When you’re in high school, it’s easy to get caught up in what everyone thinks of you. After all, you’ve spent years with the same people; watching them make their way through crushes and fights, break ups and best friends. There’s drama about who is friends with who and whether the gossip is true. And amongst it all, everyone is just trying to make everyone like them- to be ‘popular’.

It’s hard to tell what exactly makes someone popular. For some it’s a seamless transition through puberty while the rest of us struggle with acne and growth spurts. For others, it’s having the best snacks at recess or being able to buy something from the canteen and share it round every lunch. And for some, it’s just a pure genetic fluke that seems to make everyone like them, for whatever reason.

Regardless of the science behind it, all you had to do was look at someone in your school and know. It’s not hard to pick the cool kid from the crowd, and while you’re at school you can fall into the trap of wishing you were like them.

Here’s the harsh truth (sorry popular people). After graduation, no one cares.

Among other things-like your marks or how much money you owe your mate for buying you a can of coke at lunch- how popular you were in high school will be forgotten.

No one will care about whether everyone wanted to sit with you at lunch or if you had the whole grade liking your latest photo. That massive fight where everyone picked sides will be long forgotten and all the rumours won’t mean anything. The ‘cool’ group will just be another bunch of people, with any status being left behind at the school gates.

When you graduate, how many best friends you had or whether you got invited to someone’s party won’t matter. You’ll forget about the girl who ditched your group and the guy who sat next to you at lunch that one time.

Instead, you’re going to remember the nights you spent pigging out with your best friend, watching Disney movies and having dnms when you were meant to be sleeping. You’ll remember laughing in class at inside jokes and walking home after school and complaining about the heat. You’ll remember athletics carnivals where you and your crew dressed up in house colours and lounged around on the high jump mat instead of doing the events. The 18ths you weren’t invited to will be replaced by memories of ones you were and had the time of your life without stressing about whether you looked cool enough.

After everything, that ‘popular’ group will be people you forget about and you’ll wonder what made you want to be like them in the first place. You’ll realise that there’s things that are so much more important and worth so much more energy than trying to get as many friends as possible, or being invited to the most parties. Trust me.

 photo cred: izabel caligiore

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