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The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

Letter from the editor: Navigating the reel and real

Sameeha Syed
The Sidekick executive editor-in-chief Sri Achanta reflects on how dependent she is on other people’s opinions. Achanta, after watching the 2017 Gerwig film Lady Bird decided to start forging her own path without taking other people’s opinions as much into account.

My movie-watching spree started the first week of January. I secretly created a Letterboxd account to document my journey (which was apparently considered lame), writing a paragraph’s worth of a movie review or one in under five words.

Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on two of my closest friends’ Letterboxd accounts, I expected Baby Driver to be a cinematic masterpiece. I, however, was unprepared for the fleeting disappointment I felt after watching the credits screen roll. I wanted to love the movie as much as they did, but there was just something missing. 

I mention this experience because I had placed my friends’ opinions of the movie on a pedestal, consequently expecting too much out of it.

However, rated a 7.4 out of 10 on IMDB and a four and a half out of five on my Letterboxd, Lady Bird, is worth every minute. This film highlights the rawness of teenage life through the eyes of high school senior Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. Lady Bird finding her voice and forging her own path after facing a tumultuous relationship with her mother who she also terribly loved, left me in tears. 

But watching this movie, watching Lady Bird tear herself apart as she yearns for her mothers validation, forced me to contemplate on whether I too rely excessively on other’s opinions.

Do you like me?”

“I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be.”

What if this is the best version?

Over the past few months, I was faced with what I believe is the most monumental decision a high school senior can make: deciding what college they want to attend *see story.*

Although I believe that we all end up at the same place in the end, no matter what college we may attend, there seems to be this societal pressure to attend a certain school if you are a certain type of student – an element of Lady Bird’s mother’s incessant expectations and demands.

After finally deciding on a university and letting a couple of friends and teachers know, I was more often than not met with a forced smile, a surprised look and subtle head nod, suggesting that my decision was eccentric for the type of student I was. A few students even went as far as verbalizing their opinions, assuming that “you could do better” is a compliment. 

Letterboxd's top five rated films of 2023 are the following. Which movie is your favorite?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. There will be people like Lady Bird’s mother who go through great lengths to prove their opinion should be valued more than yours.

But facing this first hand and feeling like I was losing control of my personal decision due to other people’s ideas of what my life should look like, made me realize that I have every right to stop listening. 

It’s truly as simple as that.

I don’t think I’ll ever reach a perfect world where I don’t care for other people’s opinions, but I do know that it’s OK to become a version of Lady Bird and unapologetically define my own path.

 Follow Sri (@sriachanta_) and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributors
Sri Achanta
Sri Achanta, Executive Editor-in-Chief
Sri Achanta is a senior and the executive editor-and-chief of The Sidekick. She finds joy in finding narratives within conversations to create compelling stories. In her free time, you can find her reading fantasy and mystery novels, her personal favorite book being Legendborn by Tracy Deon. Sri also enjoys painting still life, prefering acrylic paint over oil paints anytime. One of her favorite artworks is a sculpture by Michelangelo called the “Pietà”.  Sri is always up for a good plate of sushi or a meal at her favorite restaurant, Siam Thai, where she gets her go-to favorite dish which is spicy drunken noodles. She loves to top off her dinner with her favorite drink, Matcha tea. She also never passes on an opportunity to hang out with her friends and family. Her favorite childhood show is “The Wizards of Waverly Place” and she’s currently on her fourth rewatch. To contact her, you can email her at [email protected] or on 'X' (@Sriachanta_ ).
Sameeha Syed
Sameeha Syed, Social Media Manager
Sameeha Syed is a senior and the Social Media Manager for The Sidekick. Syed joined The Sidekick thinking she was going to write, but realized she enjoyed taking photos and videos more. On rainy days, you can find her listening to her favorite artist, Steve Lacey, or watching her favorite movie, Little Women (2019). Syed loves spicy, flavorful food and her drink of choice is hot chai. Syed dislikes sweets; in fact, she would take savory food over dessert any day. Syed has a super cool fashion style, and if you look at her hands, 9 times out of 10, she has on her fun accessories: her rings and her favorite watch. Syed has a list of odd things she really likes, and on that list is her emotional support water bottle and warm socks. Syed also is very much a night owl, preferring to stay awake later rather than wake up earlier. Her favorite subjects in school are history and literature courses. You can contact her on Instagram (@ssameeha) or through email ([email protected]). 

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    Sukirtha MuthiahFeb 9, 2024 at 5:11 pm

    This is reel-y good! I rate this story 10 out of 10 stars!