Life Lessons from Ferris Bueller

Last night I experienced the quintessential summertime date: an outdoor movie. As part of Movies on the Pier, one of my all-time favorite films played at Navy Pier – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


Set in the Chicago of 1986, this classic captures everything high school should have been. Beyond the beautiful shots of the city and Sloane’s envy-inducing style, there are also some real gems in this film.

Ferris Bueller three friends

Dance whenever possible

The scene where Ferris takes over a float in the Von Steuben Day Parade to sing Twist and Shout is one of my favorites. I’m clearly not alone, since the entire crowd at Navy Pier was grooving to the song. Lighten up a little – it’s fun, promise.

Ferris Bueller dancing

Commit to your plan

Ferris and his crew go to some extravagant lengths to execute their perfect day off. Though impersonating people to get fancy reservations and borrowing valuable cars might not always be the best choice, once you make a plan…stick to it. It might pay off, no matter how ridiculous it seems.

Perspective can be found in unlikely places

It takes talking to a drug addict at the police station to make Ferris’s sister Jeannie realize the source of her anger. Eyes open, heart open – a pretty good way to walk through life.

jeannie at police station

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

This line sums up the movie’s entire philosophy. ┬áMaybe to you it means taking a day off with your best friends. Maybe it means pausing in the middle of a hectic, tech-filled day to breathe. Maybe you hug your loved ones a little longer. Taking time to appreciate the wonderful, crazy adventure of life is something we all need more of.

Cheers – to adventure, days off, beautiful cities, summer, and good movies –