This is a cautionary tale of fear and trust and pride. Filled with actual events where people DIED.
Kidding, no one died.
On a more related note, popularity. Aside from wanting to achieve good grades in school (unless you don’t), there’s another thing that some people crave above anything else, and act as if they need it to survive: Supreme Popularity.
Being popular means you’re on top of the food chain, you’re above it all. And everyone wants that power which is so constantly broadcast in movies like Mean Girls or Easy A.
But why do we need it? It’s an irrational concept. But as humans, we seem to crave that sort of irrational power, even if it’s on a small level. What I can never understand is why some people would give up everything to be on top- it’s not any more different than being on the bottom. It’s probably worse; there’s so much more drama and so much more things to deal with. And more than anything to get on top you often have to change yourself completely. In some instances, and this is a common trope of American High School movies, people who strive to ascend the popularity latter aren’t able to be themselves- they have to be different to satisfy the people around them.
It isn’t always fun; once you’re popular the expectations can go from “Whatever you wear doesn’t matter” to “Make sure every piece of your clothing is expensive and designer”. It can change who you are as a person not only from the outside but from the inside as well. You can become different, once you are popular; you might stop craving real friendship- people start caring more power and for everyone else to fear or be in awe of them. The worst part, though, is that quite possibly previous friendships fall apart- people one called friends stop caring; unless you came from absolutely nothing, then maybe nothing doesn’t like you anymore either. Former friends start talking behind backs, no one likes you anymore; they might say they love you to your face but once you turn your back, the things they say about you won’t be things you would like to hear. This isn’t always the case, of course, but it can be.
So why do we need all this power? It’s useless, it doesn’t help you at all in the future and the only thing it does for you is that it adds more stress onto your and breaks friendships apart.
What I’m trying to say is that we should be content with our lives the way they are; we have friends, we have people around us who care for us. And it doesn’t matter if you’re on the bottom right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the most popular person in school. Because your popularity won’t matter in the future, your popularity won’t get you a job and it definitely won’t get you life-long friends.
Supreme popularity right now might seem like a big deal but trust me it isn’t. So, don’t try to go up, because it will do you nay good.
Writer: Aamna Bandookwala (opinion column)
Editor: Ziva Huang