What’s High School Really Like in Scottsdale, Arizona?


(Photo: ABC Family)

Ever wonder what it’s really like to be part of Sutton Mercer’s world? Do teens cruise around Scottsdale in BMW convertibles and hit the school’s hallways in designer heels? For an inside peek, we chatted with Lindsey, an Arizona girl who now lives in Los Angeles but experienced high school firsthand in Sutton’s hood. Here’s what she had to say about life in Mercer land:

Growing up in Arizona is probably quite similar to anywhere else. The Tempe/Scottsdale area is upper-middle class to extremely wealthy. I’m sure there were people who flaunted their money and acted like they could get away with anything, but luckily for me, my school didn’t have too many of these people.

On my first day of school in Arizona in the fifth grade, I was introduced to cliques. On that first day of school, a girl walked me around the playground telling me all about the different people, who was popular and who wasn’t, to be exact. It was basically the lunchroom scene right out of Mean Girls.

I decided that I wouldn’t buy into that. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be popular, but it just didn’t seem worth it to try that hard. I entered high school and was friends with people from almost every group. I had close friends within every circle.

Now for the Sutton Mercer specifics and how realistic the things she does are in Arizona:

Shoplifting: Yes I have known girls who have shoplifted clothing. I knew one girl who got away with it every time, and I knew two girls who got caught and essentially fined thousands of dollars. Mind you, one time I stole a pack of gum from a gas station. Rebellious, I know. Basically, just because your dad’s best friend is the police chief, that doesn’t mean you will get away with stealing, especially in Arizona.

Labels: People had Louis Vuitton bags, Kate Spade backpacks, and True Religion jeans, but it really wasn’t a big thing at my school. No one was made fun of for shopping at Target or Ross. In fact, if you had cute style it didn’t matter where you shopped. Most girls went to Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. Some of the trendiest girls at our school bought their stuff from Nordstrom Rack and Last Chance!

Queen of The School: This is a major myth and there isn’t one girl that rules the school. There were a group of girls that thought they were better than everyone, but by the time senior year came around, even they had given up on trying to be the VIP group and started hanging out with everyone.

Pranks: There were a few pranks in high school. I heard a rumor of someone putting dead fish in someone’s pool once, but that was the worst of it. Besides that, tee-peeing someone’s house with toilet paper and spraying shaving cream on someone’s car were common in the area. No pranks to screw up someone’s life were pulled when I was in high school.

Drama: Yes, lots and lots of drama happened at my school, but what school didn’t have scandal? Because I was one of the biggest gossips in school, I always knew all the details in this department. What was the main cause of drama? A girl hooking up with a friend’s boyfriend. When it came to this drama, all bets were off. I even knew a girl who dressed up as a girl she hated for Halloween. Needless to say, this drama occurred quite often.

The cliques mostly dissolved by senior year of high school and the Sutton Mercers of my school were put to rest and quickly realized acting like a jerk wasn’t going to get you what you wanted. Like any TV show, the drama is over-the-top and everything is somewhat exaggerated, but there are many similarities between Sutton Mercer’s world and what it’s really like growing up in Arizona.

Does Scottsdale sound similar to where you live? Or is it totally different? Tell us about your life in the comments!


  1. Apllsecret Said:

    There are no cliques at my school.

  2. plladdiction Said:

    I live in Scottsdale, and it is quite familiar. There was this one
    Girl at my school who was popular and wanted to be friends with me. But I always thought that I didn’t need to be popular. I was already friends with everyone. But then the next year my mom set me up with her, and I started to like being friends with her. But then it just got more intense. She started joking On me all the time which I hated. I was the kind of girl who always followed the rules and cried if I got 95% on my test.

  3. plladdiction Said:

    I realized that she was the girl I didn’t want to hang out with. I started to get really uncomfortable. We got in fights ALL the time. She used to fight over every little thing i said, and I got really upset. I wanted to get out of the clique, but I was so comfortable with the clique I was in and thought my friends wouldn’t want me back. I started becoming more like her and I hated it. And that is the story about my life being like Emma Paxton’s life.

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