As new freshmen get ready to start high school in Japan, a reminder that a lot of what they’ve seen in anime isn’t how things are really going to be.

With the Japanese school year winding down, some graduating high schoolers are enjoying the last bento boxed lunches their moms will ever make them. But the education system is a cycle, which means come the spring, the kids who’re about to graduate from junior high will be entering high school.

In the English-speaking world, high school is sometimes said by especially wistful-minded adults to be “the best years of your life,” but that’s nothing compared to how thoroughly romanticized the three years of Japanese high school are. With so much of the country’s popular fiction, especially anime, being set in high schools (whether of the modern-day, science fiction, or magical variety), no doubt many soon-to-be high school students in Japan are looking forward to the start of the defining chapters of their own life stories.

But as we’ve seen before, anime doesn’t always subscribe to the idea of “art imitating life.” Many of the stock scenes and tropes found in high school anime exist only in the hyper-stylized narrative space of Japanese animation, and so Twitter user @official_satani has prepared a list of common anime elements that probably aren’t going to be part of anyone’s real-life Japanese high school experience.

The tweet reads:

To all of you who are starting high school this year:
● You will not be allowed to eat lunch on the roof of the school.
● Your school’s student council won’t have any real power.
● You won’t be able to start a new school club on your own.
● Your grades won’t suddenly improve just because you got into high school.
● Please enjoy an active love life. Don’t expect to find a girlfriend right away though.
● You won’t have a wacky classmate who comes up and says hi to you right at the start of the school year and becomes your best friend.

So if you were planning to recreate the plot of your favorite anime, in which the protagonist and his pal have rooftop lunchtime brainstorming sessions as they gaze out over the school and lock eyes with the stern student body president who’s halting their formation of an otaku-indulgent just-hanging-out-with-friends-style extracurricular program, you’re probably out of luck. Granted, the rules for starting new clubs vary from school to school, but they’re generally not as wide open as they are in anime series, and instead require some sort of ostensible academic merit.

▼ Not on @official_satani’s list, but also worth mentioning: The guy sitting next to the window isn’t any more likely to secretly have world-saving superpowers than anyone else.

The harsh dose of reality quickly racked up thousands of retweets, but it’s not all bad news. Another Twitter user offered a semi-rebuttal that’s both reality-based and yet still optimistic.

To all of you who are starting high school this year:
● You won’t be allowed to go out onto the roof.
● The student council is just busywork.
● Starting a new club takes a lot of effort.
● Most people’s grades slip at the beginning of their first year of high school.

But you’ll have more youthful opportunities than you did in junior high, you’ll see more aspects of the world than you ever did before, you can make lots of friends, and a boyfriend or girlfriend too.

This is your one and only time to be a high school student, so spend it in a way you won’t regret.

Because as enjoyable as anime can be, real life is often wonderful in ways all its own.

Source: Twitter/@official_satani via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where a Hollywood movie literally told him that football at his high school would rule.