‘The best of both worlds’: Singing Hannah Montana songs brought me closer with other cherubs

Students dance together.

Cherubs come together on the second floor for a dance party. Photo by Caitlin Limestahl

My mom always tells me I will “find my people.” Sometimes, when I feel like a friend is being mean or when I feel like I don’t fit in with the football-loving, future engineers who are my classmates, she reminds me that they just are not “my people.”

Coming to the Medill cherubs program, I knew I wanted to find other journalism-loving, humanities-studying people — my people.

In the fourth week, just after we had finished our trend stories and needed to blow off steam, a dance party broke out on the second floor of the dorms. Over 20 cherubs packed into one common room, shut off the lights and started blasting Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Migos’ “Stir Fry.”

An hour later, about 10 of us flopped on the common room couches. We were sweaty and tired, but continued to blare music.

We sang along to old Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé songs. At one point, I witnessed two of my friends attempt to rap Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” But the best part of the singalong began when someone suggested “Wherever I Go” by Hannah Montana.

It had been at least eight years since I had jammed to Disney songs, so I stumbled through the verses. But somehow, we all still remembered the chorus of “Nobody’s Perfect” by Hannah Montana and screamed, “I gotta work it again and again ‘til I get it right,” while jumping and pumping our fists.

Then we moved onto the Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock, Lemonade Mouth and — my childhood favorite — Selena Gomez and the Scene.

Somewhere in the chorus of “Who Says,” I realized I had found my people.