By Georgia Clark
The Breakfast Club was the teen movie that defined the 80s. In it, five students from different high school cliques spent a Saturday detention arguing, connecting, making out, 80s dancing, getting high and discovering they were much more than their labels. We were curious: did your high school clichés become more than their labels after school was over?
PRINCESS: Hot, rich, pampered.
Played by: Molly Ringwald
Real-life: Sharon, 24
I was Little Miss Popularity in high school. People perceived me as being spoiled, rich and stuck-up. We had a nice house with a maid and went on frequent trips overseas. I had two beautiful best friends and dated a lot. I was always performing on stage and I was always causing drama. Fastforward five years and I’m a completely different person. I’m graduating from Sydney University at the end of this year with a Bachelor of Pharmacy, and secured an Intern Pharmacist position beginning in November. I’ve been in a relationship for 4.5 years. I’m pretty much a geek, indoors all day studying and reading.
ATHLETE: Sport-obsessed, driven, ambitious.
Played by: Emilio Estevez
Real-life: Anna, 32
I was school sports captain and crowned Jockette at my Year 12 graduation. I spent three hours a day and all weekend riding and competing horses. After school I would’ve loved to pursue my sport full time, but my parents encouraged me to have something to fall back on. I studied podiatry, and at the same time, began buying and selling horses in the international market. Whilst practicing as a podiatrist, I began designing young, stylish shoes that were actually good for you. Training and selling horses allowed me to finance this. In 2007, I sold my last horse. In 2008 I opened my boutique in Melbourne, Bared Footwear. The main reason why I’m no longer into sports is simply time. Spending time away from my new son for my own interests seems selfish.
BASKET CASE: Arty, weird, misunderstood.
Played by: Ally Sheedy
Real-life: Bria, 21.
I was loud, random and childish. Still am. My hair went from blonde to red to black to pink. Living in a small town, it got you a lot of looks. As I got older my style has changed slightly, but I would say it’s still out there. I moved to Melbourne and am currently a receptionist for a huge flag company. We sell all the banners and flags you see around the city for musicals, events and exhibitions. I always wanted to work with people and do something where I could talk, as it’s something I am good at. I don’t regret at all not going to uni or Tafe. School wasn’t for me.
BRAIN: Smart, nerdy, uncool.
Played by: Anthony Michael Hall
Real-life: Nancy, 29.
I used to come home disappointed if I didn’t have any homework. I’d literally beg my older sister to let me do hers! I was in the debating team, the science club… you name it. I spent most of my time in the library (avoiding sports!) and just loved to learn. I was probably the last person in my year level to notice boys.
After school, I spent five years at uni. I found graphic design, which appealed to my creative side but also my technical, problem-solving side. After ten years in publishing, I now work as a freelance designer, writer and illustrator and run two creative enterprises, Wolf and Willow and Toffee magazine.
I’m definitely still a nerd, but now I think that’s cool! I love watching science documentaries and playing video games with my husband (an engineer!). My favourite place in the world is still the library.
CRIMINAL: Rebellious, law-breaker, tough.
Played by: Judd Nelson
Real-life: Madeline, 22.
I was never in class, always in trouble for something, always the first one looked at if something was vandalised or stolen. My older brother was expelled for fighting and making threats, so people just assumed things about me and never got to know me. When I was 15, I went on a program for kids not doing well in school. While I was gone, rumors circulated that I was a drug dealer, a professional shoplifter and I would fight anyone for a fee!
After high school, I became a bartender and became very fond of speed. I’ve been off it for a long time now, but it was the bane of my existence for about 12 months.
I went from job to job until a friend told me about a counselling course. I began working in the field, and love it. Next year I hope to begin a nursing degree.
I live with my partner and our two dogs, so it’s safe to say [I’m] settling down. We have a relaxed and happy lifestyle.
The Shrink Says….
Curious about the psychological effects of being dubbed the Brain?
Dr Aileen Alegado, clinical psychologist (psychologymelbourne.com.au), explains being known as a certain persona can indeed influence your sense of self, based purely on other’s assumptions. “For example, a ‘jock’ is expected to excel in sports but not academically,” she says, “So the person themselves may not put much effort into class work. It’s the ‘buying into’ the belief that could make it reality.” To overcome this, she says to be clear on what expectations you put on yourself, versus what is a perceived expectation from others. “Challenge the expectations that make you feel unhappy,” she says. “You make the choice to be who you are.”
Worried you’ll be a Princess your entire life? Don’t be. Aileen says if your high school persona was one that you didn’t identify with or made you feel negative, you tend to break away from it. But be careful – she also sees people unhappy with their labels rebel by either over-compensating or surrendering to the stereotype. “But if the high school persona was positive and you strongly identified with this,” she counters, “it tends to strengthen in adult life and lead to stronger sense of self.”