Beginning high school seems intimidating, and Hollywood shaped students’ expectations, portraying it as either the best years of one’s life or the worst. Movies depict high school as a battlefield, fighting for the chance to be the most popular kid in school or even simply to survive. They show kids stressing themselves out and changing themselves for silly reasons. In reality, high school is about finding one’s place amongst people with similar interests.
The Breakfast Club
The idea of five completely different personalities walking into detention and then sharing their feelings may sound dreamy, but no one goes to detention, causes shenanigans and then comes out with new friends. The principal is not an enemy who dislikes students. There is no such thing as an eight-hour detention on a Saturday, and there is no leaving the detention room or crawling through the vents to get back to the detention room.
“I was eating a burger in the band room and I was caught,” 2015 graduate Gerret Epperson said. “Then I got a three-hour detention. [In ‘The Breakfast Club’] the teacher wasn’t in the room so they got to just venture off to wherever. [In real life,] the teacher is in the room, we’re monitored by laptops, no food is allowed, no talking, no Taco Bell runs. We don’t have to come in on a Saturday morning. We have to stay after on a Friday or Wednesday and do janitorial work, or if you get lucky, you sit in the classroom. It’s not in the library; you have to meet by the lecture hall. Then we come down to the teacher’s classroom.”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
At some point in the year, school is going to become overwhelming. The assignments piling up will seem like a mountain and the 2:55 p.m. bell will seem like it will never ring. You will feel the need to skip school, but will not because no one has that much time to plan an elaborate scheme to get out of school. If you do skip school, it will not be like this movie. Chances are, you would more than likely be sitting at home alone, which can be nice at times. But don’t expect to become a part of a parade in Chicago, or to have students starting a campaign to “save” you after being caught skipping.
“[On senior skip day] I slept in and then I had practice that evening,” 2015 graduate Anton Stephenson said. “I did not do anything outrageous because my parents would kill me.”
High School Musical
Do not expect to walk down the hallways and see the basketball team doing a choreographed song and dance routine. There is never spontaneous singing in high school. Unless you are in choir, no one sings during the day. Also, it is not impossible for a basketball player to also be interested in musical theater, but chances are, he or she is already extremely busy managing school and their extracurriculars. There is no star of the school who has the weight of extreme popularity on their shoulders, and there is definitely no freeze jumping.
“We don’t burst out in song at random moments in our games,” senior JD Bembrey said. “We also work harder in practice than they do in the movie, as they sing during their practice.”
The thought of a group of girls dressed head to toe in pink on a Wednesday may scare you, but there is nothing to worry about. No one makes that much effort to assert their popularity. Cliques exist in school; however, no group of people is this intense. They consist more of people who share similar interests. For example, if you play a sport, there is a good chance you will socialize with other people playing the same sport. Popularity is not ignored, but it is not this glorified. Friendships may seem unbreakable, but you do not have to worry about your name being put in the Burn Book.
“I played sports before going into the performance arts, so I still have those friends,” junior Lauren Johnson said. “Since I came from Fishers Junior High, I still have some friends from there. I also have church group friends and people I’ve met that live in my neighborhood that I’ve known since about elementary school who are my friends.”
In all honesty, if there is one movie that is somewhat accurate about showing what high school is truly like, it is this one. You may not become best friends with Pedro and Deb, but you may form your own clique. People become aware of who is more popular than others, but it really is not a big deal. HSE is so diverse, full of people with different interests, making it difficult to compare people purely based on how many people know their name. You may meet some interesting people, but you should not expect to go to your new best friend’s house and see a llama named Tina tied to a fence, being fed leftover dinner.
“We keep our llamas on a farm where they are free to run around, not tied to a fence,” junior Allison Legg said. “We also don’t feed them table food. They eat grass, hay and grain.”