As you leave high school, you are supposed to leave the social hierarchy. This unspoken thing that says some people are popular and some people are not. That is a high school mentality that unfortunately doesn't leave everyone when they begin or are in college. Some people still have that same mind set in their brains and it affects how they interact with others. They may be snobbish to some people or scared to talk to some people depending on whether they were the popular kid or the "geek". But college isn't supposed to be like that. It is supposed to be a place where you can let go of who you were prior and start fresh. It's the place where you begin to realize that in the real world, no one cares if you were popular in high school. No one cares about anything you did in high school because it was just high school. It was four years of your life that felt long while you were in them, but that move quicker than you could imagine. College is the same thing. No matter how long you were in college, it has a beginning and an end. All the problems you thought were so monumental, will be trivial when you're an actual adult with kids of your own.
In saying this, I would like to point out that the whole dynamic of being popular or not, stems from "fitting in". The popular kids usually dressed the best, they knew everything about pop culture as it related to them. They seemed to fit into any situation with little effort and with ease. While the unpopular kids had a harder time trying to relate. They didn't like the same things the other kids liked. They were individuals. News Flash: The unpopular kids were on to something!
Fitting in with the crowd is overrated. The most popular people in the world (I'm talking celebrity status) are people who don't fit in. Who think outside the box and change up the status quo. People who aren't afraid to be different and actually relish in the fact that they are different. There's nothing wrong with being in a group of people that like the same things, that's usually how you make friends. I'm not saying we should all like different things and disagree on everything. I'm not even saying there is something wrong with being popular. My argument is that people should not be isolated because they are different. People should not be lead to feel they are less than because they don't fit in.
I sometimes feel I don't fit in with my generation. I'm not into all the same things and I think differently. I joke that I'm a 40-year-old woman trapped in the body of a 21-year-old. Even my grandmother once told me I act as if I've been on this planet before like this is my second go at life. I don't know if I believe that, but I sometimes wonder what's wrong with me. Because I'm different from other 21-year-olds. But then I think, I'm a product of my environment and have begun developing my own philosophies about life. This doesn't mean there is something wrong with me, but because I sometimes feel isolated for my behavior, I will question myself. This isn't fair. No one questions the people who do whatever it seems like they are supposed to do. No one thinks they are strange for fitting in. It's perfectly normal to be like everyone else. But the people that stand out, they are often looked down upon.
Now before anyone gets mad, this is not an article looking down on the people who fit in. I'm not trying to say there is something wrong with you. We are all entitled to our own personalities, likes and dislikes, I am only trying to point out that fitting in isn't the only way to live. If a person is fine following the trends of society in whatever way that means, if they are doing it because they get actual enjoyment from it and not because they fear they will be called a loser or lose their friends, then, by all means, do that. But don't make the people who are their own trendsetters feel bad for what they like. In this world, we can't all be the same. Life would be boring. It would be like having a room with all on color in it. Or having to eat the same food everyday for the rest of your life. It's not fun. We need people to shake things up and add variety to life. Spice it up. Be different. And know there's nothing wrong with you whether you follow the crowd or not.
When you graduate and join the work force. When you have bills to pay and kids to feed. When you have actual life problems to solve and not just finals and who unfollowed you, when you're an actual adult and college is far behind you, you won't care about the trivial things that plagued your younger years. None of the fitting in or not fitting in will matter in the large scheme of things so I offer this suggestion. Get a jump start on that mentality now. Stop caring about whether you do or you don't. Hang out with people who don't make you question that and know that who you are is exactly who you are supposed to be.