CJ Haberbush: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is more than just a movie

Christopher Haberbush

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It is more than halfway through the “dreaded” junior year for many students across the nation, myself included, and the stress emanating from many juniors is almost tangible. This is the year that is most important for colleges, and school is important… Almost too important for some.

Many students become so consumed by their studies that they forget to actually live. It seems to me that life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you just might miss it.

Now you might be shaking your head at my cheesy quotation of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” but there is a lot of wisdom in those words. In fact, there is a lot of wisdom in the entire film.

We can all take a lesson from Ferris about how to be more relaxed. For seemingly such a goof-off, maybe Ferris Bueller has discovered something that most of us neglect: The art of letting go. He decides to skip school on the day of a big history exam.

“It’s on European socialism,” said Bueller, “I mean really, what’s the point, I’m not European, I don’t plan on being European, so who gives a cr–p if they’re socialist!”

What appears at first to be the words of a whining kid are in reality prophetic. So many of us are prone to worry excessively about things that are of trivial consequence. Grades are only important if you can enjoy yourself too. So “that thing” that you are worried about getting done… it can wait while you go out and live your life.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” also teaches us to mind our own business. Ferris’ sister Jeanie is consumed with the fact that Ferris can get away with so much and she can’t. Jeanie is so enraged she sets out on a quest to bust her brother for ditching school and winds up being arrested as a result.

In the police station, Jeanie meets the nameless criminal played by Charlie Sheen. When prompted Jeanie explains the predicament of her situation and vents her anger for her brother. After a brief discourse the vague and somewhat mysterious character advises her to worry less about her brother and more about herself.

We can all use this advice. Whether it be social media, gossip, or simply just envy, we are all caught up in what other people are doing. We spend too much time in other people’s affairs and too little in our own. Not only is this unhealthy, it might just land you in the police station.

Lastly Mr. Bueller teaches us to stand up for ourselves and not let others push us around. Ferris’ friend Cameron lived under the strict rule of his father for his entire life without ever standing up for himself.

Ferris convinces Cameron to take his father’s Ferrari on a joy ride for their escapades in Chicago, an act of defiance in itself. At the day’s end, in an attempt to cover up the evidence of the theft our protagonists run the car in reverse with the wheels jacked and a brick on the gas.

Cameron, however, discovers that odometers cannot be rolled back by “driving backwards.” Spoiler alert, Cameron flies into a rage, and in a spectacular accident causes the still-running car to crash fly out of the glass window of his elevated garage.

Ferris offers to “take the heat” but Cameron comes to the conclusion that he must stand up to his father. He was done being pushed around and would not stand for it any longer. While this particular situation is not one many people are likely to encounter, everyone must stand up for themselves and their dignity.

On the surface “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” may seem like a purely comedic film, but much wisdom can be gleaned from it. Stand up for yourself, mind your own business, and most importantly, life moves pretty fast, so “stop and look around once in a while or you just might miss it.”

What do you think?