Fiction Altered my Perspective on High School

Samantha Prom

If you had told me 4 years ago that I’d be miserable for most of my high school life, I would have laughed at your face. After watching movies like High School Musical, or shows like Hannah Montana as a child, I would’ve thought high school was going to be the most magical time of my life. But in fact, it was the complete opposite.

Compared to movies and tv shows, they make things look too easy. Getting good grades, running for student president, gathering a big friend group, winning competitions, shattering lights and rattling chairs with amazing singing during a talent show. In reality, how often do these happen?

More specifically, how often did they happen to me? The answer is: that none of it did.

And for the longest time, I’ve waited for it to happen. I thought, well maybe it takes time or maybe I’m not doing enough. I had thought that these things would reach me eventually and by the time I realized itI reached my senior year. So why did television make it seem so easy?

In shows, love was simple to find. You crush on one boy, date him by the end of the semester, get married fresh out of high school, raise kids in a rich suburban home with great neighbors, then watch your kids go through the same process you did. Out of the millions of couples in school, how many achieved that fantasy? Very few to maybe none.

In movies, confidence wins everything. A pretty girl runs for prom queen, while a quiet nerd feels like she doesn’t have a chance. So she gets a glow-up, removes her glasses, quits reading books, purchases a cellphone instead, steals the pretty girl’s boyfriend, and takes the spot as prom queen. I have yet to see that happen out of my four years in high school.

Yes, it’s all “just for entertainment”! It’s all just for “fun” for kids to enjoy. But where’s my enjoyment?! As a kid, I expected my life just to be exactly like the movies and shows. wanted to be that girl who marries her high school sweetheart. wanted to be that girl who had that glow-up two days before prom. Instead, I was the girl who sat quietly in the back of every class. I was the girl who waited for the Disney life to catch up to me.

Without knowing at all, I had completely wasted high school.

And that High School Musical life I always thought would happen to me, never did.