The popular vote

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Photo credit: Brooke Morrill


We have an inherent desire to be accepted by others.  The longing for acceptance and popularity is clearly more recognizable in high school, but it’s possible that this inherent desire to belong to a certain social groups can also seep into your college life.

People who need to feel popular in order to increase their self-esteem and worth, may find that their pursuits only lead to dead ends. Pursuing a particular social group solely on the basis of how popular it will make you can prevent you from discovering g your own uniqueness and talent.

It’s not that popularity itself is wrong, it’s the way in which our quest to have it, influences us to alienate people, that should be considering wrong.

The one real difference between being popular in high school and being popular in college is the increased opportunity to find more personalized group.

Popularity in college isn’t limited to a certain financial class or academic ability. There is evidence of popularity within several groups or clubs on campus.

In these groups, participating members determine how their popularity gets played out to the public. They have their own slang words and share inside jokes with one another.

These groups can be considered harmless because they don’t have a desire to hurt others but they still want to stand out and be recognized by their peers. To some, having any type of group that singles themselves out from others would be considered rebellious, but it’s always the case.

There are many groups that enjoy the comradery that comes from being in a group. The members operate in supporting roles, and utilize the group as a way to meet more people and to bounce off ideas with other peers.

There is a strong sense of inclusion and those who considered themselves part of the group feel a sense of belonging.

Then we have other groups who consider themselves part of the popular scene, who spend more time excluding others or preventing others from being part of the group.

The force behind popularity can be so strong that it causes individuals to abandon their personal values and beliefs, in order to feel part of the group.

The downside to wanting to be popular is the amount of time it takes to keep up the façade. No amount of time spent with people seeking constant approval from others, will make a person feel better about them.

On the other hand, spending time looking for new ways to include those around you is a good way to prevent people from feeling excluded. It can also improve your personal self-esteem and worth.

At the end of the day when you go to look in the mirror, it won’t matter if you are popular or not, when you’re looking in the mirror. What will make the biggest difference in your life is whether you took the time to extend your hand and make those around you feel welcome. To me, that wins the popular vote.