Valentine Faye Goodspeed Writing 100 Hanging out with the wrong crowd can pull a person down like a brick in a lake and leave them feeling cold as ice. It seems like it has some good effects like being popular and having your name known. It can also lead to all sorts of issues like negative attention, self-esteem problems, and even depression. This problem is relevant to almost everyone in one way or another. The feeling of wanting to be accepted can drive a person to make some foolish choices that they end up regretting later on down the road.
These choices seem to be even more foolish if they are made by a whole group. I learned early on that sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be caught in bad company. When I started middle school, I was immediately pulled into wanting to be popular. I figured it would be a fresh start in a new school, so why not take advantage? I found that it was easy to make friends by being nice to everyone. I jumped from clique to clique making a few new friends here and there. As people started to get to know me, they would tell me personal details about themselves.
Like for instance, there was a guy I knew named Alex. Alex was in 8th grade and in the closet, however, he had a girlfriend and everyone said they had been going out since 6th grade. I was one of the few who knew that the girlfriend was just a cover up. The sad part was the girlfriend was in denial about the whole thing. All of the signs were there though. Alex wore makeup, talked like a female, and he dressed better than most of the girls in his grade. It wasn’t enough for me to be known as the “nice kid” though. I wanted people to know my name. Being a part of different cliques was not satisfying me enough.
I decided to go on a hunt for a different clique. Later on in the year, I somehow ended up hanging out with a clique that started rumors and collected dirt on other kids. The fact that I already knew something about just about every kid in the 6th grade at the time meant I had a lot of personal information to offer. When I started to hang out with this particular group of kids though, they taught me how to collect insider details in a matter of hours. It was almost like being around them felt right for some odd reason. In fact, I felt like I finally found the clique I had been looking for all year.
The longer I hung out with them, the more my name was spread across the campus. It was great having kids know my name, even if I didn’t know theirs. After a while, I started to feel the results of hanging out with the gossip clique. Everywhere I went on campus; kids would stop talking or avoid me all together. The kids that did stay and talk to me were just doing it to be nice. They didn’t want to really be friends because of their fear they might say something I’d report back to my group. With no friends and no one to talk to, my self-esteem took a big hit.
I wasn’t confident with anything anymore. I started to doubt myself and everything I had worked for. I ended up feeling depressed during 7th and 8th grade because no one would talk to me. No one would even hang out with me. I never even got the chance to apologize for spreading rumors and spilling everyone’s dirt. During my 8th grade year, I finally had enough of hanging with the wrong crowd. I slowly started to hang out with them less often, making up excuses like “I have work to make up” or “I don’t feel good”. The leaders of the group, Clare and Abby, were starting to get very suspicious of me.
They would follow me around and ask me questions about where I was going or where I was. It got to the point that they even started calling me at random times during the weekend just to ask me questions. After a few weeks of being constantly bothered by them I decided I’d tell them what was really going on. I told them to meet me at our usual spot outside at the performance stage so we could all talk. That Monday, as planned, the group came together at lunch and sat down chatting about all of the gossip the picked up over the weekend. I bluntly said out loud, “You guys are lame.
I’m not happy anymore and you guys are the reason why! ” They all stopped their conversations and looked at me like I was crazy. I continued saying, “I done with y’all. I’m going to go now. I don’t need you guys anymore; I’ll let the system feed your BS. ” They all looked at each other with confused faces and that was it. I walked away with a grin on my face and never looked back. I ended up ending the year with a few close friends and feeling good about starting high school that next fall. If I had not of got caught up with the wrong crowd, I would have had an easier time making friends and being happy.
I chose the fast way out of building popularity and it got me absolutely nowhere. Popularity shouldn’t be based on how much a person knows about everyone, it’s how they see that person. If I could repeat middle school again and change my approach to gaining popularity, I could have avoided the whole depression phase. I could have also avoided the hit my self-esteem took back then. I learned that it would have far more better to have just been a loner for a short while, than being associated with a bad crowd that can bring down your reputations, your relationships with others, and emotions in a matter of a few months.