So you may not have been the most popular kid in school. You may had many a lonely lunch, endured a bit of teasing and possibly being labelled a ‘nerd’, and relations with the opposite sex were few and far between. If this sounds uncomfortably familiar, then you can take solace in what you are about to read, as a recent study conducted by the University of Virginia has found that you are probably doing better in life now than the ‘cool’ kids back in school.
Published in the Journal of Child Development, the study tracked a group of 183 teenagers from the age of 13 for a period of ten years, revealing those considered as the less popular teens, outperformed their popular counterparts by the time they reached adulthood.
The lead author of the study, Professor Joseph Allen, said, “the most socially successful teenagers were heading for a fall”, with the study showing that the ‘cool kids’ back in high school were more likely to suffer from drug abuse problems and social isolation as adults.
While some ‘cool kids’ spent their time pursuing the opposite sex and at times, engaging in activities such as vandalism, the more popular teens often failed to develop emotionally. Lead clinician at the Priory Hospital Cheadle Royal in Cheshire, Dr Faeza Khan claims, “They are trying to impress people about how they are socially, rather than being emotionally mature”.
So for those who may be ashamed of their not so glorious days at school, or for parents worried about their child’s level popularity, you can take comfort in these findings.