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Smiling even when you don’t feel like it

Voice of the Youth written by youth correspondent Amy Mengler.

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Each week 17-year-old youth correspondent Amy Mengler lets us know what’s on her mind. This week she delves into popularity and how it affects you. 

Doing things you don’t feel like doing

Staying popular is like swimming in deep water; you’ve got to keep paddling just to stay afloat. 

Sometimes you just have to  laugh when you don’t feel like laughing, talk when you don’t feel like talking and, most importantly perhaps, smile when you don’t feel like smiling.

At school, popularity seems to be particularly important, both to children and to adolescents. It’s something that never really seems to loose its attraction, though the older you get, the more you begin to realise that you can’t please everyone.

“Fitting in must be one of the biggest fears, and in some cases, the biggest challenge young people face in schools and even outside of school, at work or in other friendship groups.”

Fitting in must be one of the biggest fears, and in some cases, the biggest challenge young people face in schools and even outside of school, at work or in other friendship groups.

Surely everyone can relate to the feeling of walking into a group of people and feeling they don’t really fit in.

Think of the times you moved to a new school, a new class or even a new job. You may remember feeling nervous and excited, determined to make a good impression. 

Popularity: the big contest nobody wins

In a school environment, popularity is like a big contest and I think that everyone competes in that contest to some degree, even if it’s only in trying to impress their friends.

The constant will to be popular and to win brownie points with friends can create peer pressure and rivalry. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can be, as peer pressure can make you do stupid things which you wouldn’t usually do.

But just remember the saying that your true friends will like you for who you are.

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