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What My Students Think About Being Popular

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In my years as an educator, I have spent the majority of my time with teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, and I have come to one certainty: Teenagers say some of the most profound, and most entertaining, things you could ever imagine. A day doesn't go by that my students don't enlighten me with their genuine innocence or entertain me with their youthful ignorance. For that reason, I believe there is so much we, as adults, can learn from today's youth. So, I decided to not only empower my students, but give them a forum where they can freely, and without judgment, share their thoughts, views and opinions on the topics that are current and being discussed in the mainstream media. Be prepared, because I can never predict what they may think or say.

So, here is what my students think about being popular.

"Popularity only lasts so long. Waste time being popular? No thanks. I'll spend my time being happy. Happiness lasts forever, and it makes you feel just as good." -- Taylor, 10th grade

"Do I think it's important to be popular? Not at all. Being popular doesn't help you succeed in life, so why should it be important?" -- Cathleen, 10th grade

"Depends on your mindset. If you're the type who cares a lot about what people think of you, then yes. But from what I've learned from my high school experience, it's better to keep your circle tight." -- Gabby, 10th grade

"In high school it's really all you worry about. But, when you graduate, you notice that it was never that important." -- Jada, 10th grade

"No, I don't think that being popular is important. It won't matter if people knew your name or who you hung out with. What matters is if you made a name for yourself and are successful after school." -- Vernice, 10th grade

"I do not think it's important to be popular in high school. Nobody cares who you are after four years or who you were. I don't recall it being on college applications." -- Brandon, 10th grade

"Being popular will get you nowhere in life. It all depends on your academics and knowledge." -- Bryan, 10th grade

"Being popular isn't important. To me, being popular means you just know a lot of people. Because in my group of friends I feel popular, but it's not important to me if everyone in school knows my name." -- Erika, 10th grade

"In society it is important to popular. The world basically revolves around who has the most Facebook friends and Twitter followers. But, in all reality, it doesn't matter." -- Leshay, 10th grade

"Many people in high school care about popularity, but I don't think it is important. Students that are popular tend to only focus on their role in school and tend to forget about their school work." -- Arber, 10th grade

"I do think it's important to be well known and well liked. If you never become popular, it's not the end of the world, but it's cool to know that you're popular and have a lot of friends." -- Jordann, 10th grade