The Reality of High School



Kayla Reagan and Jazmine Torres

High school movies and tv shows tend to show a more of a dramatized and unrealistic side of high school. There are no random outbursts of singing or dancing, no house parties every weekend, and no one goes to school dressed like a Euphoria character. 

Adding unrealistic scenarios to the movie and tv show creates a misunderstanding of what high school is really like. This causes viewers to have an unrealistic sense of reality, believing high school is just like it is portrayed in the media.

In the article, “Hollywood’s High School vs Real-Life High School” on The Bradford, Kate Waisel states, “Growing up watching “High School Musical” on repeat, I always imagined that when I got to high school, everyone would look so old, have crazy amounts of drama, and maybe even spontaneously burst into song and dance.” 

If you are a watching High School Musical, you might believe that in high school everyone starts singing and dancing, but as a high school student watching the HBO Max show Euphoria, it’s completely different even from the way they dress. Leila Wooten, a student at University High School speaks on this stating, “High school in media is pretty dumb because they don’t give an accurate depiction of school life.” 

Many shows based on high school display characters who look like they go to middle school then when they are in high school they look like adults. This creates false norms for young adults and how they are supposed to look/dress when entering high school.  For example in Euphoria, adults like Maddy Perez (29 years old) play younger characters who are 17 years old. Leila Wooten also states, “ The one thing I wish was real from the high school shows are the glow-ups that happen”. 

Even though high school movies and tv shows seem to be getting more unrealistic. They still show what some high school students do eventually go through in life.   This can help create awareness for kids who are going through tough times in High School. Another example of a movie that shows unrealistic expectations of high school is Booksmart, which shows students going to parties every weekend and doing activities they shouldn’t be doing while being able to get into ivy league colleges.  

In conclusion, even though high school media can be fun and entertaining to watch, it should not be used as a judgment for what life in high school is actually like for younger generations. Every student´s time in high school is different, and it is not something you should watch videos to prepare for.