Hanging out with the wrong crowd can pull a person down like a brick in a lake and leave them feeling cold as ice. It seems like it has some good effects like being popular and having your name known. It can also lead to all sorts of issues like negative attention, self-esteem problems, and even depression. This problem is relevant to almost everyone in one way or another. The feeling of wanting to be accepted can drive a person to make some foolish choices that they end up regretting later on down the road. These choices seem to be even more foolish if they are made by a whole group. I learned early on that sometimes it's better to be alone than to be caught in bad company.
When I started middle school, I was immediately pulled into wanting to be popular. I figured it would be a fresh start in a new school, so why not take advantage? I found that it was easy to make friends by being nice to everyone. I jumped from clique to clique making a few new friends here and there. As people started to get to know me, they would tell me personal details about themselves. Like for instance, there was a guy I knew named Alex. Alex was in 8th grade and in the closet, however, he had a girlfriend and everyone said they had been going out since 6th grade. I was one of the few who knew that the girlfriend was just a cover up. The sad part was the girlfriend was in denial about the whole thing. All of the signs were there though. Alex wore makeup, talked like a female, and he dressed better than most of the girls in his grade. It wasn't enough for me to be known as the “nice kid” though. I wanted people to know my name. Being a part of different cliques was not satisfying me enough. I decided to go on a hunt for a different clique.
Later on in the year, I somehow ended up hanging out with a clique that started rumors and collected dirt on other kids. The fact that I already knew something about just about every kid in the...