high school never ends. uh-oh

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Nerd by basistka (on deviantArt.com)

Dear “nerds”,
Just because you’re unpopular in high school doesn’t mean I’m going to have to work for you.
Sincerely, quarterback with a 4.0 GPA.
(dearblankpleaseblank.com) 

I’m sorry.
I just find it awfully funny how it’s so easy for us, as humans, to stereotype people.

When you think about it, all the Hollywood cliches portray “nerds” and “geeks” and “dorks” as people who have been “tortured” throughout their high school years. People love good endings, and so we love it when we can safely say that the “popular kids” who “tortured” the “geeks” etc. will get their comeuppance once high school is over and we enter the “real world”.

Sadly, the reality of the matter is far from that.
While it may be true that stereotypes are there for a reason, for example, I’m asian, and I’m no stranger to the idea that asians are mostly nerdy or mathematically inclined, I know so many asian kids who know more about football stats than they do statistics and economics. While I agree that stereotypes are there for a reason, I don’t think it fair to typecast people into certain roles based on their popularity status or their race.

The truth is… Being popular in high school might actually be helpful in the future.

How? Think of it this way.

Popularity is a treacherous climb to the top. Much like in the corporate world, it’s all about who you know and who likes you. Adhering to the high school hierarchy system that Hollywood has perfected over the years, we have the top of the food chain: the jocks, the preps, the cheerleaders… the Abercrombie&Fitch crowd who rule the lunch room. Then you have the school clowns, the people who aren’t exactly number one but who run with the crowd. Then the all-rounders; the multi-taskers who are in charge of all the functions, who seem to be doing everything all at one go. The people who are in with the in crowd, might even appear to be part of it, but simply just don’t have enough time to run with them. And slowly, it trickles down into the infamous nerds and geeks and “bottom feeders”.

In corporate terms, these “popular” kids would be the CEOs or COOs or various other “high” positions.
The kids who have gotten time management down to a T. These “popular” kids have perfected the art of socializing and balancing their busy schedules with the things they find necessary (such as doing homework, going to the mall, throwing parties etc) all while looking perfectly coiffed.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that what the corporate world is all about? Looking effortlessly put together and juggling a million things on your to-do list while managing to throw awesome parties and “hanging out” with clients in order to seal a deal?

Perhaps the reason that we like to think popular kids may not always succeed in life is because we envy their tenacity. Their daring. The way they go for the things they want regardless of the emotions of others. And in such a cut-throat world, this might just be the fine balance between being smart and being a winner.

Smarts are important, don’t get me wrong.
I’m all for the nerds and geeks but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder, if they were truly smart, wouldn’t they be able to achieve popularity and beat the so-called system? Wouldn’t they have the advantage over the “jocks” and people whom

Maybe it’s just me.

I think being popular in high school is important, if only because it teaches you how to survive in the real world. You quickly learn that not everything is as it seems, and not everyone can be taken at face value. There are things that need to be done for you to stay on top and it’s things like that, I feel, that are truly important. Things that can’t be learnt in classes or from books.

So I agree with 4.0 GPA quarterback guy. Just because you’re unpopular in high school, doesn’t mean that they’ll work for you. Popularity is a part of life, and it’s sad, but it’s true. Popularity changes shape and form and even names as time passes, but in the end, it’s all about how much charisma you have, how much charm you possess and whether or not people will stop to listen to what you have to say.

Isn’t there some weird saying about Apple computers?
It’s something my mom used to say and I’m not sure how factual this is, but it seems to fit what I’m trying to say.

It may be Bill Gates or people like him who builds the technology and betters it, but it’s people like Steve Jobs who makes it into a brand, and ultimately, what people are buying, is the brand.

But… I’m all for self-improvement and living the life you want and doing whatever makes you happy as long as you harm none.
High school may have ended for me ages ago, but I still think if you’re miserable in high school, don’t take your misery out on other people. It’ll just make you bitter. Do what makes you happy and if you’re not happy, change. Life is full of changes. Just don’t compromise who you are and at the end of the day, it’s all about finding the balance.

Essentially though, I believe that high school is a learning ground. It prepares you for what’s out there. I’m not saying that all jocks are geniuses or that all “nerds” or “dorks” or “geeks” are social pariahs or that being sociable is the most important skill in the world. What I’m trying to say is that when we stereotype people, there are bound to be groups that are just more “favourable” than the others. Groups that we tend to feel more sorry for. But just because stereotypes exist, doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily 100% true.

Just look at the college education scholarship system. Minorities stand a higher chance of getting a scholarship than non-minorities. As an Asian, I’ll say that puts me in the minority section, no? But in my university, the majority of people are Asian. Looking at this system, wouldn’t you say that these “stereotypes” of minorities are slightly biased and wrong?

Stereotypes may be there for a reason, but it shouldn’t keep us from accepting other people, or from breaking through “social boundaries” and hanging out with kids from different cliques. High school musical may have sang “just stick to the status quo” but I’m a firm believer in constantly finding ways to better yourself, and sometimes, going out of your way to be friends with someone your clique deems “uncool” might just be the answer to being a better you. Sometimes, we have to leap into the unknown to discover just what we’ve been missing out on.

At any rate… This is just a random thought.

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