Looking back at how things have turned out, and observing the younger generations from a different perspective, I’ve come to realize high school popularity isn’t a good thing.
I began thinking of this when my niece, who is in elementary, came up to me to tell me she wasn’t picked for a soccer team because it was only “cool girls”. I wasn’t sure how to react and respond to her comment. All I could say is not to take it personal and that is not that she didn’t get picked because of her lack of skills (she has been playing extracurricular soccer for the last 3 years), but it was because the other girls were closer friends. She responded, I know my friends and I have our own group too.
I was afraid to say something that will make her feel uncool, but I tried to say something that will make her feel better. It gave me some type of relief when she mentioned she didn’t want to be cool, because it’s just drama. I smiled when she told me, “they are fake and they get mad at each other all the time”. Well, isn’t that the truth? She is immensely smart, has a rational personality, and loves to read – things that automatically place her under the too-smart-to-be-cool group. She made several comments that she didn’t care, but I could tell she mentioned it because she was a bit hurt.
All I wanted to say was that school popularity wasn’t a good thing, but I didn’t know how to say it in a way that she will understand or without insinuating she is better than the cool kids. I was able to resist.
I guess there is always a time throughout our school years when we just want to be loved by many. It also happened to me, and got over it by the time I was in high school. Having an introvert personality, I excluded myself from many social gatherings, and it got to the point where I didn’t care for popularity, but I always cared for the attention of people I cared for.
But being in school and seeing how all the cool kids have a million friends, can date any girl, attend all the parties, and participate in several sports – who wouldn’t want to be cool?
Back then you don’t realize that high school popularity isn’t a good thing. It’s not, and it sums up to one word: entitlement.
Popular kids grow up with a sense of entitlement, and they stop trying because they feel they deserve everything without having to work for it. This isn’t my opinion, this is a fact by my experience and by observing other generations. Soon after high school, the popular kids realize that the tons of friends they had were not really friends, and that their ability to play sports peaked in high school. And they can no longer get the person they liked because they moved on to college. They never had to work hard for anything, so they just settle for a minimum wage 8-5 job. No aspirations, no ambition.
It sounds sad, but that is what I’ve noticed with several of the popular kids from my school. I don’t feel any satisfaction by seeing people with so much potential work at a fast-food restaurant – in the contrary, it’s disappointing. I don’t intend to demean people that work at a fast-food restaurant, but that is not something people dream to do when growing up. I worked at several fast food restaurants and in the fields – trust me that shit ain’t fun. Especially if the best you will be is “barely making it”, because you are living paycheck to paycheck.
On the other hand, some of the people that didn’t have much popularity in high school are the ones that seem to be at a better position after school. It also sums up to one word: struggle. There is a struggle when you have to work to get attention, when you have to practice to be good, when you plan out a date to score the person you like.
I am generalizing a lot in this, I know there are a few times that high school popularity has turned out to be good with people, but for the majority of us, not having popularity has turned out to be a lot better.
I know I will deal with this when my son is in school, all I can think now is that the moment he starts feeling popular and entitled I’m going to figure out a way to bring him back to reality.