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.

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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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"Call Me By Your Name" Is Just Another Gay Film

I mean, the cinematography was spectacular, but its nothing new.

Have you ever watched some of the notable early 2000/2010s gay films? I'm not talking about "Brokeback Mountain" or "I Love You Phillip Morris" because those don't count. What about "Fourth Man Out"? "Prayers for Bobby"? "Boy Culture"? Or any of the Eating Out series?

Have you seen "Call Me By Your Name"?

Before we start praising the progressive changes in Hollywood because a consensual intergenerational relationship between to masculine, cis, white, gay, men in the 1980's was nominated for 30+ awards in its first three months. I'm not here entirely to bash the critically acclaimed film--I mean believe me I was so visibly shocked at how much gay was allowed to be so visibly shown in comparison to other hetero-norms. I am just highly skeptical of the real work towards a better future this film provided us as a community.

And here's why, it is not relevant to anyone besides straight audiences and cis, white, wealthy gay people. The same way that "Brokeback Mountain" or Jim Carrey's gross "I Love You Phillip Morris" used straight actors to portray something that they have never experienced effectively writing the gay experience for us from a perspective that isn't even close to ours. "Call Me By Your Name" presented this highly fantastical romance in a way that was a little too "down to earth."

And I promise I'm not just saying this because I'm a bitter queen, who wasn't able to actually live like a 16/17/18-year-old because I was too busy worrying about whether or not people were going to stare at me should I go out to dinner in public or see a movie with a partner.

I had my fair share of Summer Flings, but now every other Tammy(TM) who just saw the new movie is going to ask if my teen years were just like that movie and I'm gonna have to be a major let down and say, "No Tammy(TM), my summer fling happened in Battle Creek, MI, I could never invite the person over to my house, and I had to sneak out the house after everyone went to sleep at like 1 AM if I wanted to see any one of them."

I'm here for the gay sex in the public sphere. Mostly because my parents watch a lot of movies and I can imagine "Call Me By Your Name" popping up on Netflix or Amazon Prime and my mom only reading half of the description and then putting it on and accidentally loving it. (Well maybe that's an exaggeration but if I asked her to watch it she might.)

All I'm saying is don't be like Tammy(TM). Everyone knows basically from birth that straight relationships can be both good and bad because as you're reading those novels and wishing for your dream man to walk into your life, you're watching your parents marriage, your friend's relationships, you're learning and growing in understanding of those relationships from each other. When you're gay, you don't get that all the time. So when your only frame of reference is this hyper-fantastical imaginary 1980s pipe dream, it just creates a bad situation. Especially for straight folks who are entirely removed from what it is like to be queer.

Enjoy the movie, support the director, give these queer filmmakers/actors/crew members the money and success they deserve because they created a work of art for a community that doesn't have a LOT of healthy representation. But it could've been a better film, and I'm disappointed because it seemed so close to the mark.

Cover Image Credit: Elena Ringo

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If You Haven't Listened To Camila Cabello's Debut Album Stop What You're Doing

Camila Cabello's debut album "CAMILA" is out and here's what you need to know:

Over a year after Camila Cabello parted ways with famous girl group Fifth Harmony, she has released her first solo album and if you want to bless your ears I suggest you take a listen.

Cabello's self titled album, "CAMILA" which was originally going to be titled "The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving" hit stores worldwide January 12th and instantly hit number one in the U.S. and plenty of other countries.


At 20 years old, the Cuban-born, Miami raised singer portrays not only her personal experiences but expresses her Latin American origin, giving the album a melodious sound and a Cuban-Mexican vibe. Of course her big hit single "Havana" is included among these 11 songs, becoming the closest one to your loud, club-worthy song. The following 10 songs are stripped down so listeners can appreciate and admire Cabello's vocals, proving that the girl can SING and is something you don't really see these days.

Among the many tracks, Camila includes a ballad titled "Consequences" which is a real tear-jerker. Cabello's soft vocals with the beautiful piano in the background really set the tone of this song. Singing lyrics like, "secret keeping, stop the bleeding / lost a little weight because I wasn't eating" really show the singers emotion put into the song and makes everyone feel that something.

Two tracks later, Cabello writes another emotional song known as, "Something's Gotta Give" which discusses a relationship where the singer leaves because there's no reason to deal with the lies and misuse. The singer uses the power line, "No reason to stay is a good reason to go" which is something some people really need to here.

Cabello is great at hitting every part of a break up including a song ("All These Years") which covers a sweet, but upsetting encounter with her ex after a breakup. The singer uses an acoustic vibe while complimenting her ex through amazing, soft vocals. Cabello is instantly reminded of all their memories together, but then is heartbroken (and a bit happy for her ex) when she finds out there is a new girl in his life.

Moving on to some songs you might’ve already heard. Cabello obvious includes her newest single, "Never Be The Same" making it the number one track on the album. If you haven't heard it, the track has some R&B vibes and is a mid-tempo ballad about a love that is painfully pleasing. Cabello even tweeted that the the track is, "what falling in love sounds like."

The track even mentions nicotine, heroin, and morphine and we're sure you'll be addicted to this song (and the album) just like the drugs mentioned. Just like "Never Be The Same", the track "Real Friends was released a month before the actual release date of "CAMILA" on December 7th, 2017. I can guarantee you that you will relate to this song as it talks about going through the realization that the people you're surrounding yourself with aren't actually your friends.

Cabello sings, "I'm just looking for some real friends, all they ever do is let me down" making this one of the strongest, most relatable lyrics on the album. Cabello admitted this song is about being in LA (and that she totally hates it). We’re glad Camila is surrounded by her family most of the time.

Opening up for Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour, fans and others heard another track early. While opening for Bruno, “Inside Out” took a place on her setlist. Being the only song that you can dance to alongside “Havana,” the track is fun and full of energy. In this song, Cabello goes back to her Cuban-Mexican roots for sure. Singing the song in English and Spanish, the song is something you’ll just want to dance to. Before performing the track on tour, Cabello even requests the audience to close their eyes and imagine they’re in Latin America before she sings, “De Miami a México / Esta cosa se prendió”

Continuing on Camila’s objective of showing every piece of falling in love. A track that really stands out is “In The Dark”. This song really emphasizes wanting to know every side of someone (especially the dark) because everyone has their secrets.

Once again, Cabello takes a stab at Los Angeles yet sings one of my favorite lyrics of the album, “Who are you when it's 3 AM / And you're all alone / And L.A. doesn't feel like home?”. This track is Camila’s plead to get to know that special someone she likes (and we totally hope she gets what she wants).

Finally, every album needs those sexy, makes you feel good type of song. LADIES listen up because “She Loves Control” is the song for you. Cabello strong and proud sings the lyrics, “She loves control, she wants it her way / And there's no way she'll ever stay unless you give it up”. No one should tell a girl what to do, and Cabello makes that clear.

Perhaps this song is even a stab at the Fifth Harmony gals (after all they wouldn’t let her write some of her own music, which led to her departure). We couldn’t be happier that the singer wrote this tune. Moving on, Cabello writes an even sexier song singing, “I see a king-sized bed in the corner, we should get into it”. Cabello titled this song “Into It” which is an upbeat, vocally impressive song which Camila admitted was about a daydream she had about a guy she had been crushing on. If you’re head over heels for a special someone, Camila understands and this WILL be your favorite song on the album (trust me).

Okay, now all you have to do is buy or stream the album and then continue on doing whatever you were doing. Heres where you can check out “CAMILA” the debut album by Camila Cabello:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/camila/1321216767

https://open.spotify.com/album/2vD3zSQr8hNlg0obNel4TE

Cover Image Credit: www.camilacabello.com

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