Most people dream of going abroad during their college career; whether they want to study, intern, or research abroad. Well, here are the top 10 places that UT students went to for Study Abroad in the 2017-2018 school year according to the University of Texas Impact Report.
Amount of Students Attended: 104
Why Go? With Japan’s rich culture and fun atmosphere, you can learn a lot studying abroad in Japan! If you are studying Japanese then this is the place for you since their language is integral into their curriculum, though they do offer classes in English for UT students as well. Japan’s study abroad program is relatively cheap and you’re allowed to get a part-time job.
9. CZECH REPUBLIC
Amount of Students Attended:131
Why Go? This place is right in the middle of Europe and has many beautiful and historical sites for any type of major. It is a very unappreciated place that many students don’t think of when they are searching for study abroad, but it is definitely one to keep in mind!
8. SOUTH AFRICA
Amount of Students Attended:145
Why Go? South Africa is very far from the United States which could be seen as a good or a bad thing. Politics is a big part of South African culture and has beautiful views of the sea. Cape Town is a big spot for students who want to get a feel for their diverse society. Even if it is far away, sometimes the distance is worth it.
Amount of Students Attended:154
Why Go? History lovers will definitely love the thought of studying abroad in Germany! Germany has more than just history though. They have a diverse amount of classes and are big, not only in history, but business and international relations. Germany is the best place to learn German (duh) and have a great food and music scene. What more can you ask for?
Amount of Students Attended: 225
Why Go? China is the starting point of so many different opportunities. You can learn anything from international relations to business to technology to industry in China. Not only that, but China has one of the richest histories. Mandarin is one of the hardest languages to learn so what better place to do that then in China?
Amount of Students Attended: 228
Why Go? Italy is one of the most gorgeous countries in the world with rich history, culture, and food that could leave you satisfied for days. Architecture and Artistic vision is mainstream in places like Italy. Basically anything in the Liberal Arts college can be found among the old historic buildings in Italy.
Amount of Students Attended: 245
Why Go? Not only is Mexico the closest country you can get to being in Austin, but so many famous people have come from Mexico. The rich culture and history is the stuff we have been learning all through grade school so what better place to see it in real life than to travel there in college. Being in the United States, learning Spanish is very beneficial as a second language. Immersing yourself in the Mexican culture can give you an experience different, but very beneficial to our own understanding of what makes America America.
Amount of Students Attended: 249
Why Go? France has influenced America in many ways, whether you have been to Louisiana or the arts that we see in America today. A lot of these things came from France in the form of food, history, arts, and architecture. Paris is a huge spot for business having some of the best business schools in the world!
Amount of Students Attended: 252
Why Go? You should think about going to England, not just because I am going there this Summer, but because it has such a rich and varied culture much like our own. You don’t have to learn another language, but you can still experience things just a bit different than what you’re used to. London is a great spot for various activity and is the second most visited place, not just at UT, but by study abroad students everywhere.
Amount of Students Attended: 427
Why Go? Spain is a place that has varied landscapes, culture, and language that makes you feel like you are experiencing something new every day. Being the most sought after country to travel to in UT, there are multiple programs for just about anything you can think of! This is a great way to learn Spanish and have a fun time at all the dance clubs or unique restaurants around Barcelona.
Exploring new places isn’t always easy on a college budget with constant deadlines and org meetings, but luckily there are so many places that are worth a day (or even weekend!) trip from campus. Recently I decided to go to Magnolia Market in Waco to see what all the hype was about- and to see if only HGTV fans would be there thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show that inspired the marketplace. Below are my tips and review of the infamous Waco weekend getaway. You can look at the overall scores for each of the things I’ll be covering (right), but keep reading for a more in depth look at the trip.
One of the best things about getting to the market is that it’s only an hour and a half away! I stayed in Waco from Friday to Saturday afternoon, but it’s close enough to do all in one day. Magnolia Market also has free parking which is a huge bonus compared to, well, pretty much anywhere. You have to either get to the market early in the day or late to snag a spot, though. If not, Waco also has a FREE trolley system. Either way, getting to Magnolia Market (and parking) is overall quite easy and inexpensive.
Insta Worthy Moments
Given that Magnolia Market was literally designed by an infamous design and house remodeling duo, it’s no surprise that every inch of it is super aesthetic. The grounds themselves have flowerbeds, cute lawn chairs, and plenty of eye pleasing white walls for a photo backdrop. The shops are also just as instagrammable and include a home decor/souvenir store, garden shop (check out the mini greenhouse for a cute picture) and a bakery. All of that on top of the picturesque food options make Magnolia Market a top notch place for photographers and amateur influencers alike.
One of the most important things about any trip: food. Luckily at Magnolia Market there was equally as much thought put into the food as into the design. There are several food trucks at the market itself and, out of those, I definitely recommend the tea from The Alabama Sweet Tea Company. For $8 you get a 24oz souvenir mason jar with a reusable straw and some great tea- plus it’s only $2 for a refill. It seems pricey, but the reusable factor and the size makes it an okay value. The Magnolia Table food truck also is at the market and features some of the same items from the actual sit down restaurant, The Magnolia Table, but with less than a third of the wait time. I got the avocado toast from their food truck and while $8 is a bit hefty, it was also the best avocado toast I’ve ever had, TBH. So take that however you want. If you have the time/desire to wait for a seat at The Magnolia Table, it’s worth it. You can technically leave the restaurant while you wait (check out Spice Market downtown or go back to the market!) which makes the long wait bearable. You absolutely must get there early if you want to eat there- the waitlist often is closed off by noon. The Magnolia Table also has a takeaway market with some of their products and grab-n-go food which makes a picnic or road-tripping back home easy and delicious. At the restaurant I ordered the skillet oatmeal and it was super satisfying. The pancakes, pastries, and hash-browns are all also worth ordering and very tasty. If you’re looking to grab food somewhere else in Waco, the Health Shack (definitely a sarcastic choice) and Bubba’s are two good options nearby that are also pretty budget-friendly.
Visiting Magnolia Market is definitely worth it, but it isn’t exactly the cheapest. While admission and parking are free, souvenirs and food in the market itself can set you back quite a bit of money. However, if you plan ahead and eat some meals/snacks outside of the market you won’t spend as much on food. Buying souvenirs at Spice Market is also an alternative to the pricier items at the shops on the market grounds. That being said, whether you’re a mega-fan of “Fixer Upper” or just looking for an eye-pleasing couples/friend getaway- Magnolia Market is definitely worth it.
Harry Potter is a beloved series that has left a profound impact on the lives of its fans. All fans can agree that the book series along with the film series were amazing. The beautiful storyline, complex characters, humor, relatable themes, and the wonder of magic entranced us all, transporting us to the Wizarding World and all it had to offer. We can’t help but want to go back, no matter how long it’s been since we read the final sentence of the final book. What better way to return to the world we know and love than with new installments? Fans were ecstatic after it was announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was in development, the former as a play and the latter as a film. That excitement stayed around until these new installments were released, and the fans were left questioning “what is happening here?” and saying “this is not the Harry Potter we know”. Both The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts 1&2 struggled to canonically make sense with the original series, and give us that same sense of wonder. As a fan of the original series, I thought I would give my thoughts on the new installments and what seems to be going wrong. Warning, there will be spoilers.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
This new chapter in the Harry Potter franchise was released as a play debuting at the West End in London, England on July 30, 2016. Around the same time J.K. Rowling and her co-creators, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, released the script for fans who could not see the play. The Cursed Child focuses on Albus Potter, Harry’s youngest son, and his struggles to live up to Harry’s legacy. The Cursed Child is my least favorite out of the new installments and just the series in general. I remember a few weeks before the release, fans had read spoilers and were talking on social media about how it was not good, and that it wasn’t Harry Potter. Or at least not what Harry Potter should be. Initially I didn’t believe it could be that bad, but after reading it, I fully agreed with the fans. I will say this, I enjoyed the writing style and the friendship between Albus and Scorpius was sweet. However, the plot itself was just not for me.
The basics of the plot is Albus and Scorpius going back in time with Delphi Diggory, who is later revealed to be Voldemort’s daughter, to save Cedric Diggory during the Triwizard tournament using the sole remaining Time-Turner. Unbeknownst to the boys, Delphi is just using them so she can use the Time-Turner to bring back Voldemort. Already we have problems, and the first being – Voldemort has a kid? The same Voldemort who couldn’t comprehend love which was the crux of his downfall in the end, that doesn’t make sense. With Who? Bellatrix LeStrange? Has to be because she was the only person Voldemort could’ve possibly formed any sort of connection with. That doesn’t make sense either, because Delphi Diggory is said to be around 23 years old which would mean she was born in 1998 as the second wizarding war came to an end. Forcibly before May 1998, because Bellatrix dies at the battle of Hogwarts which took place on May 2nd, 1998. If we go with her being Voldemort and Bellatrix’s daughter, at some point before May of 1998, Bellatrix had to be pregnant and she wasn’t. I can infer this because during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,Bellatrix was seen 3 times, including at the battle, over the course of a few months and not once was she pregnant. Also Hermione used polyjuice potion to turn into Bellatrix not long before the battle, and the way the potion works is you take the appearance of that person at the time which you take their hair. So if Bellatrix was pregnant when Hermione took her hair to make the polyjuice potion, she should’ve been pregnant when she transformed into Bellatrix – she wasn’t. Based on this information, Delphi being the daughter of Voldemort does not make sense.
My second issue with The Cursed Child is the time travel. Time-Turners were only used once in the original series during the events of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Here’s a few quotes concerning Time-Turners from J.K. Rowling’s website Pottermore.
“All attempts to travel back further than a few hours have resulted in catastrophic harm to the witch or wizard involved.”
Albus, Scorpius, and Delphi went back around 20 years.
“Thirdly, I smashed all remaining Time-Turners during the battle in the Department of Mysteries, removing the possibility of reliving even short periods in the future.”
The very existence of this play contradicts what J.K. Rowling says here.
Hopefully you get where I’m going with this, the presence of Time-Turners in this plot to make it simply another time traveling adventure does not fit with Harry Potter. The magic of Harry Potter has never been about time travel, with the exception of The Prisoner of Azkaban, magic in Harry Potter is your good old fashioned spells, curses, charms, and occasional bonds – not time travel. Even when time travel was used in The Prisoner of Azkaban it wasn’t used like this, it was more like a paradoxical event where the timeline we saw first was a result of the time traveling Harry and Hermione did in the end. The Cursed Child is your average, characters goes back in time, mess up the present timeline, and go back again to fix it. That’s just not what Harry Potter is, and it doesn’t make sense that they would make it such a key part of the plot.
What Would Harry Potter Do? Not this.
Lastly, I’m not a fan of some of their character choices. The biggest being what they did with Harry and his relationship to Albus. Albus resents Harry for all the pressure he feels as the famous Harry Potter’s son, and the way Harry responds to that resentment personally does not feel like something Harry would do. It didn’t bother me as much until I read, “Sometimes I wish you weren’t my son.”. Harry says this to Albus after they get into an big argument, and this very moment took me completely out of the story. This moment is such a disservice to Harry’s character, and I can’t believe J.K. Rowling would allow this to make it in the script. The Harry we know suffered so much verbal and physical abuse as a child, and when he got older he gave everyone so much love and kindness. Even if he didn’t like someone he treated them with some amounts of respect, so for him to turn around and say this to his own child is completely out of character.
I think the issue is simply I don’t have play itself to back this script up. This script would definitely work as a standalone play, but I’m reading this script without the play and assuming it will coincide with the original series. Mainly because that is how it is advertised, they say it is “the eighth story in the series”, so of course I expect it to go with the original series. Unfortunately, it doesn’t and that’s why it fell through for me. Granted the whole Delphi situation would still be valid no matter what, but take this script and make it a spin-off not “the eighth story in the series”, then this would be better.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the one we all thought was going to be bad. After all it’s based off a fictional book inside Harry Potter, which is already a fictional book. How good could this be? Well it’s better than The Cursed Child, so I’ll give it that. I liked Fantastic Beasts, I loved the new characters, magical New York was fun, and I like where they’re going with the story of Grindelwald. We first heard of Grindelwald back in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and he was Dumbledore’s former best friend, (and lover depending on if J.K. Rowling is brave enough to say that they were in love) before he became a Hogwarts professor later headmaster. We got the story of what happened between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and this series aims to tell the story about the events leading up to the battle between them, as well as the state of the wizarding world at that time.
Change is good, or is it?
The biggest thing I, fans as well, had to tackle with this film is just adjusting to the fact that it’s not what we’re used to. It’s a prequel series set seventy years before the original series, so we already know we’re not going to be seeing the same people. Then we’re also being taken to a new era, the 20s, and a new country after being so used to seeing the wizarding world in England. Us fans had a lot of change to get used to, but at the same time we still wanted the same wondrous, magical feeling that Harry Potter gave us. Personally I didn’t get it, the magic was there and they had little cameo mentions of Dumbledore. It just wasn’t the same, and that’s honestly my only issue with it. Given all the change, fans need to feel like we’re still going back to the same wizarding world, after all that’s why we went to go see it, so if they’re not going to give me that feeling of the wizarding world. Then why do it at all? All in all it was a fine film, just didn’t feel like the wizarding world I knew. Although I would’ve loved if they kept Colin Farrell as Grindelwald, but it is what it is.
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald
Announcements about the development of this film caused quite the controversy. From the casting of Johnny Depp,to revealing the one Asian character to be Nagini, and the queerbaiting with Dumbledore, there were a lot of problems. All that being said, this installment into the franchise is my favorite and simply because it felt like a Harry Potter movie. I absolutely loved the new magic seen in this film, and it was so cute to see Newt’s entire beasts sanctuary in his home. They took us back to Europe and back to Hogwarts, which as you can guess was the best part for me. We got to see snippets of Dumbledore teaching as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and the French Ministry of Magic. We also got some new characters in this film, Leta LeStrange and Theseus Scamander being my favorites. I feel that the story of Leta LeStrange was told incredibly well, as well as her relationship with Newt in their youth. Leta was really my favorite character in the film and it’s a shame they killed her in the end. As much as I liked this film there is no denying that it had its problems, so let’s get to it.
“We were closer than brothers” ~ Albus Dumbledore
Speaking of characters in the film, how about I get into that obvious queerbaiting of their most iconic character. Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore was a great choice and I really enjoyed his performance. I did not enjoy that the writers and J.K. Rowling seem to keep dancing around his sexuality and not committing to giving us a good portrayal of his sexuality. It was revealed a long time ago that Dumbledore is gay and it’s known that Grindelwald was most likely his boyfriend or at least someone Dumbledore was in love with. Once this film came around fans expected to see that relationship be played out, and it was hinted at in the trailers. Unfortunately, they did not follow through and the scene that appeared to be hinting at a relationship between the two was simply them making a blood pact. The blood pact was to ensure they could never fight against one another. That’s all we get, and LGBTQ fans were rightfully upset. I was too, because if they were to acknowledge that Dumbledore is in fact gay but not show it. What was the point? Representation is not just simply mentioning you’ve got an LGBTQ character, you have to actually portray it and making this blood pact is just a cheap way to dismiss any kind of relationship between them. Personally, I think it would’ve been great if the reason Dumbledore didn’t want to go against Grindelwald is because he was still in love with him. It would’ve been much more emotional and impactful if we got the typical bad guy vs. good guy trope, but there’s a deep and personal history behind them. Instead we get blood pact that just boils it down to a basic he’s good, he’s bad, we have to fight, and that’s all.
Albus Dumbledore has a new family member?!
The biggest twist comes at the end when Grindelwald reveals to Credence that he is a Dumbledore, most likely Albus Dumbledore’s brother. Credence Barebone was introduced in the first Fantastic Beasts film, and we found out that he is an obscurial. An obscurial is a dark force that developed inside a child when they repressed their magic to avoid being caught by muggles who wanted to prosecute them. Crimes of Grindelwald takes us back to the story of Credence, and this time to see where he comes from. Turns out he’s a Dumbledore, and immediately all fans of Harry Potter knew there was no way that could work – here’s why.
Credence is around his early to mid twenties, and Dumbledore is probably in his forties, which means for Credence to be his brother. Credence was born when Dumbledore was around twenty, and this doesn’t work because by then his parents were dead. Some fans have come up with the theory that the obscurial that was inside Dumbledore’s little sister, Ariana, somehow found its way inside Credence after she died which could possibly connect him to the Dumbledore family line. An interesting theory that gets very confusing for those who did not read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows since that is where what happened to Ariana was explained. It’s also very likely that Grindelwald was lying, we know he’s pretty manipulative so it’s the easiest explanation to believe. Pulling this whole Credence is a Dumbledore twist is just too messy, and if it all just gets explained away as a lie it’ll feel like they created all this confusion for nothing. I can tell they wanted a cliffhanger, but this was not it because it just confused everyone. Instead of thinking “I can’t wait to see the next one”, I’m just thinking “why on earth would they do that?”.
Fan Service or Fan Disservice?
The last two things Crimes of Grindelwald suffered with was more timeline issues and relegating major characters to the background. There was some fan service with having Minerva McGonagall in the film, but looking back at the timeline she would not have been born when this movie takes place so poor planning on their part. During the press tour of the film it was revealed that Claudia Kim would be playing Nagini, so it turns out that Voldemort’s pet snake who was later beheaded by Neville was an Asian woman cursed to become a snake for the rest of her life. Not the best way to introduce the one Asian character in the entire film, and then during the film she barely even spoke and just followed Credence around. Again, what was the point?
I wish Crimes of Grindelwald didn’t have this many issues, because it was my favorite and I liked that they showed us more of the wizarding world in Europe. However, this film suffered in many areas. It was the lowest rated film in the Harry Potter series with many critics talking about how the film spent more time on exposition and not enough time advancing the story. At the end of its theatrical run it grossed roughly $160 million less than the first Fantastic Beasts film. Where this series is going is clear, but the execution is questionable. Are they going to pay more attention to the timeline, and not go against the character development of these major characters in this film? We’ll have to see when the third film comes out.
To finish this out; the Fantastic Beasts series has great characters, a new era to explore in, and a compelling storyline about one of the most iconic characters and his foe. All these continuity issues and the failure to remind of us if what we loved about Harry Potter is holding it back from being something much better. It’s almost as if they’re trying too hard to get Harry Potter fans to come see the films, which is unnecessary because we’re going to see it no matter what. We just ask that the writers pay attention to what it is we loved about Harry Potter and make sure they’re not just throwing things in for the sake of it – completely going against the already established world of Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was too simply put it, a mess, and the fans have collectively agreed that it’s not canon and we just move on from there. I really hope things get better for the wizarding world because it’s very close to my heart and I hate to see it going this way.
Bob the Drag Queen. Miz Cracker. Bianca Del Rio. Katya Zamolodchikova. If you recognize these names, you’re likely a fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race. If these names are extravagant gibberish to you, you’re in luck because this can be your first introduction into drag culture.
Drag queens have been around longer than you might have thought. The first recorded instance of drag is dated back to the mid 1800s to the early 1910s. Since then, drag has transformed and grown, from the legendary balls of Paris is Burning to the main stage of Rupaul’s Drag Race season 11, airing currently on VH1.
Drag is evolving under your very nose; Austin is home to hundreds of wonderfully talented drag queens. They stitch their own costumes, learn how to beat their own face and must do intricate choreography in heels, all the while remaining entertaining enough to earn some tips from the crowd. If you’re unfamiliar with the drag scene, this all might sound unreal for any one person to do by themselves. But, you might have actually sat next to a fierce queen in class and not even realized whose presence you were in.
For instance, you could’ve been sitting next to Chris Barboza, a third year Journalism major here at UT. Chris has been doing drag for about a year now and his drag persona is Justice. Justice made her debut appearance during the summer of 2018 and has been slaying the competition ever since. “Now I would say that I’m a full fledged performer,” Justice told me as we sat outside for an interview at Oilcan Harry’s on 4th Street right before she went onstage. “I’ve done my first gig and so I’ve definitely progressed in my first year.” Justice competes in the local drag competition, Drag Survivor, at Oilcan Harry’s. In this competition, she must choreograph and create her own audio mixes for a new challenge each week, which can be anything from a group dance number to a solo challenge like the “meme” challenge where they had to incorporate memes into their performance.
Justice is not only in charge of the logistics of her performance but also all the beautification that goes into being a drag queen. For every week of the competition thus far, she has stitched her own outfits from scratch for each challenge. Luckily, her expanding talent for stitching has helped her to go from spending nine hours on one outfit to cutting it down to three hours.
In addition to that, Justice has also taught herself how to do her own makeup, citing inspiration from beauty guru Jeffree Star and Rupaul’s Drag Race alum Naomi Smalls. She would watch makeup tutorials, take note of what she liked and then just played with it until she found something that worked for her own brand.
Paying for all of the materials needed for drag comes out of Chris’s own pocket.
“We have to do our makeup, we have to do our wigs, our dresses…everything. So the amount of money that we put into it, we rarely get that money in return.”
As previously mentioned, most of the money earned from this competition comes from the audience’s tips, which is not exactly a steady source of income. Money is not the only thing that gets poured into doing drag. Time management has been something Justice has been struggling with as she strives to be a full time student and full time performer. “I would say…maybe like two days. Of not sleeping. A full 48 hours, I would say, goes into drag,” Justice said. After those long two days of being Justice, Chris also has to live the usual day-to-day life of a college student, which includes going to class, doing homework and having a job. In fact, after every late night Wednesday performance of Drag Survivor, Justice goes home and wakes up every Thursday morning for her eight a.m. class.
In spite of all the stress and painstaking work that goes into being a drag queen, Justice is determined to stay in this competition. “I don’t see myself quitting; I’d rather simplify my performance and do a simple look rather than quit,” Justice told me confidently.
She also shared with me that she’s working to take care of herself outside the competition, such as taking a break from work so that she’ll have more free time to spread out her responsibilities. I asked her if she thought professors should give her and other students who are constantly busy more leniency and she shared that everybody should be treated the same. She wants no special treatment but does hope that professors will lower their workload in general, as we all do.
Justice hopes that more people will come support local drag queens. “Not everybody has to like drag but there are certain things about drag I think everyone can be attracted to. There are things that drag queens do that can resonate with people.”
Drag queens are wonderful and brave performers that pour their heart and soul into every performance. Queens like Justice spend hundreds of hours a year pouring their money, time and energy into doing something they love, even if it doesn’t pay as much as it should. Drag queens have also been some of the loudest voices for LGBTQ+ rights and issues, such as marriage equality and Drag Queen Story Hour for LGBTQ+ youth. Justice looks forward to the day when all drag queens will receive the recognition they deserve. She optimiscally shared, “Queens are more respected than they were ten years ago. Shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race humanize drag queens as not just weirdos or men in wigs but as performers; because that’s what we are.”
Go see a show. Go to a performance of Drag Survivor at Oilcan Harry’s at eleven p.m. on Wednesday nights. (But you’d better hurry; the finale will be coming up soon!) Support local drag, especially if you enjoy drag in general or if you are a fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race. Tip the girls and, in the words of one of the judges on Drag Survivor, “Clap, bitches!”
If you would like to stay up to date on Justice’s drag journey, follow her on social media!
UPDATE: Since the time this article was written, the Drag Survivor finale, featuring the three remaining queens of the competition, took place on March 27th. Justice was crowned the winner and is now the current reigning winner of season 12!
For many individuals like me that grew up during or around the 2000s, it’s a good time to be alive. The Jonas Brothers reunited last month, igniting the type of nostalgia capable of making all the childhood memories of their fans and observers come flooding back. In the era (and closely surrounding eras) of the Jonas Brothers, they and their contemporaries produced some teeny-bopper bangers that are still vibes today. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember the songs that added magic to a generation.
The Jonas Brothers- “Year 3000”
Why not start off the list with the group who has reignited this new wave of childhood nostalgia? “Year 3000” is actually a cover of British band Busted’s tune of the same name, but the Jo Bros added their own touches to the song, making it one of their staples. The track’s infectiousness will have young-adults belting out the chorus just like they did when the song’s video premiered on Disney Channel in 2007. And as people rock out to this 2000s banger, don’t be surprised if a debate ensues over who the cutest Jonas brother was.
Taylor Swift- “You Belong With Me”
A mega-hit from Taylor Swift’s classic album Fearless, “You Belong With Me” is an anthem about unrequited love that resonates with people across the ages.The iconic video for this song was relatable then, and it remains relatable now.
Miley Cyrus- “The Climb”
It’s got heart, it’s got soul and it’s got truth. The ultimate karaoke or singing-in-the-shower song, “The Climb” doesn’t get old. Talk about an anthem that could motivate anyone with the Monday blues.
Zac Efron as Troy Bolton- “Bet On It”
One of the best songs from High School Musical 2, “Bet On It” was fun then, but with the rise of memes, it’s even better now. Also, who doesn’t love an angsty, theatrical jam about a teenage identity crisis? And Efron’s pirouettes and hardcore parkour on the golf course? Still legendary.
Justin Bieber- “Boyfriend”
“Boyfriend” marked a new era for Justin Bieber. The slick production on the track, Bieber’s vocals and those lyrics that made tween girls swoon are still so smooth —smooth enough to make everyone forget that the singer actually included the line “swag, swag, on you, chillin’ by the fire, while we eatin’ fondue” in the song.
Victoria Justice- “Best Friend’s Brother”
Victorious produced a lot of great tracks, but this one resonates the most. The hook is just so catchy.
Zac Efron/Drew Seeley and Vanessa Hudgens as Troy Bolton & Gabriella Montez-“Breaking Free”
When one thinks of High School Musical, “Breaking Free” has to come to mind. Whether it was attached to the movie or not, this track would still be pop gold. Zac Efron’s vocals aren’t actually featured in the song, but it’s still a classic that remains enjoyable today. Plus, the scene when the song is performed is so darn cute.
Name a fiercer girl group than the Cheetah Girls. “Cinderella” is catchy and sassy. That kind of formula transcends time.
Aly & AJ- “Potential Breakup Song”
Who didn’t scream these lyrics to their non-existent significant other that did them wrong? Now that the kids from the era in which this song was released are all grown up, they can sing the song to their real significant others. Aly & AJ were truly ahead of their time.
Lemonade Mouth- “More Than a Band”
Lemonade Mouth was one of those sleeper Disney hits. Who would’ve thought this movie would produce such good music like the track “More Than a Band”? This acoustic gem still has the power to put anyone in their feels.
Growing up is hard and becoming an adult is strange. But the cool thing about music is that it’s changeless, taking people back to times past and never getting old.