High school, for teens, seems like it’s the only reality out there. It’s probably because it takes up so much of their time and day. And, with the internet, the drama and other aspects of high school often make it seem overwhelming too. Sometimes the high school life is so crazy that teens think it represents real life.
But, it doesn’t. And, this is both good and bad. Here are three reasons why high school doesn’t mirror real life.
First, high school is a self-contained unit like no other. Everyday, students are bused in (or drive in) and are pretty much forced to be with others like them in many other ways. Sure, the people are very different in personalities. But, they’re all the same age, etc.
Nowhere else in life is this the case. At my job, there are only about thirty people, they range from ages 21 through almost 70 and they’re not forced to be here.
Actually, being forced to be in one place with people just like you can be a good thing. At no other time in your life will you be in such a situation to meet others just like you. For the socially inclined, high school is a great opportunity to meet a lot of people.
Second, the high school experience is intense. For kids who play sports or do activities, they could literally have a twelve hour day with the school and spend more time on weekends. So, for a teen who doesn’t like that experience, high school can be utterly miserable.
In the real world, however, there is more variety. Most jobs are around forty hours a week. Sure, you don’t get summers off, but there are vacation days. And, jobs don’t typically have extracurricular activities.
Finally, high school is very regimented. You have to do things at certain times and must follow a bunch of rules. While real life is moving more in that direction, sadly, in most cases you have a lot more freedom.
You can drink at your desk at work, chew gum, get up to use the bathroom when you need it, etc. The burdensome rules of school that treat eighteen year olds like ten year olds are gone.
On the other hand, without the regimentation, you’d better have a degree of maturity or “real life” isn’t going to work out too well.
So, whether good or bad, high school doesn’t mirror real life. That can either be a relief or a disappointment. But, it’s true.