The star took to Instagram to share an old yearbook snap where he's barely recognizable (though slightly resembles a suave Josh Peck during the heyday of Drake & Josh), opening up about how difficult things sometimes got when he was younger, before he eventually found success.
In his deeply personal message that feels like a galvanizing rally cry for any kids out there who feel like they aren't quite where they want to be in life, Montgomery begins: "When I was a kid, I was lost." It's a sentiment many of us share.
"I had a really tough time in school," he wrote. "I was a big kid who loved drama. I never got passing grades, I wasn't a popular or gifted sports player. Girls were never interested in me. I suffered from anxiety at a young age. I was distracted and I wasn’t focused. But I had a dream, I was lucky - I knew what I wanted to do. And every night I went home and I focused on THAT." Inspirational words, to be sure, and insightful in that he proves he really did have his eyes on the prize growing up.
Montgomery recalled how he failed his high school drama exams when he was 15, told he needed to lose weight at 16, and was even "told to leave" drama school at 18. But he never once let this stop him.
"I never let the failures get me down," Montgomery concluded. "Because I believed in myself and I never let anyone tell me otherwise. You can do anything you set your mind to." Wise words, especially for anyone looking to one of Stranger Things' biggest stars for inspiration.
"So, go out there and get it!" he urges at the end of his message. If you needed words of encouragement today, let them come from Hawkins' coolest rebellious teen. He got where he is because of determination and believing in himself, and you know what? So can you.
Stranger Things Season 3 is available to stream now on Netflix.