All high schoolers can recall the summer before their freshman year, when even the most confident young teenager would get nervous just thinking about the upcoming school year. The movies they had seen showed high school cliques, drama, and Regina Georges.
At the same time, visions of letter jackets and football games, the whole high school experience, danced in the back of every 14 year old’s mind. We all now know that high school movies are nothing like reality.
“Mean Girls” set the scene of high school as a wild jungle. In the cafeteria, heavily segregated cliques emerged. The popular kids spoke to no one, the art kids all banded together, and the juniors and seniors ate on campus, for some unfathomable reason, in the cafeteria. The three “plastics,” supposedly the most popular girls in school, ate lunch alone at a grimy table.
This portrayal of high school lunch culture could not be any farther from the truth. The popular kids at high school have full lunch tables, if they’re even in the cafeteria at all. The minute a student becomes a junior, they never eat lunch on campus again.
Then there’s the idealistic parts of high school we’re missing out on. The letter jackets and football games on Friday nights, the school dances and parties. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” raised our expectations to a post-game snack at the chain diner Kings every Friday, at least if they weren’t going to the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.“
Broughton does have the dances and the football games, and they do a pretty good job of capturing the atmosphere every 13 year old craved after watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The Rialto even puts on their own”Rocky Horror Show” the first Saturday of every month.
“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” planted dreams of cruising downtown in a convertible with Tom Petty playing as the protagonist goes on her first date.
The senior boy would pick up the freshman girl, who of course somehow looked like she was 20, had perfect eyebrows, and no acne in sight, and they’d get dinner at the second nicest restaurant in town.
In reality, a first date is always a cringe inducing experience that, if you’re lucky, ends in a cringe inducing first kiss.
“The Breakfast Club” was a semi-realistic portrayal of high school, although in what world would there be detention on a Saturday? Every high schooler can still relate to Brian’s stress regarding school work and the pressure of maintaining a good GPA, although hopefully not to the degree of trying to shoot themselves with a flare gun.
There are several musical numbers we’re missing, and summers spent working at country clubs with the entire student body. “High School Musical” painted a romantic picture of high school to which even the best high school experience could not live up.