Is high school really as “fetch” as it seems?

Mean Girls, All American, High School Musical – these classic teen movies have the drama, and lots of exaggerated emotions; however, there is one thing that they are lacking – accuracy.

According to students at Granite Bay High School, while these movies are fun, they have yet to accurately portray the high school experience. While some students do care about their social status, the drama on campus, or going to parties every weekend, many say that movies make these things a priority for all students, when they actually have many other things they care about.

“(Screenwriters) try to make movies as sell-able as possible and make them really fun and really cool,” senior Ruhullah Scoggin said.

Students have noticed that popular movies have someone to root for and someone to be against. People have to be invested in the protagonist and for writers to achieve that, people’s social statuses and places in the school tend to be dramatized. 

“The Breakfast Club” features five students, the popular kid, nerd, jock, rebel, and outcast from very different backgrounds and share their completely different stories. In reality students say it is harder to tell the different cliques apart.

“Everyone participates in their own extracurriculars, and that kind of determines who you hang out with a little bit, but I definitely think high school is a lot less cliquey than is depicted in movies,” senior Frances Kassouni said. 

While different groups of students might keep within their own groups, some students say there is very limited, if any, shaming, physical bullying or conflict between the different cliques on campus.

“It’s not necessarily like I’m gonna punch you in the face and steal your lunch money,” Kassouni said. “More of bullying in high school now happens online or just behind your back”

Packs of “popular kids” wearing pink every Wednesday while everyone else has bland clothing is not something that students say happens on campus. Students say that there aren’t groups of people that everyone unanimously hates, versus the groups that everyone wants to be like because everyone has their own idea of what they want to be.

“Popularity is kind of a subjective thing. So like, it for sure exists, but it’s hard to measure,” senior Korey Castrellon said. “Popularity is real, but they for sure dramatize it to a great extent.”

The movie “Cobra Kai” cast William Zabka, who stood at six feet tall to play the bully against Daniel Macchio, over 4 inches shorter. Macchio is dressed in loose robes to appear skinny and weaker, while Zabka has a cut off sleeve to exaggerate his arm muscles.

Students say that casting larger and older actors as bullies and smaller actors as the victim creates a differential that doesn’t occur in real life, due to everyone being around the same age.

Students’ lives are not centered around school, as movies sometimes show, and more people are focused on their classes and extracurriculars than being involved in the drama and excitement of high school.

Popularity is kind of a subjective thing. So like, it for sure exists, but it’s hard to measure,

— Korey Castrellon

“A lot of people are very academically motivated, throughout any cliques,” Kassouni said. “Even people who do sports are intelligent people and they really care about maintaining good grades.”

“It was interesting to find out that high school was a tool more than a reality,” Scoggin said. “It is to grow, to socialize if you want but that’s not the reality for everyone.”

Newer movies have started adding more realistic elements and have started to minimize the dramatizing of certain elements, which creates a realistic movie that students appear to relate to more.

“Some of the newer movies that are about high school are kind of more accurate, like ‘Booksmart’ or ‘Do Revenge’,” Kassouni said. “They kind of get more at what the high school experiences like now, where it’s kind of that competitive, more academic side of high school as compared to just, you know, parties and socializing.”

These movies include concepts like cyberbullying and social media as opposed to physical bullying. They also include more of the complex emotions that high academic achievers experience, like the regret of missing out on events. 

“I came to the US having only seen movies about high school and life here,” Scoggin said. “The first time I met people in high school and came here it was a completely different environment.”