Is Popularity Overrated?

Evynne Stafford, FCHS Journalist

What does it mean to be “popular” in high school? At most schools, being liked or admired is more important than education or learning, as shown in the classic teen movie Mean Girls. But should it be? When Homecoming, Prom, or even the class officer elections take place, the winners are usually the most popular students– but is that a good idea?

Let’s face it: Students tend to vote for their friends rather than for whoever might do the best job. Some students think that needs to change. “It should not matter about popularity, it should matter who has better statements and ideas,” said Freshman Jadyn Cook. If everyone in the school system felt the same way as Cook, class officers might be more successful and active, resulting in better class activities. “I don’t think we should look at the person [when voting], I think we should look at what they have to offer and their potential,” agreed Freshman Mauricio Castillo-Zuniga.

Eighth Grader Hollyn Pleasants, who ran for class president last year but lost, had some wise words to say about class officer campaigns. “It should not matter if you are popular or not, it just matters if you have good ideas for your school. It shouldn’t be about fairness, it should be about the maturity level of the student body. If you were voting for the actual president of the United States, would you want someone that looked cool or would you want someone that is educated and has good statements that not only help themselves, but help everyone else around them?”

So what makes a student “popular” these days? Some feel that in this day and age, popularity isn’t even about your personality, it is more about what shoes you wear, or what clothes you buy, or even if you have the most recent smart phone.

But are those good reasons for deciding whether a person should be looked up to or liked?

“It should not matter what you wear or what you look like. Everyone should have an equal chance at winning,” said Freshmen Sarah White. “Is voting about popularity? Yes. Will it ever change? Probably not. That is the way, so we have to just roll with it,” said Junior Madison Stafford.

Fair or unfair? You decide.