From homecomings to summer camp and cheer squad, we were all envious of the American schooling experience… well, us Aussie kids were.
With our eyes glued to the television watching movies like Bring It On, Mean Girls and A Cinderella Story, we yearned to join a cheerleading squad, eat from the school cafeteria, and find our Prince Charming at homecoming.
While we don’t know how accurate these films are at representing the American way of life, we all believed it (and still do), and wondered why our parents never sent us to summer camp… where we’d inevitably meet our long lost identical twin while fencing.
1. Eating actual meals at the school cafeteria
Um, it’s basically a BUFFET… AT SCHOOL! Well, that’s what it looks like. What’s the point of lunch boxes in America when you’ve got a cafeteria? Plus, you’re inside with your friends rather than outside in the stinking hot with your manky Vegemite sandwich.
2. Joining your school’s cheerleading squad
“We cheer and we lead. We act like we’re on speed. Don’t hate us ’cause we’re beautiful. Well we don’t like you either. We’re cheerleaders. We are cheerleaders…”
We don’t know about you but the only sports our school offered was Netball, soccer and footy. While these are great sports, it’s not cheerleading. From the perspective of an Australian, joining the cheer squad was the epitome of American high school culture.
3. Going to summer camp!
From The Parent Trap to Camp Rock to Addams Family Values and Moonlight Kingdom, summer camps looked epic! Not only do you get to spend weeks (or however long summer camps go for) with your friends but you get to try a heap of new activities… and get your ears pierced, talk about Leonardo Dicaprio and eat Oreos. So cool!
4. Having a three month break in the middle of the year
Okay, okay, we can’t really complain given we get Christmas and New Years off during our Summer but still… three months of hanging out with friends? Count us in! Joining forces with your friends to solve the mystery of ‘Crazy Pete’ sounds like so much fun.
5. Joining your school’s Glee club!
Even though we grew up knowing we couldn’t sing, the option of joining a Glee club – and the potential of having a relationship like Finn and Rachel’s – was really appealing. Yes, we were Gleeks. Stop judging us.
6. Wearing casual clothes to school
As an adult, uniforms are a dream. Imagine not having to pick what you have to wear to work each day. But, as a kid, they were the bane of our existence. C’mon, we’d be given a bloody detention for having our thick woollen socks too low.
Being given the opportunity to wear casual clothes to school seemed like a dream… and we blame American movies and television shows for that.
7. Attending your school’s homecoming and prom night
Before you say, but a prom is the same thing as a formal. No, it isn’t… in American films at least. Oh, and homecoming looks so cool even though we have no idea what it even is. Imagine being homecoming king or queen… we can’t because they don’t have that here. Poor us.
8. Celebrating Halloween… hardcore!
Growing up, Halloween in Australia wasn’t as big as it is today (and it’s not even that big now). Seeing kids in America trick-or-treating in their outrageous outfits looked like so much fun. Oh, and pumpkin carving! Epic. Meanwhile, our neighbours would proclaim that we live in Australia and shouldn’t celebrate an “American holiday”. Shut up, Deirdre.
9. A White Christmas
Yeah, a Christmas at the beach is fun, but it just doesn’t seem as special as one surrounding a fireplace while it snowed outside. Plus, Christmas in Australia is usually so hot that you can’t enjoy your mum’s Christmas roast as much as you would if it was cold. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
10. Being able to watch your favourite TV show as soon as it aired
The heartache of waiting weeks (even months) for your favourite shows to air was a common factor of growing up in Australia. Luckily, kids nowadays can stream shows and films as soon as they’re released. For us, we had to wait months for the next season of The OC on free-to-air television.