High School in Movies vs The Reality of High School

Do movies give students high expectations about high school?


Ileana Gonzalez

Books that reveal the reality of high school.

Ileana Gonzalez, Reporter

“Heading into my freshman year, with overworn stereotypes branded into my memory, I was conditioned to believe that every high school had impromptu food fights…” said Jack Howland, copy editor of The Harbinger Online.There are movies that interpret high school as the four most unforgettable years of your life, but other movies show the feelings behind a real-life situation.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” shows the type of experiences a high school student may undergo. In the film, the protagonist, Charlie Kelmeckis, is diagnosed with depression and is traumatized because he was sexually molested.

He meets a group of friends that help him cope with the emotional pain. “[TPBW] is more realistic. It is not about the cliques and the bubblegum stuff. It is more like this kid feels the reality and stress of high school and what really goes on between the students,” said Oxnard High School sophomore Will Gerardo.

Charlie does get a taste of adventure and new experiences. “They’re having fun, but still have issues and worries about their future, and I feel like some of us can relate,” said sophomore Kimberly Santos.

Although the film can be seen as realistic, others disagree. OHS junior, Gissele Vazquez said, “That does not happen. No one is a wallflower, just a loner standing in the corner.”

In another movie called “Palo Alto,” the characters balance a life of parties, sex, and drugs. This movie centers around the social aspect of high school while also touching upon the educational part. OHS sophomore, Mayela Solorio said, “I was reading this review, and it said that [Palo Alto] was the best representation of high school.”

The film also demonstrates the stress that students endure during high school. April, a character in the movie, goes through the pressures of future decisions and athletics. Solorio, who also feels the effects of stress in high school, said, “I feel like a lot of my brain cells are dying.”

Although high school may not be exactly like the movies, some students make it memorable. For example, some might meet new people that forever impact their lives. Junior Gissel Flores said, “Friends [are what] I am going to remember the most.”

Factors such as the school dances and football games tie into the positive aspect of high school for some students.“It is really cool seeing your friends out there supporting you, and it is just a really fun experience especially when you have two really good friends by your side.” said OHS 2015 sophomore homecoming princess, Katelyn Bui.

High school is a chapter in a person’s life that will remain unforgettable. “All the new experiences, I mean you are never going to be a teenager ever again,” said Solorio.

High school may not be like the movies, but the real life situations that everyone goes through and learns from are essential. James Franco, author of Palo Alto, said, “When you are in high school, everything can seem painful; either painfully boring or painfully disappointing. But after high school, you can look back on it and see that it was all experiences, all vital life, and it can be used to make art.”