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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Beyond the Cliché: Exposing Hollywood’s high school myths

Chanel Capa
FROM BURN BOOKS TO TEXTBOOKS: Teens tackle trigonometric equations instead of tribulations, chasing career aspirations, not devious schemes.

As the first day of high school slowly draws near, you might start to think about the notorious ways American high schools have been depicted in the media. In fact, you may have already made a few assumptions of what high school has in store.

However, high school is nothing like the crazy mess depicted in movies, novels and shows. Here are some debunked myths about the stereotypical high school experience.

No, having passions doesn’t equate you to being a geek:
The first cardinal rule of high school in America is strictly separated cliques. Whether it be nerds, band kids or tortured artists, students with any semblance of interests (and personality) are labeled as try-hards, teachers’ pets who take things way too seriously. At least, that’s what Hollywood will have you believe. In reality, your passions should draw more people to you, not push them away (really!).

Whether you love to dance or act, nobody will exclude you or judge you for it (at least, no- body worth befriending). Don’t let the media stop you from joining the marching band in fear of becoming a band kid or from telling people that you’ve watched “Hamilton” 760 times because you don’t want to be “that theater kid.” If anything, expressing yourself exudes a confidence that will build up over time.

No, there aren’t any imposing bullies who will shove you into lockers:
First, we don’t have lockers here, so this is not an issue (don’t ask). But there actually aren’t any menacing bullies who will steal your lunch money and execute nefarious, violent plots against you.

In the “Harry Potter” saga, the infamous Draco Malfoy, flanked by his two minions, Crabbe and Goyle, is always seen mocking our wizard protagonist in the hallways of the school whenever possible.

But in high school, there are no beautifully blonde Draco Malfoys because, in reality, we all know that there are so many better things we can be doing with our time than wedgie-ing freshmen (people have lives, we would hope), so you can let out that sigh of relief you’ve been holding in—you’ll be fine!

No, nobody cares about what color you wear on Wednesdays or how often you put your hair into a ponytail:

One of America’s most beloved movies based on high school is the infamous “Mean Girls,” based on tales of backstabbing cliques and snarky comments on what you wear.

However, high school is nothing like the disconnected, disastrous mess that the movie portrays it as. We’re not saying life will be boring here at Northwood, but you won’t be getting hit by a bright yellow school bus while screaming at your archnemesis on Wolf Trail (hopefully!). Besides, everybody will probably be too busy finishing up an essay or calculating the answer to that one math problem in Math 2 before class that they won’t care about what you’re wearing and how often you do so (unless your outfit is awesome, in which case, feel free to expect compliments!).

No, not everybody is tripping over themselves to date the popular jocks:

Contrary to the typical romantic high school fantasies, high school isn’t exactly a spitting image of the cheerleader-football trope. There is no unattainable, dreamy hunk of a character who everybody seems to swoon over (we wish there were; that would be the dream).

In reality, high school dating is a lot more complex—determined by many factors that can be chalked up to personal preference rather than popularity. That is not to even mention that not everyone likes the same type of people (take that as you will).

Before heading into a relationship, assessing your partner for potential red flags is a must-do, because the last thing you want to do is to put yourself in a toxic high school relationship. So tie your shoelaces, get up and enjoy your high school years because the swoony, love-of-our-life figures we can only read about aren’t coming to us anytime soon—maybe in our dreams (sigh).

*The Northwood Howler encourages all students to discover and pursue their authentic selves, in whatever form that works for them. Welcome to Northwood!*

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About the Contributors
Amy Jeon
Amy Jeon, Staff Writer
Amy Jeon is a junior staff writer for The Northwood Howler, who spends almost all of her time unhealthily relying on oat milk matcha for sustenance, fangirling over classic literature and daydreaming just about anything and everything. Ask her for book recommendations and you will likely get an essay.
Chanel Capa
Chanel Capa, Graphic Artist
Chanel Capa is one of the many talented graphic artists for Howler and has a surprising affinity for comedy. He likes to listen to many different types of music and you will most certainly find him running around school with a pair of headphones sitting around his neck. He also can't ever indulge in a single media normally (He HAS to be crazy about it for about 3 months minimum).

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