Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Popularity is the most important aspect of life for students today. These students will strive to be the most well known and most appreciated students in their schools. But does popularity have a positive effect on students today? Certainly if a person is popular or was popular back in high school, he would probably say yes. But, does popularity have more positive or negative aspects? Popular people claim to be happier, to be less depressed, and to have more fun than ordinary people. Most people would probably agree with that statement, but they do not realize popularity is not easy to obtain, and it has a negative effect on a person's character. Therefore, the search for popularity limits a student's personal growth.

Granted, if a student is popular, high school can be the most exciting years of his life, but popularity also decimates his personal character. In order to be popular a person will create a facade to please his peers.

He will imbibe alcohol in order to be socially acceptable, even if he dislikes it. It doesn't just stop at alcohol either, that is simply a stepping stone that leads to more hazardous stupefying agents such as drugs. Popularity can also lead to promiscuous sex, which can cause sexually transmitted diseases. Yes, it is nice to be liked and if a person can accomplish that without hurting his own personal character and at the same time stay within the confines of morality, it would be fine. That would be nice, would it not; too bad reality doesn't work that way. Time and again people are lowering their standards to please others simply for personal gain. With these facts it is easy to see that popularity has a negative effect on a person's character.

Furthermore, people will take advantage of a person if he is popular. If he owns the most formidable material items (clothes, cars, jewelry, etc…) people will be drawn to him simply because of what he has. It is then hard to tell which friends are indeed authentic and which friends are simply minions. Other people will want to be considered his friend, not because they like him for who he is, but because he is popular and they want to be popular. People become envious of him and may even want to physically harm him because of what he has. Just by watching the daily news a person will see all the crimes committed because someone wants another person's jacket or shoes (or whatever the case may be). Using someone for whatever the reason may be, is the most immoral act a person can commit. Popularity causes envy and greed among student's comrades.

Moreover, popularity is not worth the strain it puts on a person. It is in our nature to want to be liked. Some people are born lucky and others are born unlucky. The question is which people were born lucky: the guys who are likes or the guys who are disliked. Popularity is not an easy task. In fact, it is a rather difficult task to be popular. A guy will strive for perfection by trying to impress everyone when he should be striving to maximize his education. He thinks he is happy with his lifestyle now, but in a few years he will realize his education is more important than being an extrovert. But, like the saying goes "You will reap what you sow." Popularity also costs a great expense. A guy must wear the best clothes, drive the most transcendent car, and wear the most eminent jewelry. These items do not come with a cheap price tag. On the outside it may seem that a person can afford these luxuries, when, in fact, he may be putting himself in debt just to be socially acceptable.

Therefore, the search for popularity limits a student's personal growth. Popularity decimates a student's personal character, not to mention cause envy and greed among his peers. Popular people may have more fun than ordinary people, but they do not earn that with a cheap price tag. When people become popular the get so caught up in their social lives that they forget about their academic lives and become nothing more than a menace to society.