How High School Musical compares to real-life

De Soto High School seniors display the realities of senior year while holding all of their homework, coffee, books and MacBooks on Nov. 7, 2019.

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De Soto High School seniors display the realities of senior year while holding all of their homework, coffee, books and MacBooks on Nov. 7, 2019.

Lauren Stanton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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All throughout my childhood, I imagined what high school would be like and got most of my assumptions from the iconic Disney Channel original movie, High School Musical. Once I arrived at high school, I quickly realized that high school life was not quite like it was portrayed in the movie. 

It’s now my senior year, and I am curious how my experience compared to that of Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez in High School Musical: Senior Year. From my point of view, HSM was a complete lie and does not resemble real life. Surprise, surprise, Hollywood does not accurately portray reality. 

To be honest, there are times when senior year sucks. There is a ton of homework and little motivation to complete it. This particular aspect of senior year is not very well portrayed in the movie. The seniors in this movie are constantly smiling. How do the seniors in HSM go to school everyday with such big smiles and sing all the time? It just is not feasible for a normal high school senior. 

However, there are memorable moments throughout senior year that the movie does do a decent job of portraying, such as promposals, big championship games, relationships and college preparation talks. 

The first scene of the movie is a bit intense, but does a fairly good job of accurately portraying a high school basketball championship game, but not a regular season game. The typical basketball game at De Soto High School does not have packed stands like the HSM game. 

If DHS did have a championship game, then this might change and there might be more students attending, but the gym would not be completely filled like it is in the movie. During halftime, the team goes to the locker room and Coach Bolton tells the team that there are only 16 minutes left of the season. This is a typical end of season pep talk, where the seniors get emotional and cherish the last time they play with their team. This part of the movie is accurate, but the next scene is not. 

Troy, the team captain, decides to put a benchwarmer in during the most intense part of the game. This would not happen in real-life. The captain would not decide to put the fate of the team in the hands of a rookie, especially at such a monumental game. 

In addition to portraying high school sports games, the movie includes the conversations that take place throughout senior year regarding colleges and graduation. 

All throughout the movie, Gabriella and Troy actively discuss the future and talk about their struggles regarding their college decisions. This is completely accurate in that seniors are having these conversations on a daily basis. 

 The stress of choosing a college is also evident when Troy is singing the song Scream throughout the empty hallways of East High. I frequently jam out to Scream in my car as a way to relieve the stress of school, always fully participating in the scream at the end of the song. 

I believe that the majority of seniors can relate to Troy during this song since it is difficult to decide what college to attend or what to major in. There is a lot of stress surrounding this decision. It can be a confusing time for many, with lots of emotions.   

The one thing about this scene that is inaccurate is that the school is unlocked during the night and Troy does not have to face any repercussions for breaking in and causing destruction. While in the school, Troy rips off and throws a giant banner of himself from the caterfeia wall. In reality, a student would be expelled or have to face some sort of consequence. 

Another inaccuracy within the movie is that the students are never seen overloaded with homework, scholarship applications, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or even with backpacks. Seniors are constantly stressed about all of these applications and deadlines, and can always be seen with some sort of backpack. The movie completely fails to discuss this and does not prepare teenagers to face this challenge in the future.  

Prom is a major part of junior and senior year; however, there are aspects of the night that the movie inaccurately portrays. For example, when Sharpay Evans is getting ready, she is still pondering what to do with her hair. The typical high school girl already knows what her makeup, hair, dress, picture and dinner plans by the day of prom. She would not be deciding what to do minutes before her date arrives. 

The only real aspect of prom that gets displayed is the father staring the male date down when he comes to pick up the girl. This is very common for obvious reasons; the father wants to protect his daughter on a typically special night. 

At the end of the movie, Troy finally chooses what college to attend. Usually, seniors know what college they are attending before the day of graduation, so this scene is inaccurate. There are exceptions to this, though, and people do decide their future after they have graduated

Troy also states that he is choosing the University of California-Berkeley in order to be closer to Gabriella. Now this is not too far from reality; some people do choose their college based off of relationships. However, most counselors and parents advise students to not choose a college based on relationships. This is a risky decision for Troy since no one knows what the future will hold for him and Gabriella. Something could happen and cause them to break-up. This decision is not entirely realistic.

There are obviously going to be aspects of senior year that do not get accurately portrayed in the movie, but there are also aspects that are displayed properly. 

Overall, High School Musical: Senior Year gives a somewhat inaccurate portrayal of senior year, failing to acknowledge the hardships of senior year. However, it still reminds us [seniors] that we are all in this together.

 

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