Seth Godin, a business book author whose blog I read, published this post comparing the business world to high school. Here's an excerpt I thought kids should see.
"Any sufficiently overheated industry will eventually
resemble high school. High school is filled with insecurity, social climbing, backbiting,
false friends, faux achievements, high drama and not much content. Much of this
insecurity comes from a market that doesn't make good judgments, that doesn't
understand how to reliably choose between alternatives. So it turns into a
popularity contest…As in high school, the winners are the ones who don't take
it too seriously and understand what they're trying to accomplish. Get stuck in
the never ending drama (worrying about what irrelevant people think) and you'll
never get anything done."
It doesn't sound like a very fun high school world to live in. If what he describes here resembles your current high school experience, remember that you don't have to play that game. You can be the exception, not the rule. You can reject that vision of high school and create one of your own.
What if you were a high school kid who went against that description? What if you made the conscious decision to be nice to everyone, not to worry about what other people think, to be yourself, to be confident, to reject the idea of popular vs. unpopular, to be proud of who you are and what you stand for, to do what you want rather than what other people say is cool, to make it more important that you be yourself than it is to be liked?
I'm not saying it's easy. But some kids are doing it. They're happier, more fulfilled and more confident, and they'll probably get accepted to lots of colleges. If you are one of these kids, good job. And if you'd like to be one, start today.
It's got to be easier than the alternative.