This Has Been Nothing Like “High School Musical”

Photo by MGShelton

"School Hallway" by MGShelton is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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It’s 2008 and the purple Disney Original Movie screen comes up. Vanessa Hudgens tries to draw the popular mouse ears while saying, “Hi, I’m Vanessa Hudgens, and you’re watching Disney Channel,” the screen blackens. It awakes with the winter scene and sound on New Year’s Eve. Here is where I, as well as many other people, were filled with false hope. The Wildcats are partying it up. Nerds, athletes, fine arts students, and background characters alike are existing in perfect harmony, and they all look like they’re having a good time. In time, I started to know that I was never going to be partying it up with the athletes of ADM. I was never going to go to a ski lodge, or even fall for some high school boy that plays basketball and has long hair. High school, especially at Adel DeSoto Minburn, has been nothing like High School Musical. Troy and Gabriella sang songs about love and growing up, I have been working my life away at a Taco John’s, watching British romcoms, and singing in ADM Singers. I was promised a Gatsby level party from the Disney Company. Instead, I got a sad room of about five people and a half-consumed bag of chips. If you find yourself hoping for your Gatsby party to start, know that it probably never will, and three of the people coming to your party will arrive about two years late. However, high school has been nothing like the other extreme of Hollywood makes it out to be. At ADM, there are minimal fights. There is little to no graffiti on the school bathroom walls, and when something bad does happen, it gets 5 minutes of fame before becoming an inside joke with the entire school. Nobody gets thrown into their lockers unless it’s a complete joke, and they understand because the response is to do the same. We have had it easy here. The fights that happen at other schools are dangerous, but not to the extent of what Hollywood makes it out to be. The cinematic extremes of high school are gross and inaccurate. High school is not full of fights and pain, or drugs with underground parties and secret DJ’s. It is not full of choreographed numbers, and it is not full of long-haired boys that play basketball and fall for me at lunch. The lunchroom has been full of tears and the end of friendships that have effects so large that you’d think a nuclear explosion has occurred, not fabulous numbers and pivotal points in the story. The truth is, high school is about ups and downs. You will have some days that feel like they’re choreographed and perfect just like you will have days where you will feel like the world has thrown you in your locker and stabbed you until you just want to curl up in a ball and disappear. Whatever you feel, know that those feelings are valid and for a reason. There are people who will help you and there are people who will hurt you. Find the good in each day, but acknowledge the bad, and remember, high school will be nothing like High School Musical.