Remember when you were a kid and all the grown-ups used to tell you how easy you had it? Well, clearly high schools used to be a lot different, because in the modern day, reality is that these places are a nightmare. Once people are past the age of 20, they (mostly) seem to get along in life and mix well with people of all backgrounds, but in high school, there are specific groups and everyone knows what group they belong to. Woe betide anyone who gets ideas above their station and tried to make a leap in the social standings. When you arrive at high school you will instantly judge, and be judged, and from the first day, you will be labelled. This label will stay with you for the rest of your school life, and there is nothing you can do about it. So, what type of high school kid were you?
15 The cheerleader
Love them or hate them—and let’s face it, everyone is in one of these two camps—cheerleaders are here to stay. Stereotypically, cheerleaders are the blonde scatterbrains who are much more worried about their looks and bagging the captain of the football team than achieving academic success, but this isn’t always the case. In 2006, Heroes brought us Claire Bennett, a cheerleader who broke the mould. Not only did Claire uphold the traditional cheerleader looks, she also fought and evaded the powers of evil, a tough workload for a high school student.
While most cheerleaders aren’t taking on the likes of Sylar, they are still bringing much-needed cheer to our high schools and that can only be a good thing. Save the cheerleader, save the world!
14 The foreign exchange student
Foreign exchange students are often mysterious creatures. The homeland of these students is also often something of a mystery, with formal introductions from teachers often just being something along the lines of, "Hi kids, this is our new student, Max." The class are then left guessing who this person is and where they came from. You may think that this is just being nosey, and that it shouldn’t matter where these students come from. But don’t underestimate a teenager's craving for gossip.
On That '70s Show, Fez perfectly sums up this archetypical character. Fez isn’t his real name but, at a loss as to how to pronounce his real name, the gang give him this nickname. Welcome to the world of the foreign exchange student.
13 The bookworm
While most student groan as they look at the year’s reading list, finding even reading the list itself too much of struggle, there is always someone who lives to read. The bookworm is most commonly found in the library and often makes a close friendship with the librarian, but everything might not be what it seems. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we saw Buffy make the school library a regular haunt, and she formed a strong friendship with the librarian Giles. Many believed that Miss Summers and her friends were just nerds who spent way too much time around dusty old books, and the even dustier man who guarded them, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. You’ll look twice next time you walk past a bookworm.
12 The nerd
Geek chic has grown in popularity over recent years, but in high school, this way of life was not something to shout about. In the eyes of high school kids, there’s nothing cool about being good at math, meaning that those who embrace their nerdiness with pride are the target of mocking throughout their studies. A prime example of some super nerds are the Krelboynes of Malcolm in the Middle. While Malcolm does his best to try and retain some social standing, the rest of the gifted class embrace their inner nerds, wearing the thickest glasses they can find, sporting hairstyles from times gone by and wearing clothes that would be more fitting on their grandparents. Don’t worry nerds, you’ll be the ones laughing when you win a Nobel Prize.
11 The principal
The most fearsome of all the teaching staff has to be the school principal. Sometimes, they look nice from the outside, sitting there smiling away on the school prospectus and shaking people’s hands at induction, but don’t let them fool you. Principals are evil dictators and they should not be trusted. Cartoons are littered with examples of fearsome school leaders, one of the most renowned of which being The Simpsons’ Principal Skinner. Skinner makes the lives of Springfield Elementary School’s students a living nightmare, but one student who gets more than his fair share of abuse is Bart Simpson. Though, in Skinners defence, Bart does seem to have made it his life’s mission to antagonize his principal. A word to the wise, stay on their good side.
10 The one who always has their hand up
Students, especially those in the agonizing throes of adolescence, are not generally looking to attract an unwanted attention to themselves. Most high school students, cheerleaders aside, would happily disappear into the background and wait until they are ready to face the world of adulthood. The worst thing to ask a bunch of such individuals is for them to speak up in class, with the request for a show of hands often being greeted with blank stares and nervous pupils staring at the ground. But there is always one swot who wants to answer everything. Friends’ Monica was just this student, when she took an adult learning class in "The One with Ross’s Sandwich." While at a literature class, even the teacher couldn’t cope with her know-it-all attitude.
9 The shouty teacher
Teaching is much harder than the goods ones make it look, and some cope better with the stresses of this occupation than others. You can always spot the teachers who have been in the job for some time, who have had their nerves ripped to shreds by years of rebellious teens and who are barely holding it together. One such teacher is Daria’s Anthony DeMartino, a man who can’t even control his own eyeballs let alone his temper. As a teacher in his late 40s, DeMartino has had to put up with years of moronic students entering his classroom and driving him bananas on a daily basis. The result is a man who shouts his way through classes and would make the most Zen of students feel on edge.
8 That one nice teacher
Teachers the world over are despised by their pupils, and not just the nasty ones who shout and give out group detentions for kicks, but virtually all of them. Well, there is one exception, and that is the illusive Nice Teacher. Not every school has one but if you do, you are in for a treat. These wonderful people can normally be found teaching art, music or literature. You will rarely find a sweet and caring teacher in the math department, their souls having been destroyed by the constant disobedience of pupils not wishing to engage with numbers. One such Nice Teacher to hit the big screen was Jack Black’s Dewey Finn who, in School of Rock, taught his class the wonders of rock music. Rock on!
7 The jock
The boys want to be him, the girls want to date him. No prizes for guessing who we are talking about here—the quintessential high school jock. Floating through life on his good lucks and sporting ability, this guy will bag the hottest girl in school and a scholarship to any college he wants, without having to flex his grey matter at all. This character has been used throughout high school movies and High School Musical was no exception, with Zac Efron taking on the role of basketball sensation Troy Bolton. However, in contrast to his macho image, Troy isn’t afraid to sing and dance, too. Maybe there are more layers to these sportsmen than we thought, we wonder how many more ball players are secretly dancing in the locker rooms.
6 The next president
Politics is normally the last thing on the minds of high school students. Well, governmental politics is; social politics is another matter entirely and something everyone is keen to get involved with from the first day of school. But there’s always that one kid that yearns to learn more about politics, who forms a debate club and, even when they aren’t at the club, wants to debate about everything from the nutritional integrity of the school’s macaroni cheese to the state of the gym. This kid has more ambition that the rest of the school put together and their dream? To be the next President of the United States. From the look of President Obama's high school photo, he was ready for the White House for a long time.
5 The bully
It’s a sad fact, but one thing we will never eradicate from our schools or the world, is bullies. While the likes of the cheerleaders and the jocks may look down on the less stylish or nerdier members of their class, they do have goodness in their hearts. Bullies, however, are pure evil and have one mission in life: to hunt down the weak kid and make their life a living hell. It's a role perfectly executed by Nelson on The Simpsons.
If you are this chosen one, then we would suggest bulk buying the tighty whities because with the number of wedgies you are going to experience during your years at high school, you’re going to need them. Also, be sure to let an adult know because being bullied is something that no one ever deserves.
4 The class clown
One thing that will help liven up those traumatic years you spend at high school is the class clown. That one kid who is always happy and ready to crack a joke. They may not be heading for a high-flying career, but they do say that laughter makes the world go 'round, and we all need a bit more laughter in our lives.
A prime candidate for the best class clown award would have to be none other than the Fresh Prince himself—cheeky, playful and always up for a laugh, Will was the guy we all wanted at our high school. He even used his skills to jazz up the school’s dreadfully dull uniform, choosing to wear his blazer inside out... and he looks pretty damn good, too!
3 The glee club
Jazz hands at the ready, the glee club are here and they want you all to know about it. These fun-time gals, and indeed guys, are always up for a good song and dance. If anyone is going to trigger a high school-based flashmob, it's these guys. In contrast to other high school students, who are normally full of teen angst and despair, these kids have an endless supply of happy songs and dances running through their veins. While some may find this injection of show tunes into the mundane school calendar, a welcome reprieve—for others, it can wear thin pretty fast. When you are in essay hell, there is only so much enthusiasm you can muster, and seeing a bunch of overly optimistic classmates isn’t helpful.
2 The gym teacher
While the rest of the teaching staff come in each day in smart workwear (aside from the odd hippy art teacher who dresses like they’re at a festival), the gym teacher can always be found in head to toe sportswear. You can spot the super keen fitness enthusiast a mile off; rain or shine, they have their shorts on. The weather also has no impact upon their lesson plans. If they have planned a three-mile run and monsoon season has just hit, well, that’s not going to stop them going ahead with it. Anyone caught trying to worm their way out of gym by feigning injury or hiding in the locker room will not be forgiven, and will often be punished with such demands as "Drop and give me fifty."
1 The goth
Most high school students are difficult, angsty teenagers. It’s understandable given that they are contending with exams, life-changing career decisions and the horrors of fluctuating hormones. But there are some who take this darkness to a new level—enter the goth kids. Wanting to fade away in a pit of despair, this breed of high school outcast choses to dress from head to toe in black, teamed with black eye makeup and a skin tone that would make a vampire look sun-kissed. The problem with this look is that rather than making them fade into the background, it makes the goths stand out even more. These guys are a good authority on waterproof mascara for when you're in a pinch, though, due to the fact that they spend a big proportion of their time crying.