High School Musical reunion incites nostalgia

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Erin Keating

Ten years ago, 7.7 million viewers tuned into the Disney Channel to watch what would be the most popular musical of the 21 century. On January 20, 2006, we were introduced to the most musically gifted high school to ever exist in the form of High School Musical.

Troy Bolton, portrayed by Zac Efron, was the most popular guy at East High. While on vacation with his family, he is unwillingly pulled on to the stage and forced to participate in karaoke with a stranger. This stranger happened to be science wiz Gabriella Montez, portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens. To please the crowd, Troy sang the first line of the song and proceeded to leave the stage. To his shock, Gabriella joined in. And that was the beginning of one the greatest musical love stories of all time.

Troy and Gabriella came from two different social cliques. Troy was a part of the jocks; he was the star of the basketball team. Gabriella was a part of the scholastic decathlon team. Due to the social pressures of high school, these two groups never interacted. In reality, none of the social groups interacted. So, when Troy and Gabriella received a callback for the spring musical, the school went into a frenzy.

Different members of different social groups realized that they could actually talk to each other. The theater department, especially its leaders Sharpay and Ryan Evans, portrayed by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel, did not appreciate this revelation. They believed that the theater department was supposedly being taken over by members of two different social groups, and they were not having it.

The friends of Troy and Gabriella, Chad Danforth and Taylor McKessie, portrayed by Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman, thought it would be best for the school if they didn’t do the musical and went back to their normal lives of “sticking to the status quo.” Troy and Gabriella were able to break down these walls the student body had put up for them and bring the school together in the form of song.

During high school, one of the hardest things you have to do is make friends. Friends help and guide you as you go through four of the most important years of your life. Sometimes, you feel as if you must stick to the same group of friends. High School Musical taught us that that doesn’t need to be the case. There are plenty of different kinds of people from each area of your high school. You don’t need to be separated by cliques and social groups. Come together, don’t spread apart.

Don’t be afraid of what might happen if you hang out with the skater dudes and dudettes and you are a part of the cooking club. If you want to try something new, whether it be basketball or singing, don’t be afraid of what others think. Do what makes you happy and maybe they will join you. Troy and Gabriella did what made them happy, and what happened? The whole school came together and made their high school experience one to remember.

East High wasn’t just a high school. It was where we met a group of musically gifted teenagers, who taught us some of life’s most important lessons. These characters were relatable and their songs are catchy and karaoke worthy. Tweens and teens everywhere watched and sang along as Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor and all their classmates danced and sang about the trials and tribulations of high school. High School Musical is one of the greatest movie musicals of all time, one that every person should watch. It teaches us how to work as a group and to expand your horizons because we truly are all in this together.

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