High school does not determine the rest of your life, no matter what anybody says. When I entered high school, I was known as the little sister of the most known guy in school, the captain of the football team that every girl crushed on. I was immediately in the spotlight. It doesn’t come as a surprise that I loved the attention. I was the freshman at all the senior parties. My friends were eighteen and nineteen and I was a young fifteen years old. I truly can’t complain about this because I really enjoyed high school, but being “popular” is not an important part of high school.

All throughout high school, I thought I was cool for being “known.” Yet, this didn’t make me any better than anyone else. If only I had known that then. Everyone around me looked like they were enjoying themselves, even if they weren’t “popular.” I look back now wondering what I missed out on while I was so busy trying to keep up my “popular” reputation. I’m sure I would’ve been way more involved in high school if I wasn’t concerned that it would bruise my “popular” image.

I was friends with the “cool” kids and probably missed out on so many great friendships only to realize that these “cool” kids weren’t that cool after all. Half of the “popular” or well-known kids were just looking for an ego boost or begging for attention. Everyone in high school just wants to be liked and I understand that. However, high school is so much more than gaining attention and a few likes on Instagram.

If you’re in high school or entering high school, you should know that you should reach for more than just being “popular.” If you like hanging out with the “popular” kids, then go ahead. But don’t just do it to be cool. Get involved, aim for good grades, and most importantly, HAVE FUN. High school really is the best four years of your life, don’t waste those years trying to please others or be someone you’re not. When you graduate, you will see that being popular was never that important, it’s not going to get you any further in life than anyone else.