Thanks, High School Musical

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When I was five, I dreamed of meeting someone at a ski lodge during winter break of my junior year. We would both be at a New Year’s Eve party, sitting alone and suddenly we would both get called to do karaoke together. After singing together, there would be instant chemistry, and we would exchange phone numbers. After a long weekend of thinking about him, he would show up to my school as a transfer student and we would end up dating through college. Why would I have possibly dreamt up this scenario? Three words: High School Musical.
The High School Musical movies were a childhood staple. We grew up with Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez breaking free from the status quo. They were a golden couple; it’s too bad they raised every single girl’s expectation of what high school relationships would be like.
Troy Bolton was the perfect boyfriend. He stood up to his friends when they questioned his relationship, was the captain of the back-to-back state champions of basketball and always put Gabriella first. Whether he was surprising her with secret meetings on the school roof or showing up to her balcony with pizza and chocolate covered strawberries, he was every girl’s dream.
The main difference between 2006 and now is that hardly anyone is in a real relationship, people just “talk” or have a “thing.” The idea of having a relationship like Troy and Gabriella will forever remain in our minds, but sadly, will never be attained.
In the first High School Musical, Troy and Gabriella were from two different worlds. He was a jock, she was head of the scholastic decathlon team. Through many romantic gestures, the two overcame the judgment of their peers and the obstacles placed by their nemeses Sharpay and Ryan, changing the way their school worked forever. Unrealistic.
In High School Musical 2, Troy, Gabriella and all of their friends begin working together at the local country club. After facing pressure from their friends to start thinking about their futures, the two split up briefly, thinking their relationship may not be strong enough to last. Not soon after, they reunite by singing a life-changing duet together and suddenly all is good in the world. This. Would. Never. Happen. Ever.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year diminishes the hopes that any young girl may have about relationships. When Gabriella goes to Stanford for early freshman orientation, she has to miss the prom. Troy drives all the way from Albuquerque (1,065.5 mi) to see her, because “his prom is wherever she is.” Yeah, yeah, we get it you love each other. Shut up already.
The biggest letdown was coming to the realization that you cannot break out in song and dance whenever you’re feeling conflicted. The second biggest letdown was finding out that if you do break out in song and dance when feeling conflicted, your peers will not know to follow along. Thanks, High School Musical.

 

Julia Stern

Social Media Editor