I have experienced all different social statuses - from angsty emo to popular (and a little in between). Through these experiences I’ve learned something pretty valuable: Popularity is disappointing.
If you have never been “cool” a day in your life, then congratulations! You have not felt the disappointment of popularity. This idea that popularity will somehow fulfill you is one of the biggest lies I have ever heard. The first disappointment is that there will always be someone who is cooler than you, there will never be a time you are satisfied with your position.
Another disappointment is that your true friends are revealed when life gets hard. You see, when tough times come, the people who like you because you are popular suddenly disappear.
The biggest disappointment of all is that when you are so concerned with whether or not others like you, you lose who you really are. Your identity is shoved deep below a garbage pile of parties, music choices, clothing, and hair that is not your own.
Instead of doing what gives you joy, you miss out on building meaningful relationships with the people around you.
You leave the ones who are offering you real love in the dust, along with your integrity and dignity. Eventually, your choices will leave you feeling empty and alone.
The alternative to all of this is being yourself. I know, it sounds like an after-school special on tv, but that does not make it any less true. There is something so freeing and enjoyable about being who God made you to be. Instead of flaking on plans you made with friends for yet another party, you could enjoy the company of people who actually care for you.
[Just to make this clear: I am not against drinking or parties. I think that alcohol, in moderation, is just fine. But doing things like that to become cooler is ridiculous].
If you stopped trying to convince others how cool you were, you could find joy and inspiration in life, and your identity in Christ instead of in the social status you have acquired. Because at the end of the day, you are the one living with yourself.
Wouldn’t you like to have confidence in the person you are becoming? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel comfortable in your own skin? There is no promise here that it will be instantaneous, it might take some time, but I promise it will be worth it. Instead of waiting with bated breath for Thirsty Thursday comes around, you will find excitement in every day.
You will be pleasantly surprised by all of the people who have your back, no matter what.
So, you do you boo! Wear the clothes you like, listen to the music that brings you joy, don’t be afraid to show that you are a work in progress. Be present in life with friends and family. Worry less about how your actions will make others like you and find out what makes you like you.
Have you ever felt like you weren't cool enough? Do you think that my whole theory on popularity is wrong? Tell me in the comments below - be nice, or not. It's your choice! :)