Nothing stops the progress of young teens more effectively or thoroughly than the comparison of one’s self to the classified “cool kids”.
We’ve all experienced this stressful, time-wasting obsession and I think we can all admit it got us nowhere. So, the big question when focusing on such a topic is, why do we do it? Why compare ourselves? Why focus on a goal that, even if it makes us “cooler”, doesn’t really affect who we are and what our accomplishments will be? From my personal experience, I can only assume this human obsession is a natural human way. We compare ourselves because, to us, there’s always something lacking. Either it’s we don’t have that sweet new phone, or our parents won’t let us get the newest style of clothing. There’s nothing specific that we don’t have. If we get that cool new phone, or try out the pretty new fashion, there will always be another “cool” new accessory to buy, that might just boost our popularity.
But when will we ever say enough is enough? We’re really the ones that give the “cool kids” the title they have. They don’t need to work for it. We give it to them based on our own insecurities and the perfection we imagine they portray. They don’t have anything we don’t have but confidence. We hand their power to them, and they feed off of our comparisons with them. To us, they’re the glossy, pretty, funny, amazing people we wish we could work to become.
But really, they’re not all that. Those supposed “cool people” are human beings with insecurities, problems, and stresses just like us. In fact, their stress is almost twice ours; they have to work every day to look like what we think is perfect. They smile fake smiles because they know it gives them power over us. They go to that amazing party because they know you’re not going and you wish you were. They work on their appearances and move in their group of friends because we wish we looked like they do and we wish we had those friends.
The fact is, they’re always one step ahead of us. They’re already the “cool kids” because we made them so. They’re already perfect and beautiful because that’s how we imagine them to be. They’ve already got that cool new style because guess what? They made the style! Because they wore it, it’s cool. They’re not perfect; they’re not cooler than us, better than us, prettier than us. They’re not smarter than us, braver than us, happier than us.
They’re just more confident than we are. And that’s all they are. So be confident, be brave, be happy, be smart, be good. All in all, just be yourself.