When I was elementary aged, I always wanted to be popular, whether or not I openly admitted it. It was because of this that people thought I was selfish- and I probably was am.

I felt ashamed because I was selfish and that I wanted people to like me. I felt stupid because it mattered to me. I grew up in elementary without having a steady best friend. In 2nd grade, my best friend Chrissy moved, then Cameron became my best friend and moved the next year. In 3rd grade, Evelyn was my best friend, and she moved the next year as well. 4th grade? Danielle moved, too. However, I made friends with S and we had a rough on-and-off friendship. People thought we were dating because he is a boy and I am a girl. In 5th grade, V was my best friend, but sometimes she would pretend not to be my friend in front of her fellow soccer friends. I don’t think anyone really liked me because I was loud and random. I did not know how to socialize, I guess.

In junior high, I made many friends. I had 9 best friends. I felt like I belonged. I actually thought I was popular. There were days I doubted myself, though, and I ended up telling the most popular girl in 7th grade that being popular was what I wanted. I regret that. She was very nice and didn’t say anything about it, but I feel like that was something I should not have said.

In high school, my first boyfriend made it apparent to me that he thought he was much more popular than I was. After all, I was known as his girlfriend, not my own name. Of course, he was emotionally abusive and told me things like that I needed a push up bra or tighter jeans to show off my butt. When we broke up, I felt inferior because I was a 36A and my pants sagged, and only the pretty girls with these attributes could be popular.

Little did I know that I would meet so many people in my classes. I met so many people in Graphic Arts 1 and 2. Many of them were seniors, but our friendships still last today. I sat with friendly (popular) people in English. I built a lasting friendship with Cassie in Math. In PE, I tried to be as athletic as I could to show off to whoever saw, and I felt great. In Biology, I was the teacher’s pet and (almost) the class clown. Bio was a small class, but for both semesters, everyone knew my name, and I knew theirs.

Sophomore year was the point that I realized that I was popular. I won Winter Formal Princess, a title that could only be won with the help of so many people. I greatly treasure each and every one of those people who helped me get to that point. These people are the greatest friends I could ask for.

So, what does popularity mean to me now? I means I feel comfortable being myself. I can wear whatever I want, hang out with whomever I want, do whatever I want. People like me! Oh, you think I am annoying and I dress funny? Shut up! People like me. Feminism is going to make me enemies? Go to hell, people still like me. I do not hang out where the popular people hang out. I am most comfortable in a group of intelligent people who could care less about popularity.

Maybe I should not be ashamed of wanting popularity. The only bad thing about it is that it seems selfish. How is that a problem?


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