Last night I realized something about myself. I change a lot. In elementary school I was a pretty popular kid. Being huge into football at the time certainly helped, but I was also just more social. I knew and was friends with just about everyone in my grade as well as a few people outside of my grade.
When I moved to middle school, I became much less social, and only had a small group of very close friends. I still knew just about everyone, but I wouldn't consider them friends. Looking back I know part of that is due to the fact that I was the new kid, but even after that wore off I still wasn't very popular.
In high school I was quickly made popular again. By the end of my senior year I was once again able to say that I knew and was at least casual friends with just about everyone in my grade. This is a much greater claim than that of elementary school, since my graduating class in high school was basically was 10x that of elementary school.
Now that I am in college, I can see myself starting to pull back into the less social, closer group of friends mode that was predominant in middle school. I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing though.
There is the glamour aspect of popularity that makes everyone strive to be more popular. And though it's cliched, at least in my experience, when I was popular I didn't actually have many friends. Well at least not good ones anyway. How many of the hundreds of people from high school that I considered friends at the time do I still talk to? How many do I still hangout with? How many of them were there for me when I needed them? Maybe a handful.
I guess the moral of the story is that, even though it's politically correct to say it, don't worry about being popular. It only ends up messing you up and screwing with you.
Ironically I started writing this blog as sort of call to action for myself. I was going to point out that in both high school and elementary school I was very involved in extra curriculars, while when I was in middle school and college I only did curriculars. This link, I was going to claim, is the reason I needed to become more involved in my school's extra curriculars.
However, as I write these words, I've come to realize that popularity isn't something I want all that much. While popularity does offer some nifty perks: it was easier to get dates, a big friend list etc. I don't want those types of things anymore, at least not if I have to pay the price of losing actual friends to attain it.
I'm not saying do or don't be involved in extra curriculars, but chose them carefully. Don't overextend yourself, because one: you'll get worn out and two: those people that you consider to be your friends today may not be there tomorrow if you don't put in the effort to grow the relationship.
So in closing, pick your friends and, by extension, your extra curriculars carefully. Well that's it for me, I'm off to Quidditch practice.