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I spent seven total years in public school. It was a figurative jungle, and those who chose to be different were socially annihilated. There was a hierarchy evident in the fabrics of daily work and play that made the feeble conform easily to whatever the “tigers,” wished them to do. So there were barely any “truly bad” kids in public school, only those who were too afraid to stand up for themselves and others.
There were levels of popularity with each gender, and the “King,” and “Queen,” ruled their kingdom strictly and threateningly. The King and Queen weren’t necessarily friends, and typically didn’t rule the same crowd. They did however hold the other to a certain level of respect which was guaranteed to any who filled the positions of King and Queen. Usually, the girls would dominate an exclusive clique. You could never truly be accepted into the said clique, nor know who was a true friend. If you weren’t a designated “popular kid,” and you were invited into an alpha group, this wasn’t a truce nor show of friendship, this was an easy target. (This was my role.) You believe that the people you are friends with are honest and true, yet in reality you’re a stepping stone to greater power. You perform jobs for the Queen such as finding out which boys liked her, giving her any extra clothes in case she spilled food on herself in the cafeteria... the loyal and steadfast were chosen for these positions because of their nativity and their willingness to help a “friend.” Eventually, the friendship will crumble because the Queen of the group gossips and spreads rumors about you, (and every other girl in your exclusive circle). Playground drama turns into an issue you cannot escape from, and you’re left wondering who your true friends are.
Money, chic clothing, a willingness to do unkind things, and beauty all deem you “cool.” If you don’t have these assets, you’re worthless. You scrounge for good grades and maybe one or two true friends, yet you’ve sipped popularity and it’s become abrasive and intrusive, flowing through your blood, intoxicating your senses and your reason. You cling to the group, and they abandon you. It’s a predatory world. The other girls follow the leader, whether they agree with her or not, because they want to be accepted and approved. Being a social outcast is on nobody’s agenda. They do whatever malicious deeds their Queen asks of them, (spreading rumors, being nasty on social media….) this is “girl world,” or so I thought.
A world where friends are disposable and in order to be well-liked you have to be fake and false. A world where cursing is acceptable, a world where lying is permissible. Usually I voiced reason in my own little elementary school clique, but things never changed. How could they when even their Queen is afraid for her status? How fragile it is if it can be destroyed by a simple rumor, a single zit, one prudent outfit, one kind word to someone deemed “unimportant.” A world I never want to visit again.
Now I’ve realized true friendship, and since I never truly conformed to the public school “mean girl” mindset, I’ve easily adjusted. I can be myself without wondering, “What are they thinking of me? Do they think I’m weird?” Because it just isn’t even a question in my mind. Ladies, find good friends who encourage you to follow a healthy, kind path. As Cinderella so boldly and beautifully puts it, “have courage and be kind.” But never allow yourself to be a worker, spewing compliments to improve someone’s self-esteem, never truly believing in yourself... thinking someone else is more important than you. We’re all equal, and we’re all living life together. Trials, tribulations, and all the bittersweet, and very sweet moments that come with it. Be a friend to those who are friendless. Be a motivator to those who are stuck. Be an encouragement to someone who feels worthless. Be the beauty in the world. Love you guys.