I Grew Up In What Seemed Like A Typical Television Show
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I Grew Up In What Seemed Like A Typical Television Show

You've watched teenage shows on Netflix, I practically lived in one.

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I Grew Up In What Seemed Like A Typical Television Show
Samra Vithlani

Think of any typical teenager show. There’s probably a million examples on Netflix, you know the type. Where there exists a typical suburbia with the popular kids, the jocks, the small town feel in a not so small town, the drama. Now you know the kind of city I grew up in.

Welcome to Chino Hills, California. Chino Hills, ranked the 13th safest city to live in the United States, is where I had the pleasure of living for the past 17 years of my life. Looking back, it reminds me of a One Tree Hill kind of city, like High School Musical before everyone realized they don’t actually have to stick to the status quo.

I went to school at one of the two high schools in the city, where we had every type of stereotypical student. The jocks, the popular cheerleaders and dancers, the band geeks, the focused valedictorian. You name it, we had it. Known as the city that YouTube star Cameron Dallas is from (even though most of us share a dislike of him), Chino Hills is the epitome of a cliche suburban city.

We have had the scandalous teen pregnancies, teacher-student love affairs, Friday night lights with the student section roaring, the Instagram models that go on to be sponsored models, and the athletes who go on to be professional players.

In fact, some of our athletes have become so famous (see the Ball Brothers), they literally have their own reality TV show.

In the years I lived there, I experienced a bomb threat at my high school, a school cancellation due to a student crashing down the electric pole, someone winning the Powerball lottery at our local 7/11, and so many more unconventional and dramatic high school experiences, all of which reminded me of dramatic television shows.

Although my graduating class alone was almost 740 students, the school and city itself felt small. It was virtually impossible to go anywhere without running into someone I knew, and everyone was somehow connected.

I remember having dinner with a group of people I had known since middle school and thinking to myself about how strange it was that all these people, many of whom had dated one another, used to be best friends with one another, hooked up with one another, and just had an obscure connection to one another in some way, were able to sit at a dinner table and laugh as though there was no intertwined history between them all.

It reminded me of a show like Gossip Girl, where the main characters, who all have these significant histories with each other, are still somehow able to maintain a love for and connection with one another. It truly amazed me yet somehow comforted me, and it made me appreciate the eccentricity of the city I grew up in.

In this “TV Show” like city, I was never one of the main characters; I was always more of an extra. I was the girl who went to the rivalry football games and cheered along, but I was never one of the cheerleaders on the field. I talked to some of the athletes in my classes, but I was never an athlete on the same level. Yet, I seemed to find my place in this city.

As disheartening and excluding as it could be sometimes, it was also home to some of my fondest memories. It was where I had my first crush, where I met my very best friend, and where my friends became my family.

And I know every part of it inside and out; I know the small corner tables of the Denny’s where the entire city goes after school dances, I know the streets on which I can speed because there are never any cops around, and I know that the best place to watch the sunrise is on the small hill behind the local Albertsons.

And now, I realize that no matter how far I or anyone else from Chino Hills goes, we will always be connected by the city we grew up in.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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