Photo Credit: Pablo Punk (https://stocksnap.io/photo/RO7HF83PPB)
I was thinking back to my days in middle school. I was a cheerleader, in the school choir, and part of the school’s most popular news crew. To the average student, I had it all. I was one of the cute cheerleaders with my orange bow flopping up and down as I walked through the breezeway. But there were so many times that I found myself running to the bathroom in tears as I was verbally bullied, facing test anxiety, and an overall emotional wreck. I didn’t feel popular. I was too busy being obsessed with the fact that I didn’t make captain and struggling to find friends in class. I found myself hating everything, myself, my school, and my circumstances. As you can see, my eighth grade year was not all peaches and cream.
I was never the popular girl in school. I cheered for two years, sung at talent and fashion shows, and participated in more clubs and teams than you could ever imagine. There were so many times I found myself scraping for friends at the lunch table plopping from chair to chair with the hopes of finding a group to accept me. Some semesters were easier than others, but it really took over my self-esteem.
Long story short, everyone has those moments when they don’t fit in. Listen to various celebrities and you’ll discover that there’s a pattern. At the end of the day, you don’t have to be popular to be successful. I discovered this very soon after I graduated from high school and college. It’s not about how you start but how you finish.
Being popular can be great while you’re in school, but it doesn’t matter when you navigate through the real world. Yeah it must be amazing to get invited to the hottest parties, have over 1,000 followers on Instagram, and your phone is always lite. Yeah that’s great while you’re in middle school and high school but different when you are in college with debt to your ears and a paper due in two days.
I think as girls and especially in middle and high school we compare so bad at that age. We see Sarah Lee with those designer clothes, beautiful hair, and a group of friends and you want that so bad. I know because I’ve been there so many times. It makes you feel terrible. On the other hand, you must realize that this does not define you. Getting to 1,000 followers on Instagram doesn’t mean much. But what is most important is how you treat others, if you have a lot going for yourself, and how you put your best foot forward. There are so many other things that are much more important. So please don’t let that get you down. You are an amazing young women full of so many hopes and dreams ready to change the world. You are very smart and you have a drive like no other. You may not have what those around you have on the outside but look on the inside. I bet they don’t have such smiles to light up the room like you do. Or do they have that awesome laugh when they hear jokes like you? Are they a ray of sunshine like you? I bet not. You are so awesome! You have great things in store for you. It doesn’t matter about being popular. What really matters is how you’re doing in school to get to the next grade level.
So the next time you think about being popular, ask yourself if this really matters in 10 years. And don’t forget to focus on all of the awesome things that make you, YOU. So tell the world how awesome it is to be a girl like you!