Why is high school so important to Americans?

I'm thinking more about the social, cultural side of things, rather than marks/grades.

Like many people from the UK, I grew up watching TV programmes and films from the US. I've always found it odd that high school is an important or even a central theme in many movies. Often the emphasis is on prestigious sports teams, graduation, the prom, etc., none of which we really have here (although it varies from school to school).

I can't think of many films from our countries which focus directly on secondary-school life; it is often mentioned obliquely, but rarely in a positive way. I can only speak for myself, but it feels to me like such a small part of our lives (just 4-5 years!), and on the whole not a very memorable or pleasant one.

Is the TV portrait of American school life (whether positive or negative) an accurate one, or is it catering to its target audience (which I presume to be high-schoolers, to whom it may seem more important, as it is something they are currently experiencing)?

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You're right. It's just four years of your life. But when you're a teenager and in highschool, it seems like that's your whole life. LOL and the reason it's so popular in tv shows is because those tv shows are targeted towards teenagers who are in highschool.

  • 9 years ago

    Skins UK is written around teens in college, which I believe is kind of the same as US high school.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    So you can graduate>get that diploma>and be worth something. High school is very important.

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