High school’s over—or is it?

“Does it ever get better?”

“What?”

“The high school drama. After high school, do people stop gossiping and being mean?”

“Oh.”

(Beat.)

“Nope—sorry!”

Sorry kids, I say, but some people never grow up.

Once you leave the world of high school, you would think that the term “popular” disappears into thin air, that the mean girls’ hearts melt, that the athletic, crass boys learn how to deal with their emotions, and that the quiet, hard working kids finally get rewarded. You’re wrong—or really, I was wrong; I thought the “real world” shattered these stereotypes, but the “real world” doesn’t actually exist.

Now, I’ve had my moments. I think Karma is still getting back at me for the trauma I caused my classmates in the fourth grade. And I’m sure I’ve hurt plenty of people since high school. But I like to think I am a kind person. I’m no saint—I bear no resemblance to my mother or mother-in-law, but I also make it a point to smile and be respectful to anyone I meet, and especially people I work with.

Yet, there are times I feel exactly like Lindsay Lohan explained in Mean Girls: 

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It can happen at work, at church, at family dinners.  Don’t get me started on Facebook, which I believe is just a deep abyss of judgment and virtual popularity.

All I can tell them is: “Stick with people who support you, raise you up. People who cut you down or want you to live life as they see fit—those people have no place in your life. You might have to work with obnoxious people, or you might have to deal with a jerk or two in the line at the grocery store, but you don’t have to hang out with them, or go to dances with them, or eat meals with them. That part gets better. But yeah—high school spills over to the ‘real world.’ In either case, you can decide if you want to pay attention to it. You can ignore it and rise above it, or drag yourself down and back to high school.”

What’s your advice?

 

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