The hierarchy of secondary school. Or, as I like to call it, the stupidity of teenage children.
Growing up, we always look at ‘high school’ as the years you will succeed, go to prom with a handsome boyfriend and go to exciting parties.
At least, that’s what movies like High School Musical and Mean Girls teach us.
Actually, it is the opposite. It is the time where you learn that standing out may not be a good thing, despite your parents saying so. You learn, that putting your hand up in lessons isn’t cool by the standards of the popular people. You learn, that having opinions gets you bullied.
I learned this the hard way.
I learned this from getting weird looks after doing something remotely ‘different’. I learned this, by getting laughed at after putting my hand up too much. I learned this, after having views in RE(Religious Education) that deemed me the opinionated feminist girl amongst the boys.
But the popular girls, they somehow got it right. On the first day of school, they all stuck together, like a pack of wolves. But all white. Coloured people aren’t cool, I guess?
The stereotypes aren’t like, ‘the goths’, ‘the nerds’, or the ‘drama club’. It goes in two ways. Those who are cool, and those who aren’t.
I fall amongst the latter.
I have gone through school, being terrified of the popular boys and girls. Only last week, none of my friends were in my DT(Design Technology) lesson, and no one sat with me. I was alone at a whole table by myself. This led to me running out of the classroom in tears, because I felt like I wasn’t worth sitting with.
The popular girls have the ideal secondary school experience, with the boyfriend, the prom, and the parties.
The rest of us are left clinging to each other, trying to keep our confidence from crumbling, and trying to ignore the obvious fact that we aren’t loved or cared about by our peers.
After a while, we manage to not let it affect us too much. But there are moments when we still crave to be popular and be invited to parties.
Sometimes, I wonder where these people will be in 10 years. Will they be successful? Will they have huge families? Will they still be popular? Or will these years be their prime, and will they slowly fall and reduce to nothing?
The truth is, we don’t know. We don’t know what will happen in the future. A lot of our teenage years go towards trying to figure out what our future will be. From choosing our GCSE subjects at 14, and then doing the actual exams at 16.
But I can’t judge all of the popular people by the same yardstick. The time I ran out of my DT lesson, one of them came after me and invited me to sit with her.
Maybe I just have to get to know them, and I will like them better. But that won’t change the fact that they have ignored me for so many years.
The idea of leaving secondary school is exciting for me. Meeting new people, and finding my place in the world.
Until then, I am caught in the grasps of the hierarchy of social lives and popularity.
Hi! I am Prianka and I am 13 years old. If you remember that article from a while ago, I was the one who asked where the smoked salmon was in the middle of the fish market in Pondicherry. I love Shawn Mendes and llamas and I hope to become an actress one day. And an author. I hope you enjoyed my thought piece.