Why I Don’t Trust the Popular Kids

This is half tongue-in-cheek. If you were popular in school, I don’t distrust you – entirely.

I don’t entirely trust the popular kids.

Sure, when you’re in school, the popular kids are shiny and glamorous and interesting. You only want to be around them, to be accepted by them, to be one of them. They’re socially adept, graceful, masterful.

But when you’re outside of school, you realize something:

Anyone that well adjusted to the world at that age has something wrong with them.

The world can be a screwed up place in the worst of times, so that alone should throw you for the loop adjustment-wise.

But school in particular is a screwed up place. We’re talking about the place where kids learn to bully each other, obey authority unquestioningly, become dependent, ask permission for everything, build cliques based on superficial differences, accept dogma, and act really cynical and ungrateful to everyone around them.

To be at the top of that social pyramid – to be winning the game – in school isn’t exactly a sign that you’re Captain America. I’ll take the misfits to that world, thank you very much. If you were awkward, clumsy, afraid, unskilled, or not powerful in school, there’s tremendous hope ahead of you.

I want to know that you had to wait and work to find your own social fit, your gracefulness, your power. Hopefully it happened after school ended, mainly because so many of those first 18 years tend to train you in the worst humanity has to offer. Once you’re out of a world of masters and slaves and tribes, you can really start to find out who you are.

More importantly, you can hit your stride in life not in an environment which is so unreal and so harmful.

Now, if you were a popular kid in school, I’m not casting any stones. I’m glad you enjoyed it! But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t understand how you managed.

And until I know, I’m going to have to stick with the misfits.

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. His passion is inspiring other young people to live adventurously.

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