The glorification of high school and the disappointment it brings students


Disney Studios

The cast of “High School Musical” jumps for a movie cover photo.

Patricia Novak, Staff Writer

      For what it felt like an eternity, high school was a place that seemed so far away, and when we got there, it meant we were “the big kids” or signified we were all grown up. It was this elusive place we all looked forward to. The drive to grow up and become more independent was embedded in everyone. Not to mention the idea that high school will be the peak of our adolescence, our so-called “prime.”

      However, what the media has failed to tell us is that high school is not what it’s cracked up to be. I blame movies and television embedded in our early childhoods for the past 10-20 years. One of the best examples of this is Disney’s “High School Musical.” Even though it seems pretty obvious now, we were never warned that no one would break out into song and dance in the middle of the hallway. Not to mention the social aspect of the films as well. The story follows a group of generally very popular teens. The star player of the basketball team and his friends; the richest, prettiest girl in school. I mean, it doesn’t take much to realize that not everyone has a friend group the size of 30 people. 

      This next example came out before any of Neuqua’s current students were even born, but its popularity never seems to dwindle. “10 Things I Hate About You” is a romantic comedy that features two main characters and two other characters on the side that still stay prevalent to the plot. In connection with “Highschool Musical,” “10 Things I Hate About You” is about two teenagers who fall in love and encounter some bumps in the road, ultimately end up together. Now, we all know how high school relationships end. Less than 2 percent of high school relationships end with marriage (Brandon Gaille). So creating this expectation that these relationships always have a happy ending is extremely misleading. I know, from being a student today, that there is this unspoken pressure to get a date to homecoming, get a date to prom, or get a boy/girlfriend. Many people now see this as the social norm, everyone has their other person, and some may base their self-confidence on whether or not they have or have been in a relationship. Another point is that students may prioritize romantic relationships over other responsibilities as a student, the reason we all ultimately go to school: getting an education. 

      Not to say that this is all out of reach or impossible, but high school really isn’t what it’s like in the movies. Though it all seemed obviously irrational or unreasonable, many were let down anyway due to the hope that maybe it would be similar. But, the truth is that movies based on student life don’t even come near real life. They don’t focus on how important it is to get good grades; plan for the future; or keep stable, healthy relationships with friends and family. It would be great to see a movie that does reflect actuality, but I guess then no one would want to watch it.