High school, not a musical

High school is nothing like its portrayed in the media


As freshman, my expectations of high school matched with those of Gabriella Montez’s (Vanessa Hudgens) in the movie High School Musical. Now, as a senior, I realize that media has falsely portrayed high school.

Carina Muniz, Editor-in-Chief

High school was supposed to be the “Start of Something New,” as Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) would say.

Since I could remember, I’ve perceived high school in a certain way as a result of movies like High School Musical and Clueless. As a freshman with preconceived notions of high school, entering Bonita Vista High (BVH) brought upon new realizations.

Let’s just say high school is nothing like how it was portrayed in the movies. I was convinced that there would be the typical cliques like the jocks, mean girls and nerds. To my surprise, there was a lot more inclusivity among the students at BVH. Moreover, instead of the classic high school parties similar to those in Clueless, I have not attended one party, let alone a school dance.

I’ve learned that enjoying my time as a high school student with friends and extracurriculars is better for me than Gabriella Montez’s time in High School Musical.”

— Carina Muniz

No, the reality was there would be a lot less dancing on table tops and a lot more late night  studying. However this reality was not as disappointing as I thought it would be. Although I don’t have the high school experience portrayed by the media, there are still memorable moments of high school that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

I have never partied it up like Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in Clueless, but my Newspaper Late Labswhere the staff stays after school to work on assignmentsmake up for it. Through these late labs, I made deeper connections and bonds with people I now consider close friends, even alumni who I still keep in contact with to this day.

Additionally, the diversity in friend groups made it easier to get to know more people, as opposed to being “popular enough” to hang out with a certain group. Especially with programs like the International Baccalaureate (IB), I have closer connections to my peers as a result of the similar classes IB students have.

To me, one of the greatest things about high school that the media failed to portray were the teachers and their drive to support students, especially at BVH. Rather than the annoyed and snappy teacher portrayed in shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, where Mrs. Puff is constantly dreading lessons with Spongebob, my experience has been quite the opposite. The teachers create a welcoming environment that motivates students to learn and teach others as well.

Even without the “typical” high school experience, I feel as if the experience I’ve had up to this point has exceeded my expectations. I’ve learned that enjoying my time as a high school student with friends and extracurriculars is better for me than Gabriella Montez’s time in High School Musical. With college right around the corner, I hope to stay cognizant of the reality and expectations of this new chapter of my life.