We moved several times in my childhood, which meant that I had to start over in a new school several times. Although I did my best to fit in, I never made long-term friends this way. I can't really say, "We've been friends since childhood," about anyone. I had friends for a few years, tried to stay in touch, but we always lost each other along the path of growing up.
I'm sure starting those new schools made me more resilient or helped me build character or something like that, but one thing it didn't do for me was make me popular. I was a very smart, ordinary looking Catholic school girl. This information neither helped me when I moved in between schools or when I made the transition from Catholic school to public school.
But you know what? It was OK. I was used to having a small circle of friends - people that I trusted and who actually wanted my company. I'm sure the whole thing made me become more comfortable in my own skin.
Turns out that there is a recent study that looks at the popularity-seeking behaviors of middle school students, including intense romantic relationships, basing relationships on attractiveness and hanging out with an older crowd. These behaviors, according to the study, lead to greater instances in long-term difficulties in relationships and potential problems with substance abuse.
That seems like a lot of links to infer from one study, so I would think that more research is needed, but it does bring up the idea that in addition to all those other topics we should be talking to our children about (security, sex and being nice), we should add popularity to the list.
Were you cool in school? Tell me about it in the comments.