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If the Characters of High School Musical Were in Your Group Project

If the Characters of High School Musical Were in Your Group Project

     We all know (and in my case…love!) the High School Musical movies. They 
defined our late preteen and early teen years. In a way, they gave us a clear picture 
of what high school would be like. We belted out the song lyrics and perfected the 
dance moves. Kenny Ortega was seen as a genius in our minds, and we grew to love 
each character.
Of course, we’ve grown up a bit since the last movie hit the theaters. We realize 
that life doesn’t work out like a Disney Channel movie. Everything does not end with 
a choreographed dance number set to an inspiration tune that will be stuck in your 
head for months. We get it. Yet, as current college students, we jump at the 
opportunity to rewatch the series from the original to senior year. We relive every 
triumph, heartbreak, and song. I know because I’ve done it too. 
     However, in the midst of my studying for exams and writing lab reports, I’ve 
reflected on these movies. We’re all in this together, right? Well, I wonder how our 
favorite East High Wildcats would react when put in the one thing that causes 
complaints from every high school and college student…group projects. So, let’s take 
a look, shall we?


Jason is your fellow student that asks the professor thoughtful questions that 
make the lecture hall groan. Yes, he is sweet, but sometimes, he can come off as a bit 
of a teacher’s pet. You think that he’ll be great to have in a group project, right? Well, 
not exactly. 
     While Jason is a teacher’s pet, he is also extremely lazy. He’s the person in your 
group who rarely shows up to the meetings because he “forgot” about it when in 
reality he was just sleeping. He always seems confused when you try to explain the 
topic to him, and he needs to be walked through his part of the project. With Jason in 
your group, you end up doing two times the amount of work every single time.


Kelsi is the quiet girl in your group that seems super timid. She shows up to 
every meeting, but she never says or contributes much to the conversation. Instead, 
she sits silently while doodling in her notebook. You know she is really creative, and 
secretly, she has the best ideas in the group. However, your group never gives her 
the chance to share any of them. Her portion of the project looks phenomenal, and 
when the due date arrives, you almost wish she had done the whole project because 
everyone else’s section pales in comparison.


Yes, he shows up to the meetings, but Chad tends to be on average 15 minutes 
late to everything. He has energy to spare, and it comes in handy when your group’s 
meeting runs late again. No one is really sure what he contributes academically to 
the group, but he’s seen as the group’s encourager and a comic relief after too many 
hours in the library.


We all know a Taylor McKessie. She’s the one in the group who has the most 
detailed planner that is color coordinated with every minute scheduled to maximize 
efficiency. While she is a great asset to your group and she takes on the natural 
leadership position, being in her group makes you think your life is a mess. After just 
one meeting, you realize that you have absolutely nothing figured out. Seeing her 5, 
10, and 25 year plan makes you think you should pick up a second major and two 
minors. You begin to think that this girl has more hours in the day then everyone 
else. Does she ever sleep? With the amount of things this girl is involved with while 
maintaining her 4.0 GPA and position on student government, you are exhausted 
just thinking about it.


Depending on your personality, Ryan can be either a dream or a nightmare to 
have in your group. If you are a take-charge kind of person, you will love his 
willingness to go along with whatever plans or ideas you have. He is really good at 
following other people and enthusiastically contributing wherever he can. 
Sometimes, he contributes ideas, but they are so far-fetched that no one can take 
them seriously. I mean, don’t get me wrong, his ideas would be great if you had a 
year to put together the entire production he has in his head. However, instead he is 
subjected to following the carefully laid out plans of others.


Sharpay only cares if the project makes her look fabulous. She wants her voice to 
be heard, and you most definitely will hear her opinion. You will get stuck doing all 
the work, but it must follow her plan exactly. I’d suggest not getting in her way, and 
don’t even think about changing her ideas. She’s the group member that doesn’t take 
suggestions well, and she hates when people challenge her. Sharpay’s the one who 
terrifies the rest of the group into agreeing with her. In her mind, her way is the one 
and only way to get things done.


Everyone fights over who gets Gabriella in his or her group. She is that quiet, 
calm, and studious member of the group. She has great ideas and the knowledge to 
back it up. Her work ethic is unmatched by anyone else in the group. She listens to 
everyone’s ideas and works as the mediator in the group. Even though she could 
take on the leadership position if she wanted to, she works to include everyone in 
the project. Your group admires her patience and understanding. For that reason, 
your group can almost be guaranteed an A+.


What to say about Troy? He is the person everyone admires. He is an athlete, 
student, singer, and an all-around good guy. In your group project, he makes 
everyone feel appreciated and wanted. He strategically figures out the strengths and 
weaknesses of the group to determine how to best reach the end goal. As a team-
player, Troy will allow others to conribute especially if he realizes that they exhibit a 
skill he does not possess. He focuses on the team aspect of your group rather than 
defining himself the leader. While he is involved in many organizations on campus, 
he always makes time for your group, and he gives every assignment 110%.
Caitlin Barkley is currently a senior at Clemson University pursuing a degree in both Biology and Psychology. In 2016-2017, she served as the Campus Correspondent and Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus Clemson after joining her freshman year. She is also an ambassador with the Calhoun Honors College, a teacher with Clemson Dancers, and a member of Tiger Strut Dance Company. Caitlin is a colonizing member of the South Carolina Beta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi, and she serves as the current Chapter President. A few of her favorite things include coffee, her Clemson ring, and fuzzy blankets! Follow her on Instagram @c_barkley19
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