Why High School Is Overrated


(courtesy of The Ringer)

It was just yesterday that I had left home to go to Hylton High School. My day was characterized by running into various cliques within the halls, musical numbers every hour, and getting invited to Brad’s massive house party.

It all feels like a dream, and that’s because it is. 

Much of the film and media depicting high school has glamorized what it means to be a high school student. While the purpose of these forums is to entertain viewers and build an eventful storyline around the high school setting, it has influenced students’ expectations of what high school is actually like.

One might compare their high school life with that on TV, resulting in them either being disappointed or attempting to imitate the lives of those on TV.

If high school were to be depicted on screen as it was in real life, it would probably follow the uneventful life of a teen who rushes to get up in the morning, and endures some boring or not-so-boring classes while talking to some friends here and there.

That being said, while students do learn valuable things about themselves such as their interests, future plans, and talents while in high school, it is not some euphoric and reckless period in one’s life.

(courtesy of Andy Rementer from The New York Times)

However, there is another extreme that contrasts the nonchalant attitude towards the high school seen on TV. Some overachieving students perceive high school as the end-all-be-all and believe their performance in high school measures and ultimately determines their success in the future. While there are skills to be acquired throughout high school, this obsession to always be perfect academically to see success after high school can be debilitating for some.

It can take away from students enjoying the different aspects of life that are not related to school, and it will make it hard for students to learn the importance of balance within life.

As a once-overachieving student myself, it took me some time to realize that I could have a life outside high school. And while my life didn’t have to embody the stereotype of an irresponsible teenager, I could have seen more eventful Saturday nights where I wasn’t locked up in my room studying for tests or finishing up on assignments.

Thus, while high school can be romanticized, it can also be overvalued in ways that can be unhealthy and damaging to a student.

High school is an opportunity for students to see growth among themselves, yet the pressure for it to be a simple joyride or as perfect as humanly possible is an unrealistic expectation, making high school overrated.