Good kids gone bad

Sarah Valverde, Assistant Editor

High school is like an iceberg. You only really see about 10 percent of everyone, and that little part of us is passed off as final judgment. There is still another 90 percent hiding underneath the water.

There is more to the jocks. There is more to the cheerleaders. There is more to the Science Olympians.

It should not be hard to believe there is more to the “good” kid as well. Yet, we write off anyone who follows the rules as “smothered,” “lame,” “afraid,” and “fake”. Perhaps the label is good-intentioned worry. Perhaps it is deliberate bullying. One thing remains the same; the “good kid” stereotype needs to be demolished.

To start off, let’s establish what the “good” kid really is. They’re the ones who do absolutely everything they are told, the ones who would rather pry off their own fingernails than set one toe out of line, the ones who make the rest of us look “bad.”

That would be the high school definition of the phrase. It would not be surprising if that turned up on the Urban Dictionary. However, there is always more than meets the eye, even with the seemingly “perfect” people.

Peer pressure is possibly one of the hardest things to turn your back on. All of us have faced these situations as well. For some odd reason, we respect those who give in, those who are “too cool” for the rules. Hey, if three-quarters of the class slacks off during homework time, you might not be as unique as you think. Here is a strange new idea—instead of shunning the non-believer, applaud those with the strength to fight the flow.

Perhaps behind their darling deeds these people have intentions of their own. Money, fame, fortune… please note the sarcasm. When the disguise of purity is yanked back, one can see the motive behind every action: the want to belong. Everyone just wants to belong.

This is not an unfamiliar idea. Everyone acts to gain the respect of those in his or her life. The good kids are no different.

Go ahead and deny it, but you generally interrupt the teacher so everyone will pay attention to you. Believe it or not, we do not respect your interruption. We’re a little busy trying to learn about decimals.

People are different. While that sentence may seem both cheesy and dumb, it is obviously true (or you wouldn’t be rolling your eyes). Some of us feel more comfortable putting on a show. Some prefer to rebel in every way they can. The good kids feel safest when they do as they are told… when they obey the grown-ups. Perhaps this is not the way to express their individuality, but it is the way they feel secure.

One of the things that makes the “good kid” so unpopular is their tendency to force their good values upon everyone else. Yeah, they are not just little cupcakes, I will give you that. However, everyone is guilty of forcing their opinion on someone else. I am doing it right now. The intention is to help you. When you go up to someone and say “listen to this song, it is the best,” you want them to experience something great and new. Perhaps it is annoying, but there is no hatred behind it. Look at it from a different perspective. They get something out of following the rules, so they want you to feel that, too. You should be touched that they are thinking of you!

I am not saying you need to completely change your personality. In fact, I want you to stay as rebellious and bad to the bone as you want. All I ask you to do is reflect on the other 90 percent that makes up the “good kid” before writing them off as weak. Everybody acts differently in real life. We need to strive to learn about the interests hidden in people instead of seeing that student who always has the right answers. There is more to us than that.