13 Reasons Why American Public High School Is NOTHING Like High School Musical

13 Reasons Why American Public High School Is NOTHING Like High School Musical

If you thought it was all "High School Musical," prepare for your dreams to be shattered.
227
views

Public high school in America may sound like a dream: having large buildings decked out with a myriad of facilities — gyms, sports fields, stadiums, theaters — to account for such a diversity of students. As this isn't entirely wrong, a lot goes misunderstood about attending these schools, in that it's not always (or ever) dreamlike. From an outsider, movies and TV shows paint a picture of high schoolers being able to do whatever they want while still ending up with the happy ending, but in reality, it's not. As a freshman last year, I was seemingly thrown into a pit of stress and work, stuck within a rigid schedule and surrounded by hundreds of tired, coffee-crazed classmates who would never join in a cafeteria musical number as promised in "High School Musical." Through research and feedback, I realized that all high schoolers seemingly go through the same situation as I have. How many have you experienced?


1. Having million-dollar gyms, completely decked out

2. ...but bathrooms with stalls that are either broken or have no doors??

If only.

3. Sharpie writing ALL over the stalls, from "you're beautiful!" to "%*?!%.

Nobody actually spends THAT much time in the bathroom, and if they do, that's really questionable.

4. The Pacer Test (A.K.A Hell on Earth)

How many times can you run from one side of the gym to the other side before you die? It's a way to weed out the weak and drive up competition between students to make it before the cursed "beep."

5. "This isn't middle school anymore!"

Every teacher. Every class. Every. Single. Day.

6. The straight A student who claims every class is "super easy," but it's not.

7. Broken air conditioning all the time.

It's either the pits of hell or the arctic tundra. There is no in between.

8. "Wikipedia isn't a reliable source," but it's worshipped like the Holy Bible.

9. Standardized testing everywhere

testing

10. Finding out how much time is left in class like...

"Okay, there is 40 minutes left of class, that's just 20 minutes twice. That's also just 10 minutes four times or five minutes eight times...or just another 2,400 seconds..."

11. Playing cut-throat classroom jeopardy

I watched friendships crumble over this game, for simply debating answers, loosing category points if the time runs out or the answer was incorrect. There would always be nothing as the prize, except pure victory. It was maddening to get there, but the title of being the victor paralleled to winning the "Hunger Games."

12. The Cha-Cha Slide

It would play at every school dance, and everyone would dance along. How do we all know the steps? How is it performed so synchronized? Who keeps spreading this cursed song among the teenage masses? So many questions.

13. And finally, the importance of the fact that "the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell."

The single piece of information all American high schoolers seem to retain after high school.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

Popular Right Now

Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

69114
views

Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

220
views

So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

Related Content

Facebook Comments