Debunking High School Stereotypes
Troy Bolton singing to you on a rooftop garden. School uniforms that look like they’re designed by Coco Chanel. Saving the entire wizarding-race with your two best buds.
While they may be dramatic and exciting, movies and TV shows centered around high schools are not always accurate representations of what high school is like in real life.
And, hey, we’re down for a Riverdale binge-watch as much as the next Netflix fiend. But, we’re here to remind you why you shouldn’t be too disappointed if your high school experience doesn’t turn out like your faves’ in their teen universe.
Here’s 10 things that happen on screen in high school that just don’t happen IRL.
1. Skin imperfections are non-existent.
Either teenagers in movies and TV shows just don’t experience puberty, or there is just some high-end foundation and good lighting up in the set.
If you experience pimples at least once in your life, it’s most likely going to be during your teenage years – but they are nothing to be ashamed of. Acne, blocked pores, body hair growth, weight gain, mood imbalances and any other body changes are all normal, and you won’t be the only one experiencing these changes.
Don’t let “perfect” actors (who are almost certainly adults that have already gone through puberty) make you believe that blemishes and imperfections don’t exist. They do – and we’re here for all of them.
2. You always have time in between classes.
It seems that in screen life students just always have time to gossip, frolic, or even fight in between classes, but this is just not true.
At most, you’ll be lucky to run into your mate on your four minute walk to next period all the way at the other end of the school. Drama can’t exist inside classrooms for fictional characters because there are teachers present, duh…
3. …Or even before school begins.
Try on multiple outfits, prepare a cute, instagrammable breakfast, then maybe carpool in with friends.
If this does sound like your morning, big ups to you for putting in the effort. Some of us barely know where the pair to our sock is and hopefully manage to skull down some black coffee before running for the bus.
4. Stalker crushes are cute.
Seriously… and after breaking into their room and watching them sleep they end up together and Hollywood calls it love? Oof. No thank you.
5. There are outrageous parties… every weekend.
I don’t know about where you live, but it’s not all the time parents are leaving town and not letting anyone check in on their hormonal, raving kids.
And, if this is the case in teen movie universe, the whole school shows up for an absolute rager. All of a sudden the main five characters know 100 more people they’ve never spoken to.
6. Popular kids walk in a horizontal line.
Okay, in real life, there’s nothing wrong with walking in a horizontal line with your friends; at least this way no-one’s left out trailing behind.
But, you don’t have to be “popular”, mean, or conventionally “good looking” to do it. It’s just walking, for crying out loud!
7. Take the glasses off a girl and all of a sudden she’s “pretty.”
We’re not saying that she wouldn’t be pretty. But, equally, we’re not saying that people with glasses aren’t.
For years, glasses have been used in screen to symbolise smartness and equate this trait solely to “nerds.” Generally, nerds on screen have been characterized to be unattractive or unappealing to the high school masses.
To the screenwriters, we say: leave this in 2001, please.
8. Only “nerds” study.
Yeah, nah. At the end of the day, deep down we all want to succeed in high school.
But, this isn’t exclusive to the standard “heads down, books out” in the corner of the library studying that you see in movies.
Some people succeed in sport and might train 12 hours a week on the field after school. Others might do best on stage, rehearsing their lines every chance they get.
Success in high school isn’t only measured by the grades you get in what society calls “smart” subjects.
9. Outfits are never worn twice.
Because teen movie universe has never heard of a washing machine.
Even uniform-schooled students do things like wearing the same shirt for days because it fits better than the four other identical ones they have. It just does, okay Mum?!
10. Stick to the status quo.
A catchy song that teaches us all a lesson in the verses: screw categorising yourself under one stereotypical clique.
You can be a basketball player and bake, you can be a math geek and get down to hip hop, you can be a skater and play the cello.
One thing that doesn’t happen in high school, though, is a cafeteria full of students that burst out into song and dance (though we sometimes wish it did).
You only get to experience high school once – so make it your own!