High School Musical or high school miserable?

High School Musical or high school miserable?

Photo Courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons License

Alyssa Fox, web staffer

The number one movie in history for giving children faulty expectations of high school is High School Musical. After watching, I daydreamed about dancing on tables in a massive cafeteria, making callbacks and getting the lead, winning the big game andmost of allhaving a love story as iconic as Troyella. I counted down the last days of summer, anticipating freshman year so these fantasies could finally come true. Yet, I awaited high school only to find it was not what I imagined. While KHS is pretty much the opposite of East High, five key similarities and differences between our school and the silver screen help win back the hearts of Disney daydreamers like me.

  1. Everyone remembers one of the best songs on the HSM soundtrack, “Stick to the Status Quo. The song features students trying to explain their interest in other activities to their cliques, only to get shot down by peers telling them it’s unacceptable. The only similarity to KHS in this song is the cliques. I’d agree that KHS has athletic groups, academic groups, theater kids and skateboarders like those featured in the movie. However, these groups do not only do activities that are specific to their stereotype. Zeke, Wildcats basketball player, would have been accepted with open arms at KHS as a basketball-playing chef. Martha, a geeky student, would have been accepted on poms with no second thought. Students at KHS often mix activities, and even though it would make the school day more interesting, this doesn’t inspire their peers to break out into song and dance over their varied activities.
  2. Similar to East High (and most normal high school students), KHS students look forward to summer. The last day of the school year is a time of celebration after students finish their last finals. However, during the last minute of school, KHS students do not normally chant “summer” at the end of their classes. KHS students also don’t throw their papers, breakdance in the halls and start a full blown music number to celebrate. In reality, students usually meet up with their friends and have a stress-relieving lunch to end the year.
  3. While it may be true that some students at KHS do not look like they are 14-18 years old, I can assure you none of the students are thirty-plus like the actors are in High School Musical. We do have our fair share of beards and six foot-plus people, but most of them aren’t making the house payment (I hope).
  4. For members of KH players, KHS’s acting troupe, callbacks are a big deal. Callbacks are the actors’ last chance to prove something of themselves before they see the cast list. However, the excitement in KHS over callbacks in nothing compared to East High. East High callbacks are on their main stage and consist of full songs, costumes, set pieces and even audiences. Callbacks at KHS are done in the green room with only the directors and others who were called back. Also, the students get their pieces about five minutes beforehand, and they usually perform with a script in hand. East High might have Breaking Free, but we have a quick run through of Hamlet’s classic “To be or not to be…” monologue.
  5. The third High School Musical is all about senior year. What’s similar between the movie and real life is figuring out college is about as stressful if not more so in real life. It’s a decision impacting the next four years of one’s life, so it’s definitely going to cause some stressful nights. Narrowing down interests like Troy does is something many KHS students go through to choose which institution they want to attend. While the stress is real, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of a student running through the halls of school at night tearing down posters and belting a song about how stressful it is. While many seniors may be hiding their Scream moments, most students don’t act on it. Also, teachers at KHS do not fill out students’ applications to college like Ms. Darbus does for Troy in High School Musical. Not only is it fraud, but how did she get all the information needed? I mean for college applications you need ACT scores, FAFSA and lots of other personal information. Call me crazy, but Ms. Darbus was definitely snooping on Troy to get this done.

While it’s probably clear by now that East High is nothing like KHS, I hope students see how KHS is actually better in some differences we have to East High. Even though the reality of high school is not as glamorous, it is much more accepting and way less dramatic. So next time you are daydreaming of East High during class while scrolling through Instagram on your phone, just remember that if you went to East High, that would be an automatic detention.