By Conor von Keisenberg
Jan 28, 2018

Top 10: High School Musical Life Lessons From The Music

  1. Bet on it:  When life gets you down, keep on keepin’ on. When your friends or family don’t support your newfound love of theatre, keep on keepin’ on. Times have changed; theatre kids can do stuff now (like be masculine). Believe in yourself. If you’re passionate about something, pursue it. Bet on yourself. It's okay to be a little clueless about your future; it’s the journey into self-discovery that’s more exciting than the destination.
  2. Status Quo:  “If you wanna be cool follow one simple rule, stick to the stuff you know.” This song is a mocking critique of high school and its various cliques. All it takes is for Troy to confess his love of singing for a cafeteria full of other kids to admit their secret passions. Just because someone fits into a specific group doesn’t mean they don’t have interests outside of what they excel at. Discovering new interests and defining yourself as an individual is part of growing up. Don’t stick to the status quo because the status is most definitely not quo. Also this song wins points for being the most hilarious dance number of the franchise.
  3. Gotta Go My Own Way: Sometimes in life, we have to let go of the things we hold dear. Hang around something long enough and often we find ourselves codependent – whether it be friends, a partner or some other vice. In these moments, it’s important we take a step back and go our own way in order to rediscover ourselves. Who knows, maybe one day in the future it will come back around, just like it did for Troy and Gabriella.
  4. We’re All In This Together:  Everyone is special in their own way; we make each other strong. The message here is simple: “love thy neighbour.” It may feel as though you’re all alone, but you’re smarter than you know, more loved than you feel and doing better than you think. We’re all fumbling in the dark but – with an incredible support system – anything is possible, and if not, at least we’ve all got somebody to lean on. #Squad assemble.
  5. I Just Wanna Be With You: “You know how life can be it changes overnight, it’s sunny then raining but it’s alright.” Don’t be afraid of change; it’s a necessary part of life. Be confident in your relationships. Find someone you vibe with and hold onto them, because life is easier as a team.
  6. Start of Something new: Life is nothing if not a series of opportunities. Can you imagine what would have happened had Troy not stepped out of his comfort zone and sang karaoke with Gabriella? Don’t do it, but could you? On taking that chance, we were gifted the greatest coming of age trilogy of all time and Troy found his true passion in performing. Take a chance, kid.
  7. Fabulous: Iconic. Sharpay is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it, whether it’s relaxation, or turkey imported from Maine. The lesson here lies in the character herself, and the ability she has to manipulate the world to suit her. To be fabulous, firstly you need to make an impression, so practice that power strut. Next you’re gonna need confidence; put on your game face and show the world just how fab you are. Developing your own style is important; fashion, catchphrases, quirks just make it fab. Lastly always think bigger; challenge yourself and do better. Never settle for mediocrity when you can be fabulous.  
  8. A Night To Remember: The disparities between the sexes as they look forward to their High School Prom. Yes, shock horror, despite what Bill Nye would have you believe, boys and girls are different – or maybe this song is just some heteronormative bullshit. I don’t care and I’m not gonna tell you what to think. Regardless, this bangs.
  9. Can I Have this Dance?: It’s perfectly fine to skip out on your responsibilities and commitments, but only if you’re skipping them to dance in a rooftop garden. Be thankful and enjoy the moment, however brief it may be. Sometimes you get lucky, just like we did being born in a time when this song exists.
  10. You Are The Music In Me: We’ve all got that crush or significant other. Someone you look at and immediately a song starts playing in your head, your hands clam up and your heart keeps in beat with the rhythm. That’s love. Or lust. Whatever it is, I hope it’s something mellow to mid-tempo; we don’t want you passing out. Or is this about how everyone has a song inside them and we need to let it out? Essentially the modern equivalent of N.W.A’s Express Yourself.

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