20 Days of Chill: Popularity (Day 19)
It’s kind of funny, and maybe even a bit ironic, that I work in a school setting.
The reason I say it is because I never was much of a fan of high school when I was in high school. Looking back and accepting how things were is something I’ve had to do over time. I was bullied, called names and was, for the most part, miserable throughout my high school days.
I always tended to hang out with anybody who could actually be friendly. I didn’t care what “group” they were in as long as I didn’t feel like a pile of trash.
Interesting how things become a bit clearer as an adult, isn’t it?
Those days are long past me, but I see a bit of a difference in schools these days. Sure, you still have your groups, but it does seem like – for the most part – that kids are a little more accepting of one another. Popularity, as it was when I was in school, isn’t what it used to be. It’s structured differently, or so it appears.
The reality is bullying still happens. Add in social media and other ways to make somebody’s life a living hell and it’s why we have epidemics of kid’s taking their own lives, or reacting in extreme ways.
I used to just try and hide it.
To this day, more than 20 years later, I still remember a lot of it. It’s clear as can be. I remember the “popular” kids hanging out at the main “fountain” before classes, and in between classes. Walking by them sucked because some I could handle, others not so much.
I’d avoid it if at all possible.
I definitely wasn’t part of the “in” crowd and I was OK with that. But some of those who were in that crowd were just really mean.
Yes, it was high school and I realize it happens.
Yes, I could have done something bigger about it, but back then even if you “tattled,” nothing really happened.
And honestly, I didn’t want to be part of that crowd, so I was OK with it when I would get left alone. A lot of this happened before I was a senior as it was upperclassmen. Still, it happened right up until graduation. It’s the major reason I don’t go to reunions – and likely never will.
A friend once told me I needed to let it go – people grow up and change. As I said – I have let it go. And I hope they have all changed for the better, but at the same time, they made an important part in my life an absolute time I hate looking back on. I realize people change, but the reality is this – I don’t care. I don’t want any animosity coming up, or old feelings, and I can’t pretend to like or forget. I remember all too well, so it’s best I just stay away. There are a few people I’d love to see, but it’s not worth anxiety.
Popularity, though, is a bit more subjective, I think. How does one define it? Is it because you’re the captain of a sports team? Is it because you are friendly around the water cooler at work? Maybe it’s because you cook the best items and people love going to your house for dinner parties.
Is it something one truly needs?
I’ve never been the King of the ball or anything like that. I’ve never considered myself part of any popular group. Even in my professional days, I’ve always been more interested in the stories of those who weren’t part of the popular crowd – it’s always more fun to hear.
No matter what, though, the popular group will be there at all ages. You’re in or you’re out. I’d like to think I’m on the out – and always have been – and am pretty damn fine with it.
How about you?
T-shirt for the challenge
I am not sure if anybody is interested in a t-shirt commemorating the 2017 20 Days of Chill, but I decided to create one via Tee Spring in case people would like one. The options are a long-sleeve t-shirt and a short-sleeve t-shirt. The prices are set up so that as long as a couple are ordered, the shirt will be made. If you’ve never ordered from Tee Spring, it’s basically “crowd funded” and if the goal is hit, the shirt is made and shipped directly to the people who backed it.
You can see it here: https://tspr.ng/c/20-days-of-chill-2017-shirt.
If you want a shirt, go for it. If not, that’s cool, too. I’m going to order as I think it would be near to have the shirt, but can understand if others don’t want one.
This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants! You can see the 2017 themes by clicking here.