Popularity is overrated, causes loss of self-identity

Hailey McEntee, Co-Editor

As I scroll through Twitter or Instagram, I see countless pictures of classmates acting as happy as can be. They are dressed in trendy outfits with smiles on their faces. They are at a party or other event. They look like they are having so much fun.
Their life seems so perfect.
But, in reality, most of these people are just striving for popularity that will leave them feeling empty inside.
I went into high school with the mentality that being popular is overrated. I’ve stuck with that idea since I walked down the halls for the first time, and I couldn’t be happier that I did.
I’ve had friends chase the limelight of popularity way too often. They lose sight of who they really are and end up crawling back to their true friends every time.
And that’s what I don’t understand.
If you have people who genuinely care about you and love you for who you are, then why would you look past them to try to fit in with a different crowd?
Why would you need anything more?
It’s like having 100 pennies instead of four quarters. It’s better to have a few people who care about you and who are your best friends. Having 100 friends who really don’t care about you definitely is not going to be as fulfilling and long-lasting.
The people I’m friends with know me inside and out. They know my hopes, fears, dreams and passions. I’d take that kind of friendship over popularity any day.
And that brings up the question — what exactly is “popularity”?
According to dictionary.com, to be popular is to be “regarded with favor, approval, or affection by an acquaintance or acquaintances.” That should come from being yourself — not by trying to act in a way that doesn’t represent you.
Not to mention, high school is only four years of your life.
Once you graduate, no one is going to care if you were “popular” in high school. So don’t waste these four years acting like someone you’re not just to fit in.