Gilmore Girls set me up for failure

Bradyn Johnson | The Chronicle

The show Gilmore Girls is equipped with seven seasons of approximately 20 episodes each, filled with witty humor and tons of drama. For the first four, the main character Rory Gilmore was in high school. I would watch Rory go to school, date Dean, break up with Dean, date Jess, go to Yale, break up with Jess, date Logan, and then refuse to marry him after a four-year relationship. Personally, I would have married Logan in 0.2 seconds, but that’s just my thought process. And no this is not a spoiler, the show has been out for almost 20 years.

Gilmore Girls became my expectation for the high school experience; it almost felt like a false sense of hope. I thought there would be cliques, mean girls, a controlling, annoying boyfriend (Dean), and super hot boys that made your eyes sparkle in the light. I automatically assumed that Rory’s experience was going to be just like mine. While I have had my fair share of crushes and mean girl encounters, it is safe to say that the Gilmore Girls series set me up for failure. When I first started watching Gilmore Girls, I was in middle school. It goes without saying that it was an awkward time period – uncomfortable braces, acne and a weird fashion sense. Because of my lack of knowledge of style and high school, I would practically foam at the mouth thinking about all of the new possibilities high school would bring. In Rory’s world, attending a new high school brought beautiful boys named Tristan and an arch nemesis named Paris.

Even though I had these false expectations and narratives about high school, there was always a small part of me that thought it was so far away, that I did not have to think about it. I was not ready to mature, constantly denying the fact that I would not be in intermediate school forever. I mean, for goodness’ sake, I was still playing with slime until the end of eighth grade! Incoming freshman Bradyn did not care about which important classes to take or which opportunities to take advantage of. The thought of mentioning high school made my 14-year-old self shudder.

Now that I am almost done with high school I can now say that no, teachers were not the obtuse, boring squares I had imagined them to be; they were actually pretty cool once I got to know them. And no, there was not a highly exclusive, hard to get into club called The Puffs. Although there were so many countless hours of homework, I now realize there were a ton of moments that are worth remembering, like the time I fell going up the stairs, yes up! Or the time I tried squatting my friends at one of the boys’ basketball games. My ultimate favorite memories have come from playing basketball games with my team with all my family and friends watching me.

One thing I do have in common with Rory at this moment is that I have a huge list of things I still have to do before I can graduate – a couple of statistics projects, a five to six-minute speech in English and a presentation in my Bestsellers class. Very soon, I will be able to check all those things off my list, just like Rory did, and graduate.

I am so excited to hear the bell ring one last time, signaling the end of my four year career. In my opinion, the best episode of Gilmore Girls is when Rory finishes school and she graduates from Chilton. She takes one last walk around the school after she graduates. Her mom, Lorelai makes her stop and look around, telling her, “It’s not so scary anymore,” and Rory agrees. As I reflect on my high school career, I wish I could tell freshman year me that, no, it is not that scary.