forums

welcome! please login or register.

 

 

 

POLL RESULTS: Square Peg: (13 comments)

POLL: Square Peg

Friday, January 15, 2010 - 12:00 AM


A reader writes... Q: I'm a high school senior and feel pretty lonely right now. Most of the kids I know are into sex and drugs, and because I'm not, I've been excluded from a lot of fun events. The kids who want to be friendly with me are dull and uninteresting. Do I lower my standards just to roll with the kids I like? Or should I suffer until I get to college in the fall?

POLL: What's the best choice for this person?
 
5% (84) Try to fit in with the sex-and-drugs crowd
 
27% (409) Try to fit in with the dull-and-boring crowd
 
67% (1010) Wait 'til college to make friends
1503 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
DanialArin
Lover

Posts: 92

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 12:58 AM (#50908)

The sex-and-drugs crowd may look like fun, but frankly they'll either mellow or self-destruct in the next few years, or they're in the beginning of their long, slow descent into sub-mediocrity. High school will have been the best years of their lives, and they'll spend the rest of their lives looking back and wondering what the heck happened.

You don't need exposure to that. The fact that you haven't already buried yourself in that crowd means you have a chance to do better. And those dull-and-boring types? May not be as dull or boring as you think.

Consider looking in the places where the under-21 college kids hang out. If you're looking to go to a college that's local to where you are now, take a look at the student clubs there and see if any of them would be interested in letting you join a little early. Depending on what you're interested in, they might.

Look for a place to hang out that attracts an audience from several age groups, possibly from the "freaks-and-geeks" crowd. Gamers, perhaps; at least they know how to be entertaining.

And if the dull-and-boring crowd is doing stuff you find dull-and-boring, maybe they'd be interested in trying something new-but-not-wild if you suggest it.


Locked profile
pixie
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Dec 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 04:15 AM (#50909)

There are a couple of things I see here.

You say you've been excluded from events. If it's been a choice by you not to attend events where you know sex and drugs would be a focus, then you're excluding yourself for whatever reason. If they're not inviting you (or if they're flat-out saying 'don't come'), than it's probably more than just the sex and drugs issue.

The problem with trying to fit in is that it too often comes across as just that. Trying. But if you really feel you'd be "lowering [your] standards" to join that crowd, you're always going to be conscious of that, and so will they. That doesn't tend to lead to friendships.

At the same time, you've classified the rest as 'the dull and boring'. Same problem applies -- you're going to be expecting dullness. They're going to get the sense you're not really interested.

I know, because I've been there, myself. High School is hell on those who don't fit neatly into categories. People are also very good at picking out who really doesn't belong in their group.

What about finding outside-of-school friends, and walking in with an open mind about who they might be? Volunteer. Join a sports team or club. Make it something you're interested in, and then when you meet people, you'll know you have at least one thing in common besides forced attendance in and Institution.

(yes, High School qualifies as a madhouse).


Locked profile
Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 07:08 AM (#50910)

OK, time for some questions ...

* Most of the kids I know are into sex and drugs, and because I'm not, I've been excluded from a lot of fun events. You've "been excluded" -- by them, or by you? Could you go to these fun events, avoid the sex and/or drugs, and still have a good time? Or are the sex and drugs what make these events fun? Or do the kewl kids just not invite you?

* Sex and drugs -- together, or separately? I'd stay away from the drugs if I were in your shoes. But if I coulda had sex without drugs in high school ... woohoo! 8^)

* The kids who want to be friendly with me are dull and uninteresting ... and you know this how, exactly? You aren't friends with them, so how do you know what they're really like? I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were trying to be friends with you because they felt sorry for you.

* Or should I suffer until I get to college in the fall? ... What makes you think you won't face the same prospects when you get to college? The odds are high that the people you're shunning and the people who are shunning you now, while you're in high school, will be the people you will shun and the people who will shun you in college.

* Are you male or female? Motivations for your attitude in one case might not apply to the other.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention this ... [youtube.com]


Locked profile
Capesnbabes
Lover

Posts: 5

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 08:31 AM (#50913)

I guess I was pretty lucky looking back on my high school years. I hung out with lots of different types of groups that were into all sorts of different types of things.

I was part of my drama club that had pretty WILD cast parties after each play - some of which I stared in - but even though I went to the cast parties where there WAS a lot of drugs (alcohol mainly) and sex, I didn't participate in any of those things. yet, I still had a good time. It can be pretty amusing watching drunk people. SOME of the time.

I was a jock so I hung out with my baseball buddies a lot during baseball season.

I re-discovered my comic book obsession in high school so I hung out with "the geeks".

I was always an artist so I hung out with the "deadhead / artist" crowd - but still stayed away from drugs.

I knew quite a few "computer nerds" - it's amazing how much the comic book geeks and computer nerds intermingled and were so similar.

I also participated quite extensively in the local youth church group the my best friend attended. You would think a youth church group would be boring, stuck up and ultra religious or "cult-like" but the group I was a part of was anything but that.

And i think by having friendships in so many groups in high school really helped me adjust once I got to college. If anything, if you think the drugs and sex are rampant in high school, it's just going to be ten fold in college.

There is no rule or law that says if you hang out with people that do drugs, drink alcohol or have sex that YOU also must do those same things as well. The only thing that you absolutely must avoid is putting yourself at risk BECAUSE of the drugs, alcohol or sex.

Never get anywhere near a car if the driver has any kind of drugs in his system. Quite often, I became THE designated driver because my friends knew I hated to drink beer (still can't stand the taste) so maybe that's a way for you to experience these parties without actually doing drugs or alcohol. "Sorry - can't drink. I'm the designated driver tonight".

People think that's corny but even later when I would go to the occasional party and drink, my friends never pushed someone into drinking that didn't want to. I know that's not typical - and maybe my presence had something to with it, I don't know.

Again, I don't know if I was particularly unique or not. Maybe it was because I was involved in so many different things in high school that I knew one thing always affected the other - for example, I never drank or did drugs in high school because I never wanted to risk NOT playing baseball but that still didn't stop me from going to parties and just hanging out and having a good time - without the drugs or alcohol.


Locked profile
ThatJeff
Lover

Posts: 17

Registered:
Sep 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 10:29 AM (#50920)

Ah, how I fondly remember high school..... NOT!

Let's see, I recall being a junior in the same situation as you and having a hard time imagining myself being alive beyond the age of 17. I'm now 41 with a wife and two kids.

College is awesome and worth the wait. There will be so many people there that you will find someone that is just for you, but you have to make the effort.

Right now, I'd suggest making a list of activities that interest you and then find groups and clubs (either inside school or outside) that do just that. In the age of the internet, surely you can find a group that you'd be interested in joining and vice versa.


Locked profile
Snobahr
Lover

Posts: 15

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 11:35 AM (#50924)
In Response to ThatJeff (#50920):

Heh - I'm 41, a wife, with ONE kid. And yeah, that second paragraph was pretty much what I was going to say :D

Age of the internet - make meetup.com your minion. Plug in a couple of your interests, you'll find a group of folks with similar interests.


Locked profile
TheOriginalJes
Lover

Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 03:09 PM (#50936)

If the people you like are into sex and drugs, and you're not; what do you like about them?

The people that you think are cool in college may be into sex and drugs, because that seems to be who you're attracted to. But, there will still be plenty of people to be friends with. Just don't be afraid to talk to people and to try new things/activities because, there are so many opportunities coming up that will never come again. (In fact, you should be doing that right now!)

Cool is a relative thing, whether you're on the outside looking in or vice versa. However, I can guarantee that the viewpoint you would have of the individuals would be almost completely different from the inside looking out.

The only difference between friends in high school and friends in college is that, in college, just about everyone *wants* to be at school. So, there will be fewer aimless losers around you.

I know it seems like such a long time right now. But by October, you won't even be able to remember how you felt in high school, anyway.


Locked profile
Wbird
Lover

Posts: 6

Registered:
Dec 2009
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 06:37 PM (#50948)

How well do you know the people who you have labeled dull and uninteresting? I find that when you get to know people that you see different sides of them and that you could share some interests with some of these people. It is also odd to me that your school only has two groups of people mine had many more.

Have you ever wondered why you mostly know people who are into sex and drugs, maybe the lack of friends has more to do with you than them. I find that you have to go and make a visible effort to make friends. The people that you know just require the least effort. I have just gotten involved with a local club on my campus and started organizing social events because I found them lacking. I am sure that there are clubs at your school that you could get involved in.

You need to remember that if you do not make time for other people then it is likely that they will not make time for you. No one is going to come up to you and ask if you to be their friend if you are not there to be asked.


Locked profile
Caffeine
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Feb 2009
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 04:13 AM (#50983)

Listen, kid - no one is "dull and boring", once you get to know them better. What you wrote is just another way of saying "I cannot be bothered to really get to know the others."

(I'm not saying you should like everybody, but I have yet to meet a really boring person in this world.)


Locked profile
Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 04:45 AM (#50986)

Caffeine makes a great point.

The kids who want to be friendly with me are dull and uninteresting.

Peg, this reminds me a lot of Groucho Marx's line, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

Are you sure that the problem isn't just that you're arrogant and condescending?


Locked profile
Mutt
Lover

Posts: 12

Registered:
Aug 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 02:01 PM (#51015)

There's always something interesting about people, no matter who they are. You don't need to lower your standards for anybody, but opening your mind to friendly conversation is key to any social setting as well. If you're unable to have a civil, friendly conversation or simply refuse to relate to people based on a first impression, you're not going to get anywhere in college with people either.

Even if you don't actively hang out with them on a regular basis, you should at the very least be friendly back to folks, it sounds like you're potentially intimidating people into not opening up at all, therefore they'll appear dull. Or you're looking for them to fit a mold of "interesting person", which is kinda counter productive.

I've also never met a boring person, though I've met some people I wish I hadn't for a variety of reasons, and some I wish I'd met sooner.


Locked profile
TheOriginalJes
Lover

Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 11:33 AM (#51242)
In Response to Caffeine (#50983):

I think we're splitting too fine of a hair on "dull and boring". I think that we all have an innate sense of what is dull and boring to us. And, I'm fairly certain that we've all pigeon-holed entire groups of people based solely on an outsider's perspective, especially at the age of 17. So, if we stay within the first-person perspective; maybe we can assume that Peg's original assessment is fair.

I do agree that Peg should be far more open-minded than he or she seems in the post. But, for once, I think that the particular answer to their situation is more about understanding their own place in his/her world, and re-evaluating expectations.

I am assuming that Peg is somewhat familiar with what he/she finds exciting or boring. The real question he/she is asking is, "why don't they like me?"

Who should like "you", and why? If the answer includes "everyone" and/or "what's not to like?", then there's the problem.

But, Peg has already hung their hat on "sex and drugs" as the great barrier. So, if that's really it, then I still think that we need my original question answered (What is it that Peg likes about these people?) before any substantial understanding can come of this.


Locked profile
pakopako
Lover

Posts: 5

Registered:
Aug 2009
Re: Square Peg (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 03:50 PM (#51263)

I'm with pixie; I've always manage to walk the line between crowds, and there's a difference between not getting invited and turning stuff down.

The best way to "fit in" is to play politics. Shake hands, kiss babies, and lie and deflect before the other person can catch on to what you're doing.

That said, the Reader also needs to expand their horizons. They're in High School and can only classify people they've met into those two categories? The Reader needs to (1.) be more open of others and (2.) shuffle around more.

This doesn't mean the Reader should "try to fit in", but should hang around different crowds. Go to events they're going to, just to cement if they like or don't like it. And more importantly, see the crowd for the individuals inside.

As a bit of a non-conformist, my bit of advice is that you don't necessarily join or create a crowd (or want to), but what it sounds like you need is to pick out a clique of people who think like you do in OTHER areas (not just SEX-N-DRUGS and DULL).

Not so sure about the Internet sites to meet up with people, but web-forums are a good way to meet with like-minded collegues.


Locked profile
Discussion: POLL: Square Peg | Login/Create an Account | 13 comments
Threshold:  Locked
The Fine Print: The above comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
Hell, let's face it, we're not responsible for anything; including the things we say, do, or think. And if you sue us because you think we are? Well, we're not responsible for that either.

 





(C) 2005 Brad J. Guigar. All rights reserved. Use of content or images without the consent of the author is prohibited.