[Top Ten Tuesday] – #123 – Tropes Not Experienced In School

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.


This Week’s Theme:
Tropes Not Experienced In School

Initial Thoughts:

Today’s list is a freebie featuring “school”-ish things.

I will just say that not all experiences are made equal and this is just what I experienced. Moreover, for the purposes of this list, I will only be focusing on high school (grades 9 – 12).

Cliques do not overlap

I feel as though narratives often push a conflict that cliques do not know of the existence of other groups within the ecosystem that is high school; such that anyone “shy and studious” is unnoticed by “popular kids” [prior to actually being noticed]. There were well over 500? 600? students in my year and, I’m sure I could’ve pointed out 97.4% of them even if I didn’t know of their names, I would at least know of them in passing. Not to mention that just because you’re characteristically one thing doesn’t mean you cannot be another…or another…or everything. Damn those high achievers.

Dumb Jocks Are Dumb / Mean Girls Are Mean

Anyone can lack intelligence. Anyone can be rude AF. The generalizing is amazing.

Parties…parties everywhere (and everyone is invited!)

To be fair, I did enjoy my fair share of “partying” which is just my way of saying “tomfoolery-for-an-unaccounted-amount-of-time” but am I to believe that this is all kids get up to now-a-days? Because the rhetorical Little Jimmy Bob over there is throwing this massive party where everyone seemingly attends and everyone gets punched in the face with drama. Full stop.

What is a “parent”?

Extending the point above, I was familiar (or as close as you can get) with the parents of my friends. And neither mine or theirs would blatantly neglect their children and rendezvous out of town for an indeterminate amount of time.

That being said, if your one (or both) parents are out of the picture, this has its own merits as well (mine was). But everyone of them? Nah.

Makeovers: the Deus Ex Machina fix-all

I think I’ve only ever seen one colleague in high school go full on “makeover”, and it wasn’t an overnight thing. It was an over-the-summer thing where she came back and got her tan game on until she was literally orange (like Barbie to the umpteenth degree. Borderline tomato (?) ). Otherwise, what is this nonsense that you can trim your hair a few millimeters and boom — all the love interests, suddenly a genius, and winning at life? Fuck off.

S in “School” stands for Socializing not Studying

I sure as hell didn’t study 24/7 (I was gaming most times, naturally) but even I knew when I got that kick of “oh shit” adrenaline-pumping desire to attempt to finish my homework/assignments. Because no, though I could probably get an in Drama (without taking said class), I would have probably failed everything else had I not actually completed the course load (especially true of my non-semestered setting).

Falling in love with group members re: project

I’m not faulting the wild predicament that being put with your rivals etc. won’t spawn a lasting friendship. It can. I’m also not discounting potential romance from said friendships…except I am because I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed relationships go from 0-to-1000 during the span of some random assignment for classmates to be able to find their fated one. Not to mention the over-the-top escapades to NOT do the work and instead focus on the downtime (which is fine in moderation) but you know, who am I to question romance I guess.

You win everything

I think it’s great that story arcs are ultimately goal oriented. You win the girl/guy/person. You win that coveted prize. You…survive? But it’s not all sunshines and potpourri when you’re more likely to sit along the “B” average or advance to semi-finals only to lose, etc. etc. etc. FALSE HOPES BEGONE.

If administration can’t see you, do you exist?

If you’re currently working in an educational capacity at a school — be it a teacher or support staff etc. — I am not saying you purposely pretend students don’t exist and therefore give them the power to roam free and/or leave the premises. (I’ve nothing to say to you if you do though). It’s that while there will be people who skip or are credibly absent, what the heck is with this limited consequence not experienced by MCs when they go off and save the world? A phone call from school is still a phone call from school — and you bet the true villain is getting your ass beat by the parentals.

The food still sucks

Truth. This is the only truth that I have experienced.


I’m sure there are more but shenanigans are still shenanigans and I’ll stop here from preventing this list to be massive.


afterthoughtAn // twitter
anotherafterthought // goodreads
picturevomit // instagram


18 thoughts on “[Top Ten Tuesday] – #123 – Tropes Not Experienced In School”

    1. You should definitely join in on all of the Tuesday fun via this meme! The weekly prompts provided by Broke and the Bookish are great post ideas to talk nonsense about!

      And I’d probably be okay trying out some of these fictional worlds…but if someone I’ve read about is in it (e.g. Holden Caulfield)…I’m out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am definitely much better with faces than I am with recognizing names though haha. Can’t say I was friends with 90% of them but at least I saw them often enough walking around the school to pick them out if I had to. But if you were to put 500 kids in an auditorium, I imagine it would look less than you’d think it would look!


  1. Read this earlier, but commenting now!

    A lot of these resonate with my experience.
    I didn’t fall in love with anyone during group projects, but I must have developed a crush on 3 separate occasions. I can’t help what my heart feels. It wants what it wants :p
    Also, I was a pretty darn good student, but even I didn’t spend that much time studying. I also spend a lot of my time playing video games (or reading) rather than doing homework. My grades suffered a little bit because of it, but I turned out all right. I think.
    The food definitely sucks and it always will. I was in the education field for a little while after I graduated from college, and saw the poor excuse for food the students were given…those poor souls.


  2. This was such a cool way to interpret this topic! These are all so true and always make me keel over laughing at contemporary novels because clearly it’s been a second since some of these authors have actually been to high school. But I feel like the one on this list that I am always so confused about is studying because none of them study. EVER.
    -Monica @ Tomes Project


  3. I think you just about listed all the problematic tropes I’ve seen in YA fiction. Of course, the clique thing and mean, popular girls and dumb blondes/jocks are annoying, but I’m also quite tired of reading the whole group project insta-love idea, too. Personally, I don’t grow close to any partners in a group project, and I’m not sure why this is such a common theme in YA. Great, insightful post, Joey!


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