High school: popularity does not equal power

High school: popularity does not equal power

Ben Sersen, REPORTER

     The ideology that a social hierarchy exists is actually a strange paradox;  if we believe in the system, we become products of it. However if we believe the system does not exist or even that we are higher than it, we are predisposed to a much higher social ranking or even none at all.

     You have probably heard “high school is a popularity contest” at some point in your life, turns out it was right. This belief that high school is more social than educational is not very far off the truth. 

     Believing that you are a good person and that you enjoy the high school experience personally before you try to enjoy it through the eyes of your friends can make you out to be a very confident person. And in high school, confidence is key to happiness.

    High school can be stressful if you get knocked to the bottom of the totem pole however, what students fail to realize is that the totem pole is merely a figment of imagination as no one truly has power over one another.

    The most valued member of society is not the one that contributes the most but the one who shows themselves to be the most powerful, often  through money or athletic prowess during high school however evolving more as we age.

     Power in school is eerily similar to the real world in the sense that power gives you control. If you have power whilst another individual does not, oftentimes this person will conform to your wishes.  

     Popularity in school, however, creates power. If you have one disciple, you will not hold much power however having a third person, you will always beat an individual due to power in numbers, the same way a group of athletes may overpower a smaller kid who does not have the numbers (in terms of friends) to protect himself, causing a lack of power.

     Popularity is a factor of power in high school however it is not the only factor, many factors lead to power and how you perceive yourself is detrimental to your personal power. Power stems from personal belief. I’m sure we’ve all met the giant sweetheart or the small classmate who is very vocal, the outspoken short person almost always exercises more power due to their confidence in speech while the giant sweetheart only aims to please those around them. They do not wish to create haptic malice, they only wish to make peace. This peace creates a gap in the power that a student holds.

     Although the giant could easily physically overpower the shorter person, as well as confidently knowing that they are kind individuals, the giant never looks to create conflict and this plants him lower in the totem pole of social hierarchy. 

     Popularity creates a social power that influences kids to get more distant friends rather than a few good friends. The social power that we achieve in high school is a mere glimpse of the future, with bosses and coworkers as well as social cliques. We have all been exposed to power in some aspect of our life, every single person is given power, making yours known to yourself is the first step toward a powerful life.