A (not so?) typical private high school dilemma

irain

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2005
141
0
I need advice. I'm in an all honors program at a small private high school. To cut to the chase, we had sophomore orientation today. It hasn't been until today that my friends and I have begun noticing how snobby, pretentious and materialistic about 90% of the people can be. Don't be mislead, most of these kid's families aren't "old money," if you will. Some of them come from average families like most people. I would say most of them are considered upper-middle class. Regardless of the fact that everyone acknowledges a similarity in social class, they find the need to constantly brag and flaunt their supposed wealth... and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Today while I was sitting in homeroom, I was listening to some girls talk about another girl in our homeroom while she was in the bathroom. They were going on and on about how she looked so ugly today and how she pretends to have money while she is actually poor et cetera. As soon as the girl walks back in, they start talking to her like they're good ol' pals.

Every girl judges every other girl by her skin tone (not orange enough... not pretty), her purse (not Gucci, Prada, or Burberry... you're a loser), and her looks (not pretty... not deserving of respect)

Every guy judges other guys on how much cash is in his pocket, how nice of a car he drives etc.

I was listening to a girl talk to a boy about how she went up to a shopping outlet and purchased $300 wort of clothing. Responding, the boy said "$300!? That's nothing; I usually spend about $1,000 when I go up)

Next, there's a girl in my homeroom who is so kind to everyone. She's smart, reserved and unique. Yet, while outside today, I heard one of the girls from my homeroom say "Yeah, everyone in our homeroom is hot except for her." Proceeding this statement, the group of girls that she was standing with began to laugh uncontrollably.

I'm absolutely repulsed by some of these people. I've never been directly targeted by any of these students, nor shall I care if I am targeted in the future. I have lost any and all possible respect for these kids. I have a small group of very close friends, and quite frankly, that's all I need. My friends and I aren't poor, and we certainly aren't wealthy by our standards. I don't need to feel included in their selective cliques.

I just can't fathom what in the world could be warping these supposed "young adults" into immature, visceral, little babies.

It really saddens me to know that because of these kids, the school is notorious for it's snobby students; Yet it's well known for it's excellent academic reputation.

Moving on, I guess this is what I'm wondering: How shall I survive the year with some of these people? I'm not threatened by them at all. I just wish I was placed in an atmosphere of more mature people (I am with mature people during most class time; honors kids seem to be more genuine for the most part) but during lunches, homeroom, and in the halls, there's no escaping these pretentious little snots (pardon the lack of witty term usage; I just can't think of any other way to describe them) Do any of you have advice? Has anyone ever been in a similar situation? How have you dealt with these people?( Not just in petty, little high school situations; but in everyday life)

Any input will be thoroughly read. I'm willing to listen to anyone's opinion. I don't really want to burden my parents with it. They're spending too much money to have to worry about putting me in a school with wannabe "snots."

The fact of the matter is, it actually is a really good school, it's too bad that it's reputation has to be lowered by the quality of it's students.

Thanks!

As usual,
irain
 

azzurri000

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2005
307
0
I've also always felt mature for my age, so I made an effort in high school to befriend some of the older students. I still had a few close friends from my own grade, but I found it a lot easier to relate to and converse with the older students.

As for the snots, I would just avoid them like the plague... Material goods are nice to have, but they should not define a person. If I were you, I would just try to get some humour out of the whole situation. Some of the people you mentioned sound pretty pathetic. If you laugh at them on the inside, then it might not bother you so much to be subjected to them everyday. Just think of them as marionettes being controlled by the mass media...

If that doesn't work, day-dream or distract yourself somehow when you're around them.

-Jessica
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
two words...

shooting spree :cool:

welcome to high school. It's not just a private school thing, either. There's kids like that at every HS. They suck.

How to deal? Tricky...
Do your best not to get caught up in it, and whatever you happens, don't take sides. I loathed people like that at my HS, and made it my policy to tell them, which definitely won me some enemies, but also some friends; the friends mainly were people who felt the same way I did but for whatever reason just didn't say so. In retrospect, though, I wish I'd just kept my mouth shut. It prolly would've made my life easier...

School just started, and it's going to take a while for things to shake out. There's bound to be other students there who are as repulsed by it as you are, and you'll wind up finding each other without even realizing it. Just don't sweat it. Lie low for the first coupla weeks/months, and keep your eyes open. You'll meet the people who are right for you.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,101
404
Thank you! It's great to see another teen that feels the same way.

I lived in Holland for two years, and in that time my english-speaking friends were all adults. No one my age. I learned to try to act in ways that impressed them, not my peers. When I moved back to the U.S. I just found myself stunned by the stupidity of teenagers around me at school.

It doesn't help that I have Asperger's Syndrome, so I don't follow the social conventions other teenagers do, or give in to peer pressure. And since I don't act stupid or gossip, I'm thus also very unpopular, except with a small group of also mature friends, and I'm perfectly happy that way.

Find equally mature friends, and don't bother trying to fit in with the crowd, is my response.

How old are you? (if you're comfortable saying it here) I'm 18 myself.

My solution was quite simple and might not work for everyone. Where I live, my school has a program called Running Start. Essentially, students who get good grades can go straight to college. Take a class at the local community college (say, English 101) for one quarter, and you get college credit for one quarter of that class, and high school credit for one year of that class. The people at the college are a lot more mature than the snotty high schoolers. On top of that, as a side benefit I'm now 18 and have a two-year Associate of Arts degree.

Though that's avoiding the problem, I don't know what to recommend to help you. Just stick with your mature friends and ignore the rest of the idiots.

I'm genuinely afraid of what's going to happen when my generation takes over the world. They're violent, stupid, getting pregnant as children, learning not to respect their elders OR women...ick.
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
Befriend that kind, smart, unique homeroom girl. And forget about everyone else. They'll figure out one day that they won't have all the money in the world from mom and pop, and they'll wisen up. Hopefully. Or else we'll get more fodder for reality TV shows.
 

dornoforpyros

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2004
3,070
3
Calgary, AB
welcome to high school, just survive the 4 years and never look back. Although the "real world" is also full of idiots you will come to realize just how pointless all that high school crap is in the grand scheme of things.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
Never, ever discuss money at school. When everyone else goes on about money, just remain totally aloof - it'll completely mess about with their minds. Is he richer than us? Is he not? Why won't he discuss money? Does he know something we don't? Why's he looking at me like that? What can he see? Is there something in my teeth? AAAAARGGHHH!!!

Make friends with the interesting people, not the cool people because once you get out of high school the cool people are suddenly boring but the interesting people are always interesting.

Have some fun and games with the snobs, believe it or not they're the easiest to sucker into anything. "Pfft! That iPod's stuffed, it's not got long left on this earth. Don't worry, the Zune is going to kick it's arse - it's a bit more expensive though... Why don't you give me that iPod and I'll see if I can fix it, in the meantime run out and get a Zune." The kicker is the "it's a bit more expensive" line - like a red rag to a bull for the materialistic snob.
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
dornoforpyros said:
welcome to high school, just survive the 4 years and never look back. Although the "real world" is also full of idiots you will come to realize just how pointless all that high school crap is in the grand scheme of things.
I think that high school is good practice for more idiots further down the line. They'll never leave you no matter where you go. Time to get used to it while filtering out a couple good people here and there you'll want to keep close by.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,101
404
azzurri000 said:
I'd like to second that notion!
Thirded, the description reminds me of a girl I know...
Definitely talk to her, she's probably better than anyone else in the school, especially if they badmouth her. Generally, immature high schoolers badmouth people more mature/more intelligent than them.
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
Chundles said:
Make friends with the interesting people, not the cool people because once you get out of high school the cool people are suddenly boring but the interesting people are always interesting.
well put :)
 

freebird

macrumors member
Dec 1, 2004
69
0
I'm not sure you're coming to the right place to find non-materialistic people, but I can give you some words of advice as I went through the same thing. I had a horrible first half of high school and wanted to transfer or drop-out. Don't do either, please. First off, the teachers you get in these elite private schools are great. You're paying money for the education and not the social experience. They will teach you more than just numbers and historical facts. Second, kids mature. By senior year you'll get along pretty well. Third, at least in my area, the alternative public schools are monkey houses and you'll find kids just as brainless and heartless as at a private school. And probably more so. A good education is supposed to teach you how to think for yourself, and eventually a fair number of kids will understand that. Fourth, you're looking at a societal problem, and one that is not just limited to private high schools, or high schools. Turn on the TV. Look at MTV. People are brainwashed by media. Half the country is stupid, and I mean that in a scientific sense. Half the country cannot tell the difference between fact and fiction, truth and lies. Make it one of your goals to change things. Reevaluate what you want in life – is it money, just like the leeches around you, or is it more? Knowledge? Etc. How do you treat them? Don't fall to their level. Treat them with respect. Ignore any insults. I used to thank people for them. Know that they are ignorant and set a good example. Speak up in class. Write an article in the paper.

Anyhow, please PM me or post a comment on my blog or something if you feel like it. I would love to help you as I really appreciated the words of advice I got when I was in a similar situation.
 

Deepdale

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2005
1,965
0
New York
Encountering vacuous and superficial people is a fact of life. Just do your best to interact with those selected few worthy of your friendship ... charter members of the ultra snobby cliques will surely take notice.

I am curious as to how the staff are at this school. With the attitude of many students being as pervasive as you described, it cannot be oblivious to those they have daily interaction with. Or do they contribute to the air of superiority that flourishes there and exacerbate the problem?
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
1,253
0
lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
I am sorry to say that it doesnt get better when you grow older. People just tend to hide their stupidity a bit better. The faster you learn to accept that a large fraction of humans are a total waste of space the better.
Try to make a few good friends instead of nurturing hordes of acquaintances.
 

StarbucksSam

macrumors 65816
Nov 21, 2004
1,427
0
Washington, D.C.
Dr.Gargoyle said:
I am sorry to say that it doesnt get better when you grow older. People just tend to hide their stupidity a bit better. The faster you learn to accept that a large fraction of humans are a total waste of space the better.
Try to make a few good friends instead of nurturing hordes of acquaintances.
I think that might be just a little draconian. But, you're probably older than I am... so who knows?
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
StarbucksSam said:
I think that might be just a little draconian. But, you're probably older than I am... so who knows?
I think it's pretty close to the mark...depends on what you call a "large fraction," though...
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,241
1
Washington D.C
That sucks, but honestly, make a few close friends, and fight it out..you have good grades, and after 3 more years you'll be gone(and if the school you are going to is known for being tough in grading, it will make you look even smarter)

Chances of you finding a better school is unlikly, and you really only have 2 more chances, and you would have to start all over in making new friends, and you could still have the same problem

(also how many people in your school? Even if you have only 200 kids total, you can make 20 good friends who are not like that)
 

Silentwave

macrumors 68000
May 26, 2006
1,584
0
Gainesville, FL
It seems to be like this at every private high school... mine has the same thing going on :(

GFLPraxis said:
Thirded, the description reminds me of a girl I know...
Definitely talk to her, she's probably better than anyone else in the school, especially if they badmouth her. Generally, immature high schoolers badmouth people more mature/more intelligent than them.
Fourthed! I think she's liable to have a soul unlike any of the people badmouthing her.
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
zap2 said:
That sucks, but honestly, make a few close friends
I definitely agree. No one actually has dozens of good friends. I'm talking about the ones that stick through with you thick and thin, and you can talk to about anything. I'm in the middle of college right now, and though I've got more 'friends' than I can count, I still only keep maybe 5 or 6 of them really close.
 
C

CompUser

Guest
Don't worry about it. If they are as stupid and a immature as you they won't succeed as well in life financially (unless they have old money :rolleyes: :D )and in terms of what they accomplish.

To some public school kids, they might think you are really snobby for choosing a private school over the public.
---

This kid that used to go to my school switched to go to a private school. He was such a stupid little dork (he had 1 friend, but the only reason he had that friend was because his "friend" just used him). He told me he got a V3 Cingular Razr and I told him I had the V3c verizon razr. He asked what the difference was and I said the V3c is CDMA, has a better camera, and more memory. Then he tried to convince me he sent his phone into motorola and got a memory upgrade. He also tried to convince me that his dad's Touareg was better than my mom's loaded Touareg V8. "rolleyes:

I am happy with my public school. My school has beautiful facilities, we were voted the only "vanguard" high school in CT which supposedly means were are one of the best schools in CT. Last year were were #2 in CAPT standardized testing and the year before we were #1. My school is small- less than 600 people, my classes are generally less than 15 people per class except for my spanish class. Additionally we have some of the best sports teams in the state. Boy's Soccer, Wrestling, and Basketball do very well as well as the girls field hockey and cheerleading. I am happy with my HS for the most part- and it doesn't cost $26,000 to go to like the other schools.
 

poppe

macrumors 68020
Apr 29, 2006
2,199
32
Woodland Hills
This is every school practically. Every teen also... There are always little variations but its all the same. For example I went to a public school and there was a huge variety, but there was alot of people like you explained. The funny thing is they really didn't have money they just wanted money. They lived pay check to pay check so there kid could drive a Cobra or an H2 or something of that sort and the parents could drive the BMW or lexus or something of that sort... what a world
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
ZoomZoomZoom said:
I still only keep maybe 5 or 6 of them really close.
true...I can count on one hand the number of "friends" I really trust.
 

TheSailerMan

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2006
48
0
New York, New York
As a senior in a public high school, I know from first hand experience that this stuff happens in other schools too (though it doesn't seem as bad in my school as it seems to be in yours).

My suggestion (like others') is to make a few close friends that have the similar interests and ideals that you have. I also suggest that you try to be friendly to everyone, whether or not you truely like them. I've found that if you treat everyone nicely, you can avoid any altercations, and you just feel better about yourself.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,201
0
sitting on your shoulder
GFLPraxis said:
I'm 18 myself.
I honestly believed you were much older than that. I was thinking mid-30's from the way you write. Well, that and I don't think many people under 25 get into E3. :p
I'm genuinely afraid of what's going to happen when my generation takes over the world. They're violent, stupid, getting pregnant as children, learning not to respect their elders OR women...ick.
Well, I'm sure many members of the preceding generation worried the same way. In other words: We're ****ed. :eek:
Thirded, the description reminds me of a girl I know...
Definitely talk to her, she's probably better than anyone else in the school, especially if they badmouth her. Generally, immature high schoolers badmouth people more mature/more intelligent than them.
Fourthed. There was a girl in my class that was fairly quiet, smart, and pretty cute too (nobody bad-mouthed her to my knowledge though, my school was somewhat free of that.) I just saw her this past December, and my lower jaw damn near fell off. Hot doesn't even begin to describe her. :D
Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to talk to her. :(


Anyways, most of the badmouthing in my school was actually based on personality and actions. Like the "friend" of mine who claimed he had a Camaro, when the Camaro he described actually belonged to a mutual friend of ours (cool guy, nice car). That and many other similar instances didn't gain him many friends. I did hear from some girls I used to work with that the girls at my high school could be very snobbish and/or stuck up, but I never witnessed this personally.