The High School Experience

Is it what it’s cracked up to be?



High school experiences are ruined form the start because of the way that the media portrays high school.

Jacob Garcia, Staff Writer

Due to popular films, television, as well as media, high school is seen as a cultural milestone for so many of us. Generation after generation, with films like Grease, any John Hughes movie, Clueless, or Mean Girls depict an extremely exaggerated and romanticized version of the real high school experience.

“I think it set unrealistic standards of what high school is supposed to be like,” junior Addyson Renard said. “Many shows and films also only showed the social aspect of high school and not how hard it actually is academically.”

The media portrays high school to be a joyous ride filled with parties, trips to the mall, and most importantly: relationships. However, with this type of false imaging, teensenter high school with a  false sense of what it will turn out to be versus the reality. The realistic hardships of high school will hit the students instead and they will be faced with juggling academics, social and home life, and their own inner battles one can face. 

“The media glorifies the high school experience a lot, like literally I feel like high school is only fun if you’re a non-POC, straight, and cis,” sophomore Lovelynn Villamor said.

This warped perception of the high school career perpetuates the stereotype that if you’re a person of color, you’ll do less, gain less, and mean less in society. The media often only gives lead roles to non-POCs in films, specifically school related movies geared towards impressionable youth continues this feeling of subordination from generation to generation.

“Coming into high school, I was very intimidated by the negative stereotypes and cliques that I’ve seen in movies [and] TV,” sophomore Daylene Craddock said. “I didn’t know how mean the mean girl was gonna be, and I didn’t know if I was gonna fit in with any of the groups that were being portrayed [in the media].”

Before coming into high school, a lot of us feel a sense of dread and anxiety revolving around high school, which is inherently normal considering it is a big change in your life, but the media has given high school a bad reputation and shines it in a weird, intimidating light that gives incoming freshman a sense of fear. This fear includes worrying if they’re gonna fit in, or get bullied by ‘the jocks’ or the ‘mean girls,’ ultimately making high school an unwelcoming environment. In actuality, there’s no hierarchy since there are not any ‘geeks’ getting bullied by ‘jocks.’ We are all just in school, trying to pass all our classes, graduate, and most importantly, make memories.