Our high schools should be better, according to television


Kerrigan Edwards, Staff Writer

When I was a little middle schooler going into high school, I intensely (and in a sense), religiously binged all movies and shows that revolved around high school students. I had my older friends as a source, but did I listen to the things they said? Absolutely not. There was nothing I could do but rely on the things I saw on television to tell me exactly what the next four years of my life would be like. As we all know, everything we see on our screens and on the internet has to be reliable, so this is what all of my knowledge was based around.

From the time I was in elementary school, all I wanted was to be a big kid. Now that I am in that time frame, I’m not so sure it’s as grand as I thought it was going to be. I’m always stressed and/or upset about something. I don’t know if this is “the time of my life” like everyone told me it would be. 

Our problems begin when the shows we see are incredibly unrealistic. After all, they are made for entertainment, not education. I have learned that I will not have a high school experience like the students on my TV. Their lives are perfect, making us feel bad about the way we live.

I was first exposed to these unattainable standards when I was young. It started with a show called: “Victorious,” which was about the life of student Tori Vega. Vega goes to a school called Hollywood Arts, which is circled around music, production, and drama. To be honest, I don’t think at one single point in time I saw any of the students go to an actual math class. Every single course shown on screen, was acting or music. Another thing that made Victorious interesting was the hallways. Each student was able to express their creativity by painting their lockers. In fact, the main character had lights that worked on the front of the locker. Students around our school have little decorations on lockers to show that they participate in sports, but if we were to apply anything remotely permanent, the reaction by teachers, and potentially other students, would be extremely negative. The lack of ability to express creativity is something that occurs in regular high schools, not on television.

Hollywood Arts is known for the kids having extreme talents in the art department, and in any average high school you go to, you will usually not have the same levels of appreciation. In fact, when cuts are being made, the arts are the first thing to go. So, why would they have an entire school devoted to it? Often times, the students who attend Hollywood arts are required to do performances for their fellow students at parties that the school throws. These parties are not rare, they happen every single week on the show, as they would be at an average high school. If all students had to perform for their classmates, the amount of time that it would take would be unimaginable. The logistics of this idea make no sense at all. 

My perception of high school began to change as I grew old enough to watch Riverdale. Riverdale is a whole other type of experience. The storyline is incredibly confusing, and hard to follow if you don’t watch it consistently. It started when I saw all of the main characters. The show is based around the Archie comics, therefore, most of the people are named after the comics, and look like they are straight out of them too. The show starts when all of the kids are sophomores in high school. There is nothing wrong with this until you realize that all of the actors playing these students are in their 20’s. They are all gorgeous. Not every single person in a regular high school looks perfect, but this makes it seem they should be like that. 

I truly believe those who created Riverdale thought adding various murders and crime could make the characters seem more realistic than they actually are. The first episode entails a mystery, foreshadowing all events that will occur in the future. But it is all so predictable. Sure, there are some twists, but it’s just your average, basic television show. 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is great. It makes you feel happy until you realize that your life is absolutely terrible because you don’t have the perfect love story like the people you see on TV. Out of most of these shows, this one is probably the most realistic out of the high school atmosphere. She has homework, she goes to gym class, and they go on a school trip. But, there is something wrong with the vacation their class takes. They end up going to a ski lodge and staying the night. Based on our school’s budget, I happen to know that no one would be able to afford that whatsoever. Unless they are living in some parallel universe where everyone is incredibly rich, I don’t see this happening, especially when no one cares about the public school system. 

I don’t think that the beloved producers of these television shows will ever change their ways. They enjoy making their audience feel bad about themselves, and therefore, making a living off of pure misery.  After all, if you put someone remotely attractive on a screen, people will watch.