I Look Up to Gabriella Montez, and Here’s Why You Should Too


Gabriella Taylor Montez from “High School Musical” is my role model, idol and favorite fictional singer. Because she is a multi-faceted, well-rounded human being, when I was first introduced to her in kindergarten, I couldn’t help but be so intrigued with her for various reasons.

She has everything that I do not: a great social life, a beautiful voice, Troy Bolton and an acceptance letter to Stanford.

Even though there must have been some off-camera study sessions and stressing, it seemed like she breezed through high school. This expectation set a false precedent for me, and when I entered high school myself, I had no idea what went wrong.

However, as I go back and analyze why my life differs from Gabriella’s, many reasons appear, but only one thing screams at me: Gabriella was always herself and pursued her passions and interests by joining the school’s decathlon team and auditioning for the musical, while I can honestly say some of what I do is just to try and squeeze my way into a college.

If you can say otherwise, then I applaud you, but this is the inevitable demise of a Hockaday student. Even though I’m not a senior yet and cannot speak on actually applying for colleges, I can attest to the amount of time and thought I’ve already put into it. Especially in an environment like Hockaday’s, long before students are due to turn in their college applications, they are thinking about college and what they can do to get into the one they want.

Both the Hockaday environment and students create this “college culture”: I believe that Hockaday is here to help us with resources and starting early so we don’t get as stressed when it’s senior year, but if you put 120 students in this environment who want to do well, we will inevitably get stressed.

High school should be a time for students to really find their passions and interests and pursue that. Because in all honesty, 18 years (even if for most of it I was wearing Juicy tracksuits and Silly Bandz) should be enough time for me to know who I am and what I want to do. It’s extremely important that we use this time to live, because if we don’t find that part of ourselves in high school, we’re forced to make blind life decisions. We can’t complete this task of finding ourselves if we’re morphing ourselves to be someone that we think that our favorite colleges would like to see.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for those who are tone-deaf, high school is not a musical. High school is full of crucial decisions that can essentially determine who we are and what we do for the rest of our lives. With this in mind, during these times of making important decisions, we must remain genuine in order to live in the future as our true selves.

Hockaday may not always be parallel to East High School, but it is what you make of it. If you pursue your tasks with passion, passion will ultimately come. However, if you can’t muster out a passion for the material of the subject, find joy in the process. Find joy in the pure fact that you are growing, learning and culminating various experiences, and if you hadn’t named your passion before this, you will soon enough.

Long explanation short, what I’m trying to say here is to BLG: Be Like Gabriella.

– Cheryl Hao – Assistant Web Editor –