I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love high school movies and TV shows.

And always have! When I was younger, I watched these movies and TV shows religiously leading up to high school, anxiously awaiting the day I could finally live out my Cool Teen Life.™

BUT, speaking as someone who’s now been through high school and is what the youths might refer to as An Old™, I can confidently say there were plenty of inconsistencies between TV/movie high school and my actual life in high school.

So without further ado, here’s 18 lies about high school, as told by movies and TV shows about high school:

1.Everyone looks like they’re 24.

This is because all of the actors playing these teens are 24. But that wasn’t something middle school Shelby, who had no concept of age or time, knew or understood. As a result, I thought everyone (including me) would simply transform into a mature Adonis the moment they set foot in those the high school hallways. I was sorely mistaken.

2.And they’re also painfully hot.

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with everyone actually being in their mid-twenties. Not only that, but high school movies and TV shows almost exclusively feature HOT people in their mid-twenties. Like, painfully hot. Like, “I don’t think I could I even look you in the eyes if I met you in real life” hot. So not only did I assume I’d look like a full-on adult in high school, I also assumed I’d look like an insanely hot adult. Again, sorely mistaken.

3.Going to class isn’t really a thing.

Have you ever seen a movie or TV show set in high school where the characters actually go to class? They’re pretty few and far between, save one or two obligatory scenes. Instead, they’re either in the hallway or off having zany adventures. Imagine my disappointment when I found out being in high school actually involved being in school.

4.And neither is homework.

How do none of these fictional kids fail their classes??? When I was in high school it felt like I was doing homework 25/8. I hardly had enough time to catch a movie on a school night, let alone track down a murderer or become a vampire as many high school movies and shows like to assume.

5.Everyone’s bedrooms are huge.

What I wouldn’t have given to have the bedroom of a fictional high school teen. That giant bed, all that space, all those cool posters effortlessly thrown onto the wall in such a haphazard way. I don’t know why I thought I’d magically get a cool new bedroom once I got to high school. Especially since my family didn’t move homes or anything, which meant the bedroom I had in middle school was…the same bedroom I had in high school.

6.Love connections are always happening in gym class.

Movies like 10 Things I Hate About You really had me thinking some hunk of a man was going to jump onto the bleachers and serenade me in an effort to win my love while I ran around the track in my gym shorts. Or at the very least, I’d get to smooch a hottie like in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Alas, my high school gym class mostly consisted of me sweating and getting winded after jogging for 30 seconds.

7.High school parties are held in massive mansions with 600 people in attendance.

This is a big one. Despite the fact that I knew no kids with homes this large, I genuinely thought this is what I had in store for me when it came to high school parties. Let me tell you something: I went to exactly three parties in high school, and all of them were in grimy houses with a single keg, and nowhere near 600 people. Maybe like, 50 max. And no one danced on a table or jumped in the pool.

8.Outfits are always super detailed and on point.

Although the idea of having perfectly tailored and color-coordinated outfits like Cher in Clueless was nice, I didn’t understand the toll waking up at 5:30 a.m. every day would take on my fashion sense. After finally finding the will to live, I was lucky if I even put makeup on.

9.Midriffs showing isn’t an issue at all.

I couldn’t wait to get to high school because I thought it meant wearing lots of fashionable clothes that were a little bit risqué and scandalous. After all, the high school girls I saw in movies and TV got to show their midriffs! Why couldn’t I? I’ve got two words for you: DRESS CODES.*

*Which by the way, were often pretty sexist.

10.Someone always spikes the punch at school dances.

Maybe I wasn’t drinking the right punch in high school, but that shit was never spiked. In my experience, high school students aren’t that interested in sharing alcohol with their classmates, especially considering how difficult it is to get your hands on it if you’re under 21.

11.Field trips are always crazy extravagant.

I don’t think I can even remember going on one field trip in high school, let alone anything like the field trips I’ve witnessed in high school movies. Heck, I’d like to go on some of those field trips as an ADULT. A multi-night ski getaway at a beautiful resort? Sign me up!!!

12.People go all-out decorating their lockers.

I didn’t have a locker in middle school, so I would dream of how I’d decorate my locker once I finally got to high school. Much to my disappointment, decorating our lockers wasn’t even a thing! We didn’t have time. Plus, it just wasn’t seen as *cool* the same way it was in my beloved movies and shows.

13.There’s a make out session at literally every turn.

I had high hopes for the amount of making out I’d be doing in high school thanks to all the TV and movies I watched. It could happen in class! It could happen in the hallway! The cafeteria! The janitor’s closet! The opportunities are endless! Needless to say, this wasn’t the case.

14.And they’re always crazy steamy.

On the off chance that I did make out with someone in high school, it was never as hot and steamy as the make out sessions I saw in high school movies and TV shows. Instead, it was hella awkward with a lot more tongue and slobber than necessary. TBH, I don’t think I’ve EVER had a make out session that steamy!! If anyone wants to help me out with this, please let me know!!!

15.Affairs between teachers and students are NBD.

In fact, this scenario is often portrayed as a sexy, romantic tryst between two star-crossed lovers (still lookin’ at you, Pretty Little Liars). When in reality, this situation is NEVER OK and involves predatory behavior, a messed up power dynamic, and quite frankly, statutory rape. None of which I was equipped to understand as a young tween.

16.Nothing matters more than sports.

I genuinely thought I would care about sports once I entered high school (lol) because the sports enthusiasm in high school movies and TV shows is INSANE. So much drama! So much passion!!! But in real life no one cared even an iota as much as the characters on my TV screen. And that’s probably for the best. That energy could be better spent elsewhere.

17.Something dramatic always happens at graduation.

In my pre-high-school mind, it wasn’t a graduation unless someone went into labor, pulled a massive prank, or stood up to boldly declare their undying love for someone. Meanwhile at my own graduation, we did the thing, said the words, threw the hats, and that was it. That’s not to say I wasn’t happy at my graduation, because I was stoked high school was ending!

18.And finally, everything gets perfectly resolved in the end.

Even if things are batshit crazy in the opening scene or at the top of the episode, it’s all pretty much resolved itself by the end. Generally with a kiss, or a nice montage if for some reason there’s a cliff hanger. Not so for me in high school! The moment I thought I had one thing figured out, another issue popped up. And so it went on for four years straight.

With all that said, I still live for movies and TV shows about high school, and probably always will. Even if they still tend to be a little off base.

Were you led astray by any high school movies and TV shows? Let us know in the comments below!


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