Popularity Leads to Self-Improvement
Updated on September 8, 2005, 10:30 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
The high school years generally shape who a person will be. A student will start to discover their interests, and embark on pursuing those interests. Students will spend time with the friends that they make in high school and will develop their social skills. Though some argue that a few of these students will become anti-social and traumatized from poor experiences in high school. Popularity is at the epicenter to all things that ensue into these things. But what is popularity? Why are some people more popular than others? The answers are there in front of everyone; it is a matter of simply searching for them and the search for popularity. For each student who goes through high school the search for popularity generally leads to self-improvement.
To understand popularity one must understand how it is a person can become popular in the first place, and remain there for the duration of their high school voyage. When a group of students enter into a new school with new people, they will generally associate with the friends they already have and observe the new faces. Slowly through the course of classes they begin socializing with new people and get to know them. They soon begin to expand out from that original group that they clung to and start fraternizing with their new classmates more and more making friends with them. This is the world of relationships and obtaining multiple relationships with different groups of people to be able to comfortable live within the confines of the world around them. Usually the most outgoing and the quickest to consort with others are able to make more friends and obtain popularity because they are known and liked for their personality. A person will not be popular if they turn people the wrong direction. Even those slow in the process of making new associations can rise to be popular based upon the mere fact that they are friendly, nice, and with a likable personality. If the school is small enough in size, it is possible for every student will be known to the entire class before the first year of being together is out. And as a result, even the shyest of students can attain a level of popularity because they are capable of being so despite their anti-social operandi or inability at being outgoing. Though how then are kids who are unpopular in school traumatized by this later in life?
It is easy to right off popularity as nothing as a beauty contest of the kids you wish you could be friends with. This could be the truth in a large school, but is still probably unlikely. A person who is popular has climbed up the social ladder not by cutting the throats of everyone on the way, including their friends, but has done so by making friends with as many people as they can and being the friendliest, most awesome person you can know. Anyone can say that a person who strives to be popular is narrow-minded and cares for nothing but what others think about him/her and only for himself/herself. This cannot be refuted because it is very probable. The person may be a self-centered jerk, but they got to be popular by being nice to everyone. Thus if they do suddenly become this afore said "self-centered jerk" they will no longer truly be popular because no one truly likes them anymore except for say the persons close friends. Popularity is based upon a person's likeability to his/her peers, not upon how many people know you or who you are. There is also the issue of teenagers being traumatized by the experiences of their adolescent years. This is more often, if not mainly, the result of bullying. In a small school setting bullying is less likely to happen because the student's peers, who know what the bully has been doing, in turn would confront the bully and "bully" them into stopping. In a larger school, with more students who do not know everyone of their classmates, it is possible for a bully to prey upon a weaker, most likely smarter, individual than the bully. If a bully attempted bullying a student of certain disabilities the entire student body would attack them for being so malevolent, especially because the teenagers have the common decency to stand behind someone known to have disabilities. But the entire student body could definitely not know that a bully is attacking a certain individual in private. Most bullying after all happens in seclusion. Today's teenager would do something to prevent the bullying of another if they had the knowledge of its happenings. But really how does this prove that popularity is a beneficial quest?
Though in a large school setting attaining mass popularity is a difficult thing, within groups of students mini popularity can happen. Popularity has its benefits, as do all things in life. In order for a person to be able to be liked better by his/her peers they will sometimes need to fix flaws in their character that are more noticeable to the peers than it is to the person. A good example of this is someone who is negative about many things but altogether is liked by people. This person, let's call them a he, will turn off his friends with being too negative all the time, so in order to continue being around them he has to adapt himself into a more positive person. This is a positive change that will help the person in his future career, whatever that may be. Some people will not be able to change certain things about themselves because they were perhaps born with whatever this may be. So people learn acceptance and how to be supportive of people through their socialization with the said person. Popularity in itself is really the ability to socialize with others, which is something to strive for because it is important in the work related world where one needs connections with people in order to advance.
No matter how one slices an issue there are always pros and cons for that subject matter. It is simply supplying more pros than cons to convince others that a view on the content is right. In terms of popularity and teenagers search to gain it, it does lead to self-improvement. There are drawbacks, as there always will be, but in searching for popularity in the adolescent years a teenager gains important social skills that come to great use in their future career making decisions. Popularity is a status worth attaining because it drives you through life. Life after all is the interaction with other humans.
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