- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By MARY ADAMS
William Penn said, “Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.”
Although this is a strong statement, it is based on truth. Many students today hunt for popularity as a desirable goal. This, however, might not be in the students’ best interest. However covetable to him or her, the search for popularity can limit a student’s personal growth.
While popularity might be just the thing to boost a student who feels cast out into a self-confident young adult, this often is not the case. In fact, if a student is caught up in the search for popularity, he might be tempted to focus solely on that and be guided away from what truly is important. With their attention focused on gaining the worship of others, students might neglect the worship of the one true God. Also, students’ performance in school, along with extracurricular and social activities, might be overlooked or forgotten.
Furthermore, fellow students, following their classmates’ example, also could neglect their grades, sports and other beneficial activities. Seeking popularity can limit students’ vision and encourage them to aim only for popularity and nothing higher.
If a student succeeds in his search for popularity and is admired and worshiped throughout his school life, he might believe that he needs to be worshiped throughout his adult life. After graduation, high school students leave school and begin their new lives. It is often a rough road to travel in the first few years. Students accustomed to worship and luxury throughout high school can be lost without anyone to help or admire them. For example, a recent movie entitled “The Artist” depicts a fa-mous Hollywood actor who has everything he could wish for. He is the most esteemed, worshiped actor of his day. Soon, however, a new, gorgeous actress steals away his fame. Left alone, the artist sinks into neglect and despondency. This example reiterates the continuing need for worship once the seed has been planted.
It is true that popular students can have the opportunity to have a positive, Christian influence on fellow students. Unfortunately, teens seeking popularity do not always choose to provide positive role models for their fellow students. With praise, admiration and followers, a popular student could be-come conceited. Philippians 2:3-4 states, “...in humility count others more significant then yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but to the interest of others.” With the lure of popularity strongly pulling on today’s students, this fact is not being stressed enough. In many cases, popular students are not taking the initiative to become influential role models but instead are instigating jealousy. Popular students, used to idolization, could become selfish and childish.
The search for popularity, although in certain situations can be positive, limits a student’s personal growth. Students who seek popularity usually find that it can make one more self-centered, more dependent on others, and more limited in performance in school and extracurricular activities.
Mary Adams is a freshman who is home schooled.