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The Centipede

How CA Compares to Movie High Schools

Alex Tesson, Staff writer

High School Musical, The Breakfast Club and Glee have all become staples of American movie and television culture over the past few decades. It is hard to find an American teen who hasn’t watched at least one of these modern classics. These movies and shows all share one common setting: an American high school, whose depictions are consistent: long, tiled hallways lined with monochromatic lockers, an obsession with the boys’ football team, and a strong, unbreakable, social hierarchy. Concord Academy has none of these things. Our hallways are lined with posters and art, our social groups are fluid and open, and our football team is nonexistent. We are the opposite of a stereotypical “movie high school”.

Coming to a new high school with no knowledge of it other than two brief tours is understandably daunting, especially with the image of a “movie high school” stuck in your mind. Whether you’re a freshman, new sophomore, junior, or senior, the idea of breaking into a rigid social hierarchy is terrifying. After just a day at CA, however, it will become clear that these worries do not apply in this school. Unlike the high school from The Breakfast Club where students are slotted into strict social categories (nerds, jocks, preppy kids, etc), every friend group at CA includes a wide range of personalities. It’s quite common to find a captain of a varsity team being best friends with a musician in the jazz ensemble and a theater enthusiast, or some other combination that would never exist on screen.  This social fluidity is one of CA’s key characteristics that make it such a unique experience for every student.

Another major part of CA that differentiates it from an on-screen high school is our lack of general obsession over sports. While CA takes enormous pride in our many athletic teams, they are not the community’s main focus. Many students choose to attend games and meets, but our art shows, musical performances, and plays also receive a large amount of interest. Instead of one main sports team gathering the undying attention of the entire student body – a role usually filled by the football team in many portrayals of high schools – CA students divide their attention equally among the various teams,, regardless of season, gender, or varsity status.

High school life on screen may seem like a perfect reality for some, but is a nightmare scenario for most students. On-screen high schools are intimidating, large, and socially daunting. CA provides the opposite environment; students fit into the CA social scene with ease because our comparatively smaller campus is filled with all sorts of students with diverse interests. Members of this community are open to and accepting of any kind of person. Whether your ambition is to be a star athlete, lead actor, math whizz, or something entirely different, CA has a spot perfect for you, which is an experience that could never be found on the silver screen.

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How CA Compares to Movie High Schools