Being Popular Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be
For this weeks blog I wanted to write about something that has been heavy on my heart as Doug and I endeavor to reach adolescents. Maybe this doesn't apply to your life or where you are at but you know a young person that you could send this to? Or how does this apply to your work environment?
My quest to be popular was mostly in middle school (6th through 9th grade). My brother was 5 years older than me and was very popular. I somehow got it in my mind that popularity was very important if I was going to be happy in life. I soon became obsessed with being in this popular group of girls. I ended my friendship with my best friend in order to join this group, I became someone that I wasn’t, and I hurt a lot of people. I looked down on other people that were not in this group, and I felt superior because I was. I thought that these people loved me for who I was, but soon saw that was not necessarily true. I started dating a guy who did not fit in the "popular" group and saw that I was quickly removed from my popularity. I also saw that if I did not do the things that "popular" kids did, (partying, drinking, etc.) I was no longer a part of this group. I was not innocent in these things either, I gave into these pressures and also pressured my other friends to justify my actions.
But I would soon see that being popular was not all it's cracked up to be. I was tired of trying to be someone that I wasn't and I was finding that the title of "popular" was not important. By the time I entered high school I really found friends that accepted me, loved me, and who I could be myself. As I saw myself maturing, I also saw some of the other girls in the popular group doing the same. Some of us were coming to the same conclusion and really realized how petty we were. It was here that I really began being friends with everyone, despite differences, and was a much happier and healthier person.
If you are reading this and struggling with popularity, realize in the long run this is not going to matter. I recently attended a class reunion, and I was amazed how nobody talked about popularity. It was fun to just see everyone and hear what they have been up to. It was amazing to see how nobody cared anymore about groups, popularity, and just realized that we are all the same and how we have more similarities than differences. It was cool to see the "jocks" talking to the "nerds" and how everyone was having a good time. Just know that High school is not going to last forever but more than anything that people are going to remember you. They are going to remember how you treated them and they are going to remember how you acted. Thankfully, with our class, there were not a lot of grudges still being held, but it was amazing how quickly those bad experiences came back to my thoughts. Know that your choices and actions matter today. Choose to be a positive role model, make a positive difference and you will live a life of true purpose. Use your time in high school to reach out and be a star by being yourself, loving others and helping others.
If you are one that is not popular and feeling like you don’t measure up, don't give up! Know that you are unique and have a great purpose… You will see this in time. Middle school and high school are such short spans of time compared to your total lifespan. You have such a bright future ahead of you so don't let people tear you down. I look at the people that bullied me and I'm very glad that I did not let it stop me from living my life. I pressed on and saw that the best was yet to come. Don't forget that the best is yet to come for you!
If you are popular, I am not saying that this is a bad thing. I am only sharing my experience and know that it is not the same in every school. However, I challenge you to use your popularity for good. To determine that every day you will help someone that is struggling and that you will be a good example to those who look up to you. You will be remembered… make sure people remember you in a positive way! This will save you so much regret that I have had to carry over these years.