Turns out that sitting alone in the lunchroom in middle school actually helped you to be a much cooler, more well-rounded adult. According to the New York Times, kids who were considered “cool” in middle school grew up directionless and adrift nearly a decade later.
Dr. Joseph P. Allen, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, conducted a study (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12250/abstract) in which he followed “cool” middle school kids for a decade. I know that sounds a bit creepy in a Dateline NBC sort of way, but it’s all in the name of science. Back off, Chris Hansen. What Dr. Allen found was that the cool kids’ pseudo-maturity ended up failing them; now they don’t know how to form actual, adult relationships, they often find themselves in trouble with drugs, alcohol, and the law, and they have no idea how to grow up and be normal, functioning adults because they spent so much of their youth pretending to be mature.
“They are doing more extreme things to try to act cool, bragging about drinking three six-packs on a Saturday night, and their peers are thinking, ‘These kids are not socially competent,’ ” Dr. Allen said. “They’re still living in their middle-school world.”
So the “cool” kids you went to middle school with ― the ones who grew up faster than the others, hung out with older kids, wore makeup, swiped beers from their parents, dated older kids, went to high school parties, and probably beat the snot out of you at age 13 ― end up being pretty uncool in the long run.
“As fast-moving middle-schoolers, they were driven by a heightened longing to impress friends. Indeed their brazen behavior did earn them a blaze of popularity. But by high school, their peers had begun to mature, readying themselves to experiment with romance and even mild delinquency. The cool kids’ popularity faded.”
So, I guess my parents were correct that these kids wouldn’t be cool forever. Unfortunately, since I was 12-13 years old, their advice fell on deaf ears because they were telling me this when they picked me up from the nurse’s office after the skinny kid I was friends with in elementary school turned into a steroid-riddled, drug-abusing douchebag who wore coats with fur-lined hoods beat the shit out of me for trading “Yu-Gi-Oh” cards with my friends in the lunchroom…at age 13. I think the kid’s in jail now. Right on the money, actually.
[via New York Times]