Thanks, 'High School Musical'

Almost 10 years ago, a musical film was released on the Disney Channel that captivated a generation. Every tween and teen at this time loved it. They watched it at sleepovers, get-togethers and more. This movie is High School Musical. Who knew a simple television show that came out almost a decade ago, would still have so much influence on my peers' lives? Even today, I still see friends quote lines and songs from the movie.

Much to my dismay, high school life is not as great and joyful as it was at East High for Troy Bolton and his fellow Wildcats. There is no singing of "Stick to the Status Quo" at lunch. However, there are lessons and themes from the film that are instrumental in a high schooler's life. As I graduate high school this year, I look back on the Disney Channel Original Movie that taught so much to many.

1. Go for any activity you wish, even if it's unexpected.

Troy Bolton was the stereotypical jock. He was the star of the basketball team and East High's heartthrob. And yet, he wished to audition for the school musical, something unexpected for a jock. Though it was unanticipated for him, he realized that he enjoyed singing just as much as he loved basketball. When he auditioned for the play, and received a callback, both he and the entire school was shocked. Though I could never play sports as well as Troy, around my friends I have always been known to play, breathe and read about sports. In 10th grade, my school put on a production of Monty Python's Spamalot. I had seen Spamalot on Broadway and was ecstatic that my school was putting on such a comedic and entertaining musical. I auditioned for the show, and much to my surprise and pleasure, received a main role. Participating in a musical was a different (but awesome) experience for me. I enjoyed the musical experience greatly, and look forward to participating in it again this year.

2. People from different social groups can interact, and maybe even have a lasting relationship.

Troy Bolton is the star basketball player and "golden boy" of East High. Every girl in the school yearns to be with Troy. When Troy meets Gabriella at the hotel on New Years' Eve, he wishes to see her and be with her again. After the school year begins, he hopes to interact with her. Unfortunately, because of the status quo, it is awkward for him. However, he ultimately ignores the wishes of his friends, and spends time with Gabriella. Troy Bolton shows that despite his immense popularity, he can hang out with Gabriella, a new student who is not that interested in basketball. Even though his friends sometimes taunt him, he recognizes that time with Gabriella is time well spent. Troy Bolton demonstrates something that every high-schooler should learn: There are no social barriers in high school. Do not worry about what your friends will say if you choose to spend time with other people who they may not like. High school is your time to meet new people and to step out of your comfort zone.

3. Enjoy every moment you have in high school.

In the three High School Musical movies, (some of) the characters grow from enemies to friends. They spend their school years and their summers together. They truly savor every moment with one another, because they know that high school does not last forever. Gabriella goes to Stanford and Troy goes to Berkeley. Kelsi (the piano player) and Ryan win scholarships to Julliard, a school on the opposite coast. The group will never see each other as often as they did during their four years at East High.

As my last year begins, I think of my friends, and where we are all going to be next year. Some of us may go to school together, but we could end up miles away. Seniors, let us take advantage of all our time from September to June. High school is the last time that all of us have together. I hope to make my senior year the best year both in school and out. I hope to try any activities I've been afraid of doing, and to enjoy everything. As the cast of High School Musical says "We're all in this together." Class of 2015, Let us make this the best graduating class ever!