Straight Talk Advice

Sep 27, 2006

The “rules” of middle school society

From Jennifer, 13 and Katie, 13: In middle school looks, hair, and fashion definitely rule. But it’s not the whole story.

We identified five social groups: 1) popular; 2) on-the-edge of popular; 3) could care less; 4) will do anything to be popular; and 5) geeks. Beware the group that will do anything to be popular; they will dump you in an instant to climb the social ladder. Geeks, and we apologize for the term, either have parents who don’t let them dress fashionably, they’re too fat, or something else is off. Whatever their issue, it’s usually not their fault.

Good looks don’t guarantee popularity. Here are the main social annoyances: talking too much, talking too little, interrupting an on-going conversation with questions, bragging about your talents, bragging about things that actually detract from you (if you have pimples don’t brag about their size!), lying, blabbing (even to just one person), phoning/texting too much, inviting yourself over too much, clinging too much at school, acting “mature” or “above it all”, trying to be teacher’s pet, trying to please adults more than your friends.

If you’re new to a school, don’t be too shy, but don’t come on too strong either. Wait for people to come up to you, but keep your interactions light for a few weeks before committing to a group. If a popular kid shows interest in you, don’t respond too strongly or he or she will back off.


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