No matter what age, if you grew up in the Canadian education system, you probably experience that familiar “back to school” feeling every September—an ansty, excitable, new beginnings, new year type feel right? Below is a list of movies that conjure some of my “back to school” days memories. What are your back to school stories? Let’s hear ‘em!


I went and saw this movie during the summer preceding grade 10. My friend Kourtney and I cruised Limeridge Mall for hours post movie picking out the perfect pink and grey over the knee argyle socks to go with our new mini skirts and mini backpacks. I coveted Cher’s super high tech closet (with hanger animation) gadget to help me choose the perfect back to school outfit.

I daydreamed about this one boy EVERYDAY after getting grounded for pretty much the entire latter half of summer of Gr 9 going into Gr 10. I had stolen some alcohol from my parents liquor cabinet, made swamp water and got drunk with my friend Lori in a tent in the backyard. The dog gave us away when my Dad saw him sniffing around her barf that was in the compost heap the next morning. My Dad, the PI! I had begun the summer dating this boy Dave but because I was grounded was unable to keep things going. I was sure that he had probably moved on, but always kept up hope that maybe he’d still be around when I got back to school…kind of like Grease right?
And then I went back to school, and he had moved on.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High:
I was a total keener and was in this program wherein I picked up a couple of high school credits while still in Elementary School (Gr 8). So when it came time to start high school for real with the rest of my friends I was pretty confident what with already being familiar with school and schedule navigation and whatnot. I was not a Spicoli.

I did however get high before math class one time and it turned out to be a terrible idea. Numbers and equations in a portable are not a chill time.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

Harry goes back to school shopping! Every year my back to school shopping was a mission that my sister and I went on with our Grandmother for some reason. I think on my parents’ part this was actually a brilliant move. They never had to battle the crowds and my sister and I were too well behaved around Grandma to argue about who got what and all that. The downside for us was that most of the time we were returning to school in some outfits that were pretty big doozies. Or DON’Ts really. I remember specifically one year shopping at Tabi. TABI! An exclusively Grandma store! We each bought basically the same thing (slacks, turtleneck, cardigan) but in different colours. We were 10 and 11. I have photographic evidence of these outfits that is never seeing the light of day.

Dangerous Minds:
First off, I do not have a fun relatable story that reminds me of back to school for this movie.  I grew up in the country, not the hood, and this is really more just a “school” movie. I do however remember hearing the infamous title track from the Dangerous Minds soundtrack EVERYWHERE in the summer of 1995. In fact I believe it was the #1 song of that year. I challenge you to find me a person born in the early 80’s who does not know every single word to this song.