5 Ways High School Musical Skewed My Expectations For The Future

5 Ways High School Musical Skewed My Expectations For The Future

Troy Bolton got into Berkley and the nerdy new girl got the guy.

New Year’s Eve is a day of celebrating another year, making far-fetched resolutions, and the day that Disney Channel’s most beloved couple met on a karaoke stage. So as we celebrate this new year, it’s time we also mention how unrealistic the series, "High School Musical" truly was. While the film’s catchy songs, lovable characters, and memorable plot had nearly every child singing “Breaking Free” at the top of their lungs, and chanting “Wild Cats!” whenever the question “What team?” broke through the crowd, its influential reign may have also skewed expectations of the future for me and for every other child who grew up in the early 2000s. Here are five aspects the Disney Channel Original Movie series got wrong about high school.

1. Troy and Gabriella’s relationship wasn’t realistic.

This probably doesn’t come as a shocker to anyone, but Troy and Gabriella’s endearing relationship is an extremely rare phenomenon in any normal high school. In reality, the nerdy new girl rarely gets the guy in high school, let alone the most popular basketball player. But that didn’t stop every girl optimistically awaiting the day where they too would find a ‘Troy Bolton’ of their own. Unfortunately, most of us were humbly put into place once we experienced high school for ourselves.

2. Most public schools don't have the funds that East High had.

The high school in the movie, known as East High, must have had some impressive funding considering it was able to stage a lavish musical production and have an elaborate roof garden for the science club. Not to mention the oversized, high-definition posters of star athletes that lined the hallways.

3. They got the high school caste system all wrong.

In the film, there are never any cheerleaders or 'Regina George' equivalents depicted, allowing for the female science club members to swoop in and get the guys. It is only at East High where the one and only popular girl to be feared in the hallways is the theater fanatic, Sharpay Evans.

4. They made getting into colleges look way too easy.

Let’s be honest, Troy Bolton was probably a B-student at best, but nevertheless, he got into the very prestigious school, UC-Berkeley, with no trouble. While some may say that his athletic abilities pushed him over the top, there is no way to justify how this star athlete with nothing but a mediocre singing voice had Julliard scouts consider him for admission. In fact, this trend continues for the entire cast as nearly every character gets into their desired school and receives some type of worth-while scholarship. Because of the far-fetched standards set by the film, my naïve ten-year-old self-believed I was destined for Julliard, Yale, or Stanford like all my favorite characters, unaware of just how challenging it would be to get in, let alone the piles of student loans that would accumulate.

5. People usually don't break the status quo, even after an inspirational dance piece.

Because of this film, many of us millennials envisioned high school as a place where jocks, nerds, and theater junkies all got along. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. While the idea of transcending the high school hierarchy sounds appealing, it can’t be done with one dance number in the cafeteria.


However, while "High School Musical" failed to teach us that nerds don't usually get the popular guys, minimal effort cannot produce ivy league diplomas, and breaking out into song doesn't have the ability to solve everyone's problems, it did have a way of bringing an entire generation together as we rooted for our favorite couple, chanted for the Wildcats, and held back tears as the cast delivered their final song. It is a story line that we all grew up with and its melodies will likely travel with us next time we step foot on a karaoke stage of our own.

Cover Image Credit: Disney

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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21 Reasons Turning Twenty-Fun Actually Sucks

Maybe I really am an alcoholic.


This past year I finally made it to twenty-one. Being a college student, this was the one thing I was actually looking forward to. The three years of being a fake adult were finally over as I stepped into a new world... a 21-year-old's world. Though being twenty-one does have its perks, here are some reasons why it actually sucks.

1. That shit is expensive.


Wait... How much did I spend last night?

2. You gain like...10 pounds.

3. The whole bar is just one massive line.


4. Happy hour is from 9-11. And on a Wednesday?


Guess I'm skipping my 8 a.m. tomorrow

5. Everyone is always asking you to buy them alcohol.

6. Your hangovers get more painful every time you drink.


7. You can barely keep down a shot.


8. Uber becomes a key part of your life.


9. You get drinks spilled on you. All. The. Time.


Who thought drinking on the dance floor was a good idea?

10. There is always a cover.

11. You forget to close your tab.


And have to pay it in the morning.

12. Bouncers will kick you out for anything.


13. And sometimes they don't even ask you for your ID.

14. You can finally be considered an alcoholic.


15. This is the last birthday you can really look forward to.


No one likes you when your 22

16. Not all your friends are 21 yet.

17. Sometimes you just want to stay at home and drink by yourself.


18. You finally can legally drink around your parents and it's weird AF.


19. You are dragged to the bars after every event.


Even after a damn crate race.

20. Hooking up with different people just isn't the same anymore.


21. You realize you're getting way to old for all of this.


Cheers to being 21!

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