So, as it is ‘Back to School’ season, I thought I should share my opinions on being popular at school, as I feel the word ‘popular’ is highly overrated in schools today. This also ties in with joining a new school, which can be a difficult process as you try to find your place in a new environment.
I have gone to 3 schools in my life, which I know is not that many, but it does mean I know a thing or two about moving schools and trying to fit in. At my first school, I was quite popular within my year group, and had many ‘friends’. I went to this school for all of my primary years apart from Year 6, and so I’d basically grown up with my classmates. I remember choosing the games we used to play, and if someone wanted to join in with our game, they’d ask me if they could play. I wasn’t mean, but I probably was one of the ‘Queen Bees’ – being a bossy female back then probably didn’t help!
I remember not knowing what to say when I was told we were moving schools, moving house, moving to another life somewhere else in the UK. I was about to go in to the last year of primary school, and I desperately wanted to be a prefect or Head Girl, but that wasn’t going to happen anymore. We were going to move schools.
Year 5 was a great last year, but I do remember having some bittersweet memories amongst all the good ones. I don’t think I was 100% sure who my friends actually were, even though I had more friends than you can count on your fingers. I wasn’t that upset to be leaving a year early, although sometimes when I look back, I do wonder what year 6 would’ve been like there…
We hadn’t even moved house when I started at my 2nd school. Everything was a little (ok, very) hectic and I remember being quite tired each night. It was a weird year to move, as my 2nd school went up to Year 8 so you get a lot of new people joining in Year 7, not Year 6. I was one of 4 new pupils, and the rest were boys, so it was up to me to form my own friendships with the other 9 girls in the year. I know what you’re thinking – TEN GIRLS ONLY IN ONE SCHOOL YEAR!!! It was crazy – we were outnumbered with over 20 boys also being in our year group. Nevertheless, I soon made some good friends, and realised that it is better to have 3 close friends than 26 ‘acquaintances’.
I don’t think I ever wanted to be like what I was like at my first school, it was normal to have loads of friends there, but not so normal for me to have lots of friends at my new school. They’d already formed their friendship groups, and I guess I felt as if I had to slot in amongst them somehow, not become the most popular.
School isn’t a popularity contest; it’s not a giant competition of who can have the most friends, who can get the most likes on social media, or who can be the person that everyone wants to be. You need to try to stand on your own two feet. I know this is easier said than done, but try not to follow the crowd.
As the new kid, I wasn’t accepted by some of the ‘popular’ people in my year and at the time, this was kind of hard to deal with; I’d never done anything wrong to them, but didn’t really want to be ‘besties’ with them either. I can imagine that anyone in a similar situation would think about why they’re not good enough. My advice is to 100% think about the people you’re friends with. In the end, I became friends with the people that were genuinely nice to me, and who accepted me for who I am. This has worked out so much better for me, as nowadays when I think of some of the things the ‘popular’ people say about people, I’m so glad I’m not part of their group.
It is infinite times better to have 5 close friends than a million fake friends.
The friends I have now mean the world to me, and I can truly be myself around them; I don’t worry about being judged. The friends I used to have? Well, I’ve only seen 1 of them (who I’ve been friends with literally for life) since my school days at my old school… Doesn’t that say a lot?
Believe me, being popular isn’t everything. Being liked within your friendship group, however, is everything.
Hope that was some ‘food for thought’, have you ever been ‘popular’ at school? What was it like? Also, what are your experiences about moving schools & fitting in? Comment below to tell me!
Also, good luck to anyone starting a new school this year! 😄
Lots of love,