High School Stereotypes VS. the Reality of High School

The movie Heathers

The movie Heathers

Melanie Gramajo and Havana Thomas

The Movie The Breakfast Club

There are a wide selection of teen-based movies like The Breakfast Club and High School Musical which tell enjoyable stories of young love and self-discovery. In The Breakfast Club, five high school kids from different walks of life endure a Saturday of detention held by their menacing principal. Throughout the movie, they begin to reveal their true identities, and by doing so, laugh, cry, and realize that they want to be more than a product of their parents. Detention in real life, however, is nothing more than a group of kids stuck in a classroom for one hour after school, anticipating the moment of release. There is one thing though, that both the movie and reality share, and that is identity. Although we’re all just kids still learning from life, we each have a sense of individual self, with experiences to undergo, problems to face, and stories to tell.

Growing up as a kid, I would watch High School Musical, a movie about a popular high school athlete and an academically gifted girl get roles in the school musical and develop a friendship that threatens East High’s social order. The movie reflects on how two complete polar opposites can find love and harmony within each other while balancing their individual lives as high school students. The commonly asked question is “does love exist in high school?” Unlike the characters in the movie living a fantasy/dream, the harsh reality is that most high school students don’t even fall in love and most relationships only last 4-6 months.

Overall, the stereotypes in movies, music, and shows are just a drastic emphasis on what actually happens. Love, conflict, gossip, and creativity all exist in the high school scenario, but it’s simply not as dramatic as the movies make it seem.

Freaks and Geeks is a show that follows the lives of Lindsay Weir and her younger brother Sam as they navigate through high school. The show covers many topics ranging from drugs, and peer pressure, to romance and betrayal.

The Netflix Show Freaks and Geeks

The success of the show is likely due to the fact that it’s highly relatable. Many people can feel a connection to the characters and the things that they experience. For example, in the show, Lindsay begins to choose a different path, eventually becoming the type of person that her pure, childhood friend Millie, dislikes; which eventually leads them to drift apart. Another topic that the show covers quite cleverly is peer pressure. In an attempt to fit in with her new, rebellious group of friends, Lindsay tries smoking marijuana for the first time. The show does a good job in showing the consequences of doing drugs instead of simply preaching against it. In place of that, the audience witnesses the character’s experience as she learns from her mistakes.

Freaks and Greeks is also different from other similar shows because it doesn’t portray high school relationships unrealistically. In the show, Lindsay and Nick are obviously both inexperienced, and the fact that they’re naive is not hidden from the audience. Another example of how great the love life of high schoolers is portrayed is when Lindsay’s little brother Sam finally dates the girl he was crushing on for years. He then discovers the sad truth that his dream girl was not meant for him. This realistic portrayal of a high school relationship shows that not all teenagers are shallow and not all relationships work out.