1. That high school only lasts for four years.
In China, you go to primary school — middle school — then go straight to high school, where you stay for 3 or 4 years.
2. That most American high schools don’t require students to wear a uniform.
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In China, the uniform at my public high school was mandatory.
3. That prom is something that happens IRL and not just in TV shows and movies.
This does not exist in my country.
4. And that homecoming is also a real thing????
I can’t wrap my head around the fact that people really vote for homecoming king and queen. What’s the purpose of this beyond being a blatant popularity contest?
5. That you get to have your own locker at school.
I know some other schools around the world also have lockers, but it’s not always a given. I personally had to carry my books around all day in my backpack like some kind of pack horse.
6. And have locker rooms where everyone just gets changed in front of each other.
We wore uniform to school never had to change clothes anywhere.
7. That you have a cafeteria with proper tables, chairs, and hot lunch.
8. That high school sports — especially football — are such a bloody big deal.
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I mean, we didn’t even have this kind of football.
9. That cheerleading and pep rallies are a real thing you got to watch and/or be part of.
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We must study whole day.
10. That you drink out these iconic red cups at house parties.
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When I was a teen, we longed for the red cup that featured in every American party scene on TV.
11. That summer break goes for THREE ENTIRE MONTHS.
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In China, we get one months for Chinese New Year, and two months for summer break. It’s obviously amazing.
12. That your school buses are all bright yellow.
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We had go to school by ourself.
13. That high schools hold talent shows and students actually participate.
If my school had a talent show I really don’t think a single person would have entered.
14. And that you wear a goddamn cap and gown when you graduate high school!!!!!
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It’s just so extra — I love it.