The glamorous teens of One Tree Hill were already juniors in high school when the show premiered, while I was a lowly eighth grader. I paid careful attention to everything on the show (high school years only, obvs, let’s all pretend the time jump never happened), sure that it would be imparting valuable life lessons about high school, friends, and relationships that I would need when I finally got to Chad Michael Murray’s (fictional) age. Spoiler alert: it did not. Here is everything you should not be prepared for at all, condensed into one handy guide.
There is no such thing as a “chill hang” with friends.
Either you will have deep, life-altering one on one conversations with people, or an elaborately themed party or group activity, e.g. a masquerade party, dare night, a fantasy boy draft, a boy auction, etc.
The coolest nicknames are counterintuitively longer than actual names.
Never settle for calling someone their first name, when you call them their entire name, literally every 30 seconds as if they have the memory of a goldfish. Brooke Davis only has four syllables, anyway...what are you, lazy? If that’s simply too cool for you, try the most generic description you can think of to show how much you care. Boyfriend = Boyfriend, girl who tutors after school = Tutor Girl, etc.
Shoes should match your purse, eyeshadow should match your shirt.
Many or all of your parental figures are dead or absent from your life.
Dead is actually preferable, because you can still introduce your boyfriend to your mom’s tombstone, even if you can’t get ahold of Dad when he’s on the barge or whatever other you-have-to-live-alone-now career path he’s chosen.
Gavin DeGraw sings the soundtrack of your life.
For any super crucial moments he will be there, in person, to sing to you. If GDG is not for you, Sheryl Crow may pop up, or Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy. Basically, it’s easy to make friends with famous musicians and maybe even make out with them a little bit.
Anything can be settled with a game of one on one.
Rarely is this a contest of who is actually better at basketball. Instead, it will be for a girl, your friendship/brotherhood, whether or not to disclose your life-threatening illness, etc.
Summer is the ideal time for a dramatic makeover.
This can be used as a substitute for actual personal growth. Those bangs not only make your face look bad, but will cause you to be a mopey drip, pining over an idiot boy whose hair is even worse than your own.
Never text someone or even call them on the phone when physically going to their house and walking into their bedroom, both uninvited and unannounced, is an option.
Be close personal friends with the parents of your romantic interest.
This is including but not limited to inviting them to dance parties with your more age appropriate gal pals. Continue to seek them out for life advice after you have broken up with them and started dating their literal brother from another mother.
If you are dealing with personal problems or have to make a tough decision, the easiest solution is to become seriously injured, preferably via car crash.
All of your answers will come from the ensuing coma dream about your past life or life in an alternative universe.
Having a webcam in your bedroom be on all the time is a great idea.
Especially if you would like your best friend to know you’re stealing her boyfriend, or would like someone to impersonate your long lost brother in order to do a better job stalking you, get a picture of you tattooed on their back, and ruin your prom by kidnapping you.
Cheerleading is truly the highest calling.
In case you’re still not clued in, none of these things ended up happening to me in high school. (Phew! ….Mostly?) I may or may not have attempted to engineer any number of these situations (the less-than life-threatening ones, at least), which did in no way make high school better or easier. So, maybe, enjoy One Tree Hill, but avoid any the CMMs, the Brooke Davis, the Tutor Girls of your life. And if a green t-shirt doesn’t really flatter your complexion in the first place, adding that sparkly green eyeshadow from lash to brow is going to make you look like you’re dying.