By some miracle, I have managed to drag myself to school for four days now and OH how wonderful it is to be back. Not. Just four days in and lo and behold I’ve got a rant stored up for you guys already… Brace yourselves.
My Dad always says that high school years are the most socially-challenging years of your life; there may be a few similarities in the work place, but, boy, kids are far meaner. Especially in the first years of high school, before we learn to simply avoid each other, people can find ANYTHING to pick on you for and it’s up to you how you deal with it. Some kids aren’t fussed from the beginning, some retaliate and some become extremely self-conscious for the remainder of their high-school years. That’s kind of the path I took. Although, I’d say that in the past year I’ve realised that I’m not actually bothered about what people I don’t care about think of me and I make sure the people I do care about are the type of people who wouldn’t purposefully magnify my weaknesses. I think I had to go through the crazily self-conscious stage to come out the other side though, so for that, I’m ridiculously grateful. Anyway, today’s post is about one of the most popular ‘insults’ of high school.
“She’s so stuck up!” “What a snob!”
Aaaah the classic, hey? I’ve seen this insult misused hundreds of times. Displaying intelligence does not mean that someone is stuck up. If someone has a wealthier-than-average family, it does not automatically mean they are a snob. Don’t believe me? Take a little detour over to your dictionary.
“If you say that someone is stuck-up, you mean that are very proud and unfriendly because they think they are very important.”
That is Collins English Dictionary’s definition of stuck-up. Pride in yourself is fine to a certain level, although, typically, in Britain we hate to publicly ‘blow-our-own-trumpet’. The major trait of a ‘stuck-up’ person is seen to be unfriendliness.
“a person who strives to associate with those of higher social status and who behaves condescendingly to others”
And, here, the definition of a ‘snob’. Hmm, no mention of wealthiness? The focus again in turned to the unwelcoming attitude of a ‘snob’.
So, that girl you assume to be stuck-up for her brains; is she nice to you? Is she welcoming? 9/10 times she will be. An intelligent person is no less likely to be welcoming than an unintelligent person. Because intelligent people have been branded with the “goody-two-shoes”/”lick-arse”/”arrogant” label for pretty much the entirety of their school lives, and the last thing most of them want to do is brag about themselves. Just because there is someone ‘superior’ to your ability on paper (which let’s face it, there’s always someone better than all of us), doesn’t mean they will necessarily treat you like they are superior to you.
That boy who has a large house, a wealthy family and speaks eloquently – do you realise how much he has to try to fit in? It’s tough it really is, all because of this snap-judgement that we make. Don’t you think it’s wrong that people come to hate their background just because it’s the barrier between them and others, when really we should all be comfortable to feel proud about our backgrounds. Again this is due to the automatic assumption that the wealthier in our society are all ‘snobs’. How untrue this can turn out to be. More money does not equal superiority, the same as less money does not equal inferiority. The amount of money a person has, does not reflect anything at all about their personality.
Also, the idea that all people with brains are boring. How WRONG this is! You don’t have to be less intelligent to have fun, believe me I know plenty of clever people who are complete party animals. And I believe that, just like it’s wrong to label someone a ‘prude’ because of their dress sense, it’s just as wrong to label someone ‘boring’ purely by their academic ability.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the intelligent of society that have a tough time, but in education it can be a real issue; some even try less just to fit in. Personally, I would never sacrifice my own educational options for nasty people who I’m not going to care about in a few years time. I’m hoping that, with a good sixth form choice, I’ll be surrounded by other that support involvement and trying within school.
After all, who’s going to be laughing when they’ve got a world of opportunities and you’re limited to just one due to your own decision to entirely disregard your education?