Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top 10 Things Hollywood Gets Wrong About High School

For a while now it has bugged me how Hollywood has portrayed high schools. Sure it's a movie and we all know it's not real--even the ones based on a true story--but most of the high school movies have moved on to the point of being absolutely absurd. So to satisfy my practical side, I've come up with a list of 10 things Hollywood just doesn't get right about high school.

1. There is no clear distiction between the "cool kids" and the "nerds". Just like every person is multifaceted with several interests, so are the "subsects" of high school social classes. Just because one person is in the marching band doesn't mean that they can't also be an awesome soccer player or the school mascot is a complete loser. Our school mascot was also on the track team, was well liked, could do or build anything, and now, five years later, works for NASA.
Although I don't think the all white plus white lipstick helps.

2. Not all high schoolers--even the most popular--drive cars that cost loads of money or drive at all. Fact is parents having money is not equal to popularity AND just because they have money doesn't mean that they're willing to spend a great amount on an inexperienced driver. In these economic times I don't think many parents can afford cars for themselves let alone teenagers. Back when times were a little easier there were still a plethora of licensed drivers taking the bus. Not only is it cheaper (considering cost of car, insurance, tags, and gas), but it's more ecofriendly.

3. Dress code. There is no way students would be allowed to wear hardly anything you see them wear in movies or on TV. Most schools' dress code is as follows: no hats, no baggy pants, no revealing of underwear, skirt can be no shorter than a few inches above the knee, all tank tops must have straps several inches wide, no tight-fitting clothing and forget about wearing anything revealing--you'll be sent home. Even school dances have dress codes and again, they will send you home!

Yes, all three of you need to go home and change right now.
4. Lack of backpacks/bags. Particularly with the female students the lack of having some sort of bag to carry all the essentials (other than some small purse that would barely hold today's large-screen-but-really-small cell phones) is like they're showing a school worthy of the "Twilight Zone". Your locker--which I will get to later--is probably located in some absurd location that you never have time to visit. The few minutes you have to get to your next class is not enough time to make it to your locker located 5 miles away. Thus, you need a bag to hold your various sets of books and notebooks--and then probably a bigger bag just to haul all of your homework home.

5. Kids/teens are not so self-absorbed in current culture that they have no sense history. Usually this is used as a comedic reference as to the cultural differences between the misunderstood teen and the dorky adult. Hollywood seems to think that if it's not part of the current fad, then the youth is unaware of it. Heads up, Hollywood, I have a friend who is 17 and is the biggest fan of Frank Sinatra as well as the rest of the Rat Pack. A few teens I know are crazy about math and are learning its history! Also, I know a rather petulant person who is completely obsessed with ancient civilizations. People aren't oblivious up until the day of graduation and then suddenly realize they want to be botanists.

Sorry, Seventeen magazine says I don't care about that.

6. PDA. Very much like the dress code, the blatant Public Displays of Affection follow a strict set of rules. In the movies you see the typical couple being completely inappropriate on the protagonist's locker. No school would ever allow for this to happen--particularly repeat offenses. Teachers do monitor the halls in between classes and several schools have surveillance cameras set up throughout the building. Usually the most couples can do is hug...not quite the same as what you've seen in theaters is it?

7. High schoolers do not look like they are in their mid-20s. This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves on the list. You don't go from middle school/junior high looking like your family's favorite pet name for you is "munchkin" to being one of those models from Abercrombie and Fitch. It just doesn't work like that. At this time in our lives we're working on growing into ourselves. That means crooked teeth, awkward hair decisions, squeaking voices, and yes, ZITS! Not even the girls that I was completely envious of got to escape the dreaded pimple.

Only 3 of us actually were teens when this movie was released.

8. Pristine schools which include ample locker space. Come on, Hollywood! This is a public building...filled with teenagers...rushing in a herd of other teenagers to get to their respective classes...for years on end. Things will get scuffed. Paint gets chipped. Lockers? Scratched and dented. Also, since I mentioned lockers, you would be hard pressed to find a school that has lockers that can fit a nerdy student. Lockers usually don't extend all the way to the ground--what a waste of space! You might be lucky to get a top locker or you may have to squeeze in between the legs of other students to get to your bottom locker. My last year of  high school had Freshmen and Sophomores sharing lockers due to how crowded we were.

9. Everyone knows a choreographed dance and performs it during the big school dance. Are you kidding me? People couldn't even get coordinated enough to stand up at the same time to cheer on their team. (Invention of the Wave anyone?) Also, people actually exist outside of school. Once the last bell rings, people are going to practice, study groups, home, work, or another million possibilities. Sure you could say that there could be a dance (during the dance) committee to teach everyone how to do a specified dance, but it would be extremely hard to get the entire school to show. Unless it's something like the Hokey Pokey, the Macarena, or the Funky Chicken (which no one wants to bring out at a formal) there isn't going to be a super cool dance everyone knows done at a predetermined time.

Even while doing the "cool" dance they still look goofy.

10. The anti-freshman mentality. The main worry of mine transitioning from middle school to high school was the fact that there was going to be an ENTIRE year before me of relentless torture. All the TV shows and movies I saw showed that the whole student body thought Freshmen were the scum of humanity. You should just lay low and pray for Sophomore year to come swiftly. Guess what? Not. True. The other students couldn't care less that I was a Freshman. In fact, on my first day, when I had a hard time finding my classes, several pointed me in the right direction. As long as your ambition isn't to thoroughly annoy the upperclassmen, then most will pay you no mind or take you under their wing.

There you have it! Is your mind blown? Did you nod in agreement at least once? Are there any that you think are obvious, but I've missed?

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