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What Disney Channel Movies Got Right and Wrong About High School

Student Life

Mon, June 03

Summer is just around the corner, and so is another school year. If this fall is your first year of high school, you are in for a treat (think homecoming, fun electives, and new friends). To prepare for what to expect for freshman year, you might be re-watching your favorite Disney Channel shows and movies like the High School Musical franchise, but what is fact and what is fiction?

Luckily, we have separated reality from the exaggerations of your favorite Disney Channel shows to fully prepare you for your first day. Here are some truths and myths about high school as presented by Disney Channel's shows and movies:

Truth: High school has lots of opportunities

Chances are your high school, and Auradon Prep have at least one in common: they both have many sports teams, clubs, and other extracurriculars that students can get involved in.

Whether you're like Jay and want to sign up for fencing or prefer to share your artistic talents through fashion design like Evie, high school is the perfect place to express your interests and creativity. Many schools offer a wide variety of after-school activities and electives that students can sign up for, from digital media classes to esports teams. To know when to sign up and register for these activities, check your school's website or reach out to current students to get all the details about the opportunities available at your school.

If you're unsure what you're interested in, attend a club fair event where you can talk with team captains and club presidents about their activity to learn more. Who knows, you might find your hidden talent or a new hobby. After all, high school is all about learning inside and outside the classroom, so don't be afraid to try something new.

Myth: You can do every single activity at once

Troy Bolton makes being the captain of the varsity basketball team, and the lead of the school play look easy, but in reality, it can be tough to be involved in two big-time commitment activities.

Although the time devotion to different extracurriculars can vary between schools, sports and theater are often after-school activities whose times can easily overlap. When planning which clubs and sports you want to join, check rehearsal, club meetings, and sports practice times and dates to ensure you don't overbook your schedule. However, if two activities overlap, remember you have four years to get involved in all the activities you want.

That said, it is definitely possible to balance multiple extracurriculars and academics successfully. Good time management skills are key to acing your classes and excelling in your after-school activities.

Image Credit: Arek Socha from Pixabay

Truth: Time management is important

Even if we don't have to balance school, cheerleading, and saving the world like Kim Possible, time management can be difficult in high school. The academic workload will likely increase from middle school (especially if you're in AP or honors classes), and you'll probably want to join clubs, sports, and other extracurriculars while making new friends and spending time with family.

To help you manage your time, consider investing in a planner or using apps like Google Calendar. These planning tools can help you block your scheduled time and keep track of important due dates and events.

Furthermore, making a to-do list of that day's priorities can help you pick what and how long to work on certain tasks. Understanding what you need to do can help you focus your energy and reduce stress from procrastination.

Image Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

Myth: Dancing in the hallways is a commonplace

You probably already know that high school isn't a musical, but one can dream, right? Breaking into fully choreographed dance numbers in the middle of the quad would be fun, but the crowded hallways and walkways make arranging a 50-person synchronized dance difficult.

However, if dancing is your passion, check out any dance clubs or teams your school offers (or create your own if there isn't one!). Who knows, maybe you can transform the hallways into the perfect location for a flash mob.

Truth: Teachers are there to support you

Girl Meets World's Cory Matthews is not the only teacher who is willing to go the extra mile for his students. Many high school teachers are willing to stay before or after class to help their students with homework, answer questions, or even provide extra study resources. In other words, don't be scared about reaching out to your teachers for extra help or support because that is what they are there for. So, if you need help with your trig proofs, don't be afraid to ask your geometry teacher for help.

Myth: Between classes, there are long hallway hangouts

Although Liv and Maddie Rooney might have spent the majority of the show talking in the hallways with their friends, high school passing periods, in reality, are relatively short. With less than 10 minutes to get to class, talking with your friends between classes can be tough if you are in classes on opposite sides of the school.

Instead, use passing periods to get a drink of water, eat a quick snack, or grab your textbooks from your locker. Lunch is the perfect opportunity for long chats with your crew.

Freshman year might be a few months away, but chances are that the first day of high school will come quicker than you know it. This summer, make sure to spend time with your friends and family (and re-watch your favorite high school-related series) before the whirlwind of high school begins.

When watching your favorite high school-related shows (whether Disney or not) to pass the weeks of summer vacation, remember that not everything on screen is reality. While there are definitely some truths mixed into the shows, at the end of the day, everyone has different plotlines for their own High School Musical.

Elizabeth Gregg

Writer since May, 2024 · 1 published articles

Elizabeth Gregg is a junior in high school from San Diego, California. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy novels, going on hikes, and traveling.