High School from the Eyes of a Child

Hollie Wilburn, Writer

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High School: the thing many young children are either excited for or terrified of. In the media, high school is perceived very differently from how it actually is. As children, many people watched movies like The Cheetah Girls, Lemonade Mouth, and High School Musical, just to name a few. Obviously, we didn’t think high school was going to be one giant musical, but those movies did put ideas of how high school would be in our heads. Nowadays, kids are watching movies and TV shows like, Girl Meets World and Zapped, which like the first few movies I named, premiered on The Disney Channel and are in a highs school setting. I don’t think these movies are bad for kids to watch, but I think they can make kids scared of going into high school due to how they show things such as cliques and bullies.

Compared to schools shown on TV and in movies, our school seems relatively diverse in race, sexual orientation, and how people from different “cliques” interact with each other. People of every race religion, and background mix and interact with each other in our various clubs and extra-curricular activities. Also, many people don’t have just one thing they are a part of. In movies, this rarely happens. Most of the time in the media, when somebody decides to do something outside of what they normally do, they’re thought of as weird but at Heritage, people are encouraged to branch out. I feel like we’d all like to think that our school is super special and out of the box, but is it possible that other school are like ours? I interviewed my friend, Lauren Mural, about her high school experience. In the 2015-2016 school year, Lauren attended Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia. Over the summer, her family moved to the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, where she now is a Sophomore at Lovejoy High School. When I asked her about stereotypes in her school, she said, “There is always a clear distinction between the drama kids and the football players when we have pep rallies or assemblies, but there isn’t a big rivalry like in the movies. Everyone is nice to each other, but not exactly friends.” So, Lauren’s school seems very similar to ours but, the groups don’t seem to ever blend.

Overall, I don’t think our school is special in many ways, based on Lauren’s experiences. However, this just reiterates how much TV high school is different from real high school. When I asked my friend Madison Tran, a freshman at Heritage, about what she thought high school was going to be like based on what she’d seen in the media, she said, “I was scared on going into high school! I thought there were going to be a bunch of blonde mean girls and shy nerds like how they show in the movies, but Heritage isn’t like that at all.” Being a freshman, Madison didn’t know what to expect going into high school. IN the media, I think they should make high school a little more realistic for our generation. Maybe high school was how it is in the movies when the people making the movies were our age, but today, barriers are being torn down, people are breaking stereotypes, and diversity is celebrated. If the writers of TV shows and movies would make their products more realistic for today, kids would be more prepared and less scared of high school. Children’s media is watched by so many kids and by making a few changes, they won’t have to worry about high school as much.

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High School from the Eyes of a Child