Popularity means nada

Going into high school, I knew that there were going to be many students that I’d never met before. Although I was nervous, I couldn’t wait to put myself out there. It wasn’t until a few weeks after my high school journey began that I realized making friends might not be as easy as I thought. Early into the school year, groups were already set in stone and given a place in the social hierarchy. People were divided into the Populars, Jocks, Theater Kids, and even the Outcasts. Once these distinctions were made, I understood that my position on the social chain was engrained.

There is in fact more to life than popularity. Sure, in high school popularity may get you into the best parties and it can help you meet some of the best looking people, but it doesn’t guarantee you a successful life in the long run. I am comforted by the fact that in the real world, no one cares what my status is in high school.

From my various college visits, all I have heard is that everyone is very open to meeting different kinds of people, no matter what they were labeled before. All people truly care about is what you have to offer as an individual.

The great thing about college is that everyone gets to start fresh. And this is the thing that excites me most: the ability to go into it with a clean slate. I love New Trier, but I am ready for the whole idea of a popularity contest to be over.

I know there is nothing anyone can really do to stop cliques and popularity because these things are present at every school. Living through your high school self, though, is a depressing way to live.

There is so much more to live for. It is more impressive to be known for having an interesting hobby or passion rather than for being the person who “ruled” in high school. Don’t let your high school status define who you are. We are all more than just a label.

College is about meeting different types of people and opening yourself up to things you never imagined yourself doing. Cheers to you, class of 2014, on your next reinvention.