Middle School by Bo Burnham


I’ll use middle school and high school interchangeably.


The definition of cool flips after high school. To Kayla’s dad, cool is having an actual personality, e.g. having hobbies and opinions about the world. To Kayla, it’s being like the people who’re considered cool already, which is mostly being pretty and aloof. AKA not having a real personality. I don’t think her dad realized that, which made his attempt to comfort her by calling her cool counterproductive, since she isn’t cool by her standards. Except her standards aren’t going to lead to happiness here.

Kindness is the most underrated thing in high school, even more so than having a personality. Genuinely kind people existed in my high school, and for the most part, they were either ignored or subtly made fun of. And now they’re the only ones I want to keep in touch with. Don’t be friends with unkind people (like Kennedy).

God am I glad Instagram wasn’t a thing when I was in middle school. I think the FOMO would’ve driven me to suicide.

Articulation is hard for both kids and adults. I hadn’t realized just how much people say uh, like, and other filler words.

This movie is rated R, which further convinces me the MPAA can go to hell.

Aiden’s an idiot, and he puts gum in his nostril. Come on girl, you know that’s gross.

Gabe reminds me of a lot of people I knew in high school, and a great deal of them have found happiness later. I’m glad he could find it while still in school.

Kayla has a lot of bravery. She constantly pushes past her anxiety (swimming, karaoke, yelling at Kennedy). So I think that she’s pretty good at taking her own advice.


My middle and high school experience was very different from most of America. A lot less sexual for one, schoolwide. But the movie has so much else in common that it hurt to watch, and I’m glad I did.

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