Opinion: Where I live and what I live for

Mary Catherine Miller, Staff Writer

Popularity. It’s something that Hollywood is known to over dramatize, but are the movies all that different from reality? What determines someone’s popularity? In most places it’s whether or not your parents have money, you wear expensive clothes, and if you have the most likes on Instagram.

Many people I encounter constantly mention how important their parents are in society. They brag about how much money they spend on tickets to see Twenty One Pilots or how many hundreds of dollars their prom dress cost. (By the way, I paid $27 last year for my prom dress on the clearance rack at Dillard’s.) Some gloat about how successful they are in high school sports and how they are at the top of the popularity pyramid. But at the end of the day, does any of that matter? How is being showered with expensive gifts and cruising through life without hard work going to get you anywhere in the adult world? Not everything is handed to you just because you are first string on the football team or have the wealthiest parents in town.

In my early childhood, I was considered a “popular girl” from first grade up to the end of fourth grade. At the beginning of fifth grade, all of my so-called “friends” ditched me because I couldn’t afford expensive things like a North Face jacket and a Razor Scooter. I wasn’t like them anymore. Suddenly it mattered that my parents were divorced and my mom, as a single parent trying to support two kids on her own, couldn’t buy me friends. I was lucky enough to make new friends just like me. They didn’t care that I had a Go Phone. They didn’t care about my hand-me-down clothes. They cared about me.

Growing up in a world where materialism matters most is tough, because whenever I get older, I slowly lose all the people I thought would be my best friends forever. I have learned that true friends are more important than being popular. True friends are there to pick me up when I am down, not just join in on the highlights of my life. True friends stick with me until the end. True friends don’t let popularity ruin my chance at having a forever friend.