We’re all in this together

If you were in elementary school between 2006 and 2016, you know just how impactful the High School Musical franchise was. I mean, is there anything more iconic than Sharpay Evans singing “Fabulous” in High School Musical 2 or the cafeteria flash mob scene in High School Musical 1? While there are certainly many unrealistic aspects of High School Musical, notably a lack of graffiti in the bathrooms and profanity in the hallways, I would argue that LM encapsulates the energy of the movies.

First, basketball is the lifeblood of both the East High Wildcats and the Lower Merion Aces. East High displays floor-to-ceiling posters of its players in the school hallways, while at LM we hand-paint our own Dawg Pound signs and host elaborate theme nights. And East High’s two back-to-back championship titles are uncannily similar to the Aces’ back-to-back district championships wins. In addition to their athletic prowess, both Lower Merion and East High have formidable extracurriculars. While Gabriella and Taylor’s team of choice is Academic Decathlon, LM students regularly win awards in Science Olympiad, TSA, Debate, Mock Trial, and more.

What most people point out as the biggest inaccuracy in High School Musical is the amount of singing and dancing that takes place during school hours. But this year’s lip dub showed that Aces are more than ready to sing and dance to pop songs in the hallways, even sporting East High’s signature red and white colors. The lip dub was one of the traditions that brought LM together this year, and every student got to be a part of a musical display of LM’s clubs, sports, and school spirit.

At the end of the day, what stands out as the biggest similarity between the two highschools  is revealed in the song “Stick to the Status Quo” from the original High School Musical in which students sing about their diverse interests and deviation from traditional high school stereotypes. At LM, this couldn’t be more true. Students excel in a wide range of areas and aren’t afraid to share their talents with the school community. From star athletes who are also talented artists to brilliant musicians that shine in a math classroom to theater kids who love computer science, LM’s culture never limits students to just one “thing.” The people I have had the pleasure of spending the last four years with never reduced anyone to a single trope and always supported each other in trying new things, which is what makes LM an outstanding community.

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