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Am I Too Old for This?

When I turned 22 in August, I made the joke that I was scared to go into a Forever 21 for fear of setting off the age limit alarms. It was a bad joke. Still is.

In truth, there are a lot of things I should have outgrown: Disney movies, old cartoons, comic books, procrastination. That's not the end of the list, but those were the only things I could think of off the top of my head. One of the things I never thought would be on the list, though, was teen movies.

As I sat in the theater watching The Edge of Seventeen (fantastic movie, by the way), I realized I was five years older than the protagonist. Granted, that's not a huge age difference, but it was enough to make me realize I'm in a different place in my life than the characters in the movie for the first time in a while.

Teen movies are and have always been one of my very favorite things. I grew up wanting to be like the older characters in teen movies, then relating to the characters when I aged into their stories, and...now? I don't know.

On one hand, it's a little odd for an adult (pretty sure that term only applies to me by law) to watch movies about adolescents and their struggles. On the other, though, maybe it's not. On a completely superficial level, a lot of the actors playing teens are in their twenties and thirties, so I'm not the only adult involved who needs to grow up.

Age appropriate acting aside, these stories are actually pretty universal. Problems with rejection, self-esteem, friendships, and love all exist out of high school, Just because characters are younger than us doesn't mean they aren't human. Just because we're older doesn't mean we don't feel the same feelings the characters feel, or at least empathize with their struggles. It was sort of comforting to see Nadine in The Edge of Seventeen, a girl who reminded me a lot of myself in high school, and realize how far I've come.

Being beyond high school doesn't make me too old for these movies, it just makes me see them differently, and if there's one thing that makes a movie immortal, it's a story wise beyond its years.

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