Expectation versus reality


The bell rings, and crowds of students rush into the halls to get to their next class. You see a group of mean girls giving everyone dirty looks, jocks are beating up a small, nerdy kid, and there is not a teacher in sight. Every movie tends to have the same clichés, and, most of the time, the high school drama is exaggerated and incorrectly describes how going to classes is in real life. 

“In movies it shows many things that do not actually happen in high school. Smart people can be popular, cheerleaders are not mean girls, and you will not get thrown in a trash can,” Charlotte Holtzhower, freshman, said.  

One majorly overused themes in high school movies is the idea of cliques, a group of people with shared interests, such as makeup or parties, who exclude others, with the most common being the mean or popular girls. One example of this stereotype is in the movie “Mean Girls,” where a group of three girls are idolized by their peers, yet the trio treats others horribly. This rarely happens in real life, as people would not let “popular kids” get away with treating people as badly as they do in movies.  

“I think that in this day of social media everyone morphs together, and there is such easy access to find common interests between people, which makes it hard to separate into cliques,” Ansley Rippey, junior, said.  

Bullying is also typically portrayed as more violent and physical on television than in real life. In movies, the “nerdy kids” are always given swirlies or getting shoved in lockers by the upperclassmen. Meanwhile, modern-day bullying is mostly online, through gossiping, or teasing behind people’s backs.  

“Often, bullying is seen as inflicting physical pain, but in our generation, bullying is done more verbally to inflict emotional pain instead,” Nick Sexton, sophomore, said.  

Another cliché is that “popular students” always seem to be wearing designer clothes, high heels, and full faces of makeup. In reality, few people look effortlessly put together early in the morning. Most students wear comfortable clothes to school, and some even wear pajamas.  

“I think movie productions try to make high school seem big and extravagant, so they dress up the actors and make them look like models to give viewers the idea of the high school dream,” Kennedy Johnson, sophomore, said.  

While these movies can be fun and entertaining to watch, they rarely portray an accurate representation of how high school is in real life.