13 Things Your Favorite Kids Shows Got Wrong About Middle School
There's a high likelihood that most people you know weren't cute in middle school, or that you never had an epic romance that colored your entire seventh grade experience. Most probably, your steady childhood diet of Lizzie McGuide, Boy Meets World and Degrassi left you ill prepared for the day you marched into middle school, and you're certainly not alone in that regard. Even Amy Schumer has talked about how middle school was a hard time, telling Cosmoabout how the fanny pack/jean shorts outfit she wore on the first day was cause for criticism by her catty peers.
You can blame your too-high expectations on pop culture. TV shows that revolved around characters in middle school gave us all a decidedly satirized view of the experience, as compared to its fictional counterparts, real-deal middle school was either a comparative relief (no worries about gaining weird Alex Mac-like powers if you lived anywhere near a chemical plant), or a total let down (there's only one Mr. Feeney, after all). Here are 13 of the most significant things your favorite shows got wrong about life in grades six through eight.
1. Almost Everyone's Kind Of Mean, Not Just The "Mean Girls"
Admit it: Pre-teen you was kind of awful.
2. Picture Day Wasn't The Be-All, End-All Of Your Life
If that were the case, explain to me Shia LaBeouf's career after seeing his middle school yearbook photo.
3. Accidentally Winding Up With Two Dates To The Dance Wasn't As Big Of An Issue As You Might've Expected
Also, do middle schools even have formal dances?
4. Being Student Council President Didn't Make You Absurdly Powerful
It mostly meant selling raffle tickets. Unless, like Jay from Degrassi, you believed that "When your girlfriend's student council vice president, nobody asks questions."
5. Your Braces Didn't Look Like Something A Fur Trapper Would Use
Darren from As Told By Ginger, meet modern orthodontics!
6. Bad Guys Weren't Immediately Identifiable By Their Leather Jackets
Or playing pool à la Frankie "The Enforcer" from Boy Meets World. Although that would certainly have made things easier.
7. No One Made You Pick A Career At Age 12
Although for some reason I do think about that Lizzie McGuire episode where she makes her friends pick jobs out of a hat at least once a week.
8. Not All Crushes Were Unrequited, Or Even Dramatic
Just ask my middle school boyfriend.
9. Every Teacher Wasn't Actually Out To Get You
But some totally were.
10. Getting Stuffed Into A Locker Wasn't As Commonplace As You Were Led To Believe
Weren't lockers really narrow?
11. Even A Catastrophically Bad Hair Day Didn't Ruin Your Life
Unless you cut your own bangs. That's a mistake you only make once.
12. Playing The Love Interest Opposite Your Crush In A School Play Doesn't Mean They'll Make You Kiss
Or that it'll lead to intense romance.
13. Your Best Friends In Middle School Aren't Necessarily Your Best Friends Today
Maybe some are, but let's be real — you know Lizzie and Miranda would've been dunzo by now.
The one thing TV shows did always get right? Middle school is a weird, awkward place. Be glad it's over.