    United Artists Releasing

    I'm putting this one first because I believe it's the best one. First of all, you get an actual graduation ceremony. But you also get such an emotionally resonant friendship between Amy and Molly that reminds me SO much of my friendship with my high school best friend. Graduation is really bittersweet, and this movie captures that perfectly. It's also hilarious.

    2. Lady Bird


    Lady Bird is a great option for people who long to get out of their hometown for college. Lady Bird is struggling to define herself and live a meaningful life, which she doesn't feel is happening at all in Sacramento. Her relationship with her mother is also incredibly realistic and heartfelt, and if you have a complicated relationship with your mother, this might be the movie for you.

    3. Superbad

    Sony Pictures Releasing

    I couldn't make this list without including the classic! I actually just watched this, and while some of the comedy doesn't hold up, a lot of it is still really funny. In case you don't know, it's about two best friends who are about to graduate high school, and go on a mission to get alcohol for a high school party that's happening that night so that they can get laid. I wouldn't say the actual events are entirely realistic or relatable, but the friendship between Evan and Seth certainly is.

    4. High School Musical 3: Senior Year

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Is this the best High School Musical film? No. But it actually does a really great job at wrapping up the series and activating some hard-core nostalgia for a lot of people. It feels like the end of an era, just like high school does, but it's also a celebration of that era. Plus, it has some absolute bops, like "The Boys Are Back."

    5. Legally Blonde

    MGM Distribution Co.

    The movie ends with a graduation scene, but the reason I chose it is actually because it starts with Elle graduating college. She struggles to enjoy the very end of her senior year with all the LSAT studying and preparing for grad school, which I think a lot of people can relate to. Especially right now, when no one's getting to fully enjoy the end of their senior year. But just like with Elle, the next thing you go onto will be bigger and better!

    6. Accepted

    Universal Studios

    Accepted is just a fun movie for those who aren't sure of their plans next year and are dealing with parental pressure. It's about a boy named Bartleby and his friends who create a fake college to appease their parents because they were not accepted to the colleges they applied to. The website they create accidentally enrolls hundreds, and they decide to actually create a curriculum. It's stupid and funny, and is honestly a super underrated comedy. This is definitely one for people who feel like misfits or are struggling to figure out what they want versus what their parents want for them.

    7. Crossroads

    Paramount Pictures

    Crossroads stars Britney Spears, which is reason enough to watch it. Honestly, I think this movie is super underrated! It's about a road trip three estranged childhood friends take together after their graduation from high school. It's really heartbreaking but fun, and the perfect post-grad road trip movie. Plus it's got some great 2000s nostalgia.

    8. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Paramount Pictures

    There's no actual graduation in this movie, but it's absolutely one of my favorite end of high school movies. The plot is simple: Ferris is a graduating senior with only a few more weeks of school, and he decides to enlist his girlfriend and best friend in a mission to skip school and have a fun day. It's filled with classic one-liners and musical moments, and perfectly captures that end of high school feeling.

    9. Adventureland

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    One thing many kids do after graduation is get a summer job, oftentimes a seasonal one. Adventureland is a great comedy about a college graduate forced to work at an amusement park to make money before he heads to grad school at Columbia. The cast is amazing – especially the adults (Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, and Bill Hader). It's also a great coming of age story about first love and how even the best laid plans can go awry.

    10. The Lizzie Mcguire Movie

    Buena Vista Pictures

    Look, I know she's graduating middle school here. But as it serves as the series finale of the show, it's super bittersweet! Also, one part of many people's graduation experience is going on an after-grad trip, which Lizzie does. It's highly unrealistic, but it's a lot of fun, and captures all the excitement of a first time abroad.

    11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Summit Entertainment

    This was one of my favorite books in high school, and the movie overall is a great adaptation. It's actually about a depressed freshman named Charlie who befriends seniors Sam and Patrick, both of whom teach Charlie a lot about love, life, and meaning. Charlie struggles with them leaving, as well as his own mental health. This is a wonderful movie for those struggling to move forward in a really difficult time. It's also really relatable for those of us who rely on our friends, and are trying to figure out how to be okay on our own.

    12. Paper Towns

    20th Century Fox

    Paper Towns is another one of my favorite books, and though the movie adaptation isn't perfect, it's really sweet. In this story, shy high school senior Quentin goes on a mission to solve the mystery of his crush's disappearance, and eventually find her. However, it's so much more a coming-of-age, friend-centric tale than a romance. I absolutely love the message, where Quentin realizes just how important it is to enjoy these last moments with his friends.

    13. A Cinderella Story

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    What. A. Classic. A Cinderella Story is an underdog story about a smart but overlooked girl who starts an online relationship with the school's quarterback, who shares her dream of attending Princeton. It's a lot of cheesy wish fulfillment, but it's pure fun. For those of you missing prom, this movie's got one of my favorite school dances from a teen movie.

    14. 21 Jump Street

    Columbia Pictures

    21 Jump Street was the first movie I saw that depicted the difference between 2000s and 2010s high school stereotypes. Their depiction of cliques was hilarious and accurate, and as Schmidt and Jenko go undercover for the last few weeks of high school, I'm counting this as a graduation film. It also captures the "I'm getting old" feeling many of you college seniors are having.

    15. American Pie

    Universal Pictures

    Is American Pie stupid? Yep! But it's also a classic, and it's literally about graduation, so I'm putting it on this list. In the movie, five best friends and high school seniors plan to have sex by graduation, and hijinks ensue. It's just one of those genre-defining (in this case, sex comedy) movies that you should watch once in your life, so why not now?

    16. Blockers

    Universal Pictures

    For high school seniors stuck at home with your parents, this is a funny one (assuming your parents are okay with a sex-themed comedy). It's about three parents who are trying to stop their kids from having sex on the night of their senior prom, which on the surface sounds kind of questionable. But it actually ends up being a really sweet story about parents letting go and kids finding their own way in the world. It's super cute and funny!

    17. The Graduate

    Embassy Pictures

    I know I call a lot of things classics, but...this is an actual classic. As in, film students watch this movie, classic. First of all, it's just an amazing, critically acclaimed film, but it's also really relatable, despite being from the '60s. College graduate Ben has no idea what he wants to do with his life, and hates being pestered by everyone who keeps asking. That's a (personally, lol) relatable feeling in general, but especially during this time, when it's really hard to make future plans. It's absolutely a movie everyone should see, if for just the soundtrack!

    That's all from me today, folks! Hopefully these movies make you feel just a little bit better. Stay safe and healthy out there!!

    For the latest news, binge-watching suggestions, tips for caring for your mental health, and more, check out all of BuzzFeed's coronavirus coverage.

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