thin model-like figure, hair like a celebrity, a rich daddy and a new car to bring you to school every day… these are NOT the requisites of being happy or popular in school. Many children think that being beautiful or rich or having the latest gadgets might make them universally well-liked, but they are mistaken.
Being popular alone is not enough if you are not a happy person inside. Happiness comes from being generous, kind and having good friends around you. If you wish to have genuine friends and a joyful experience as school children you need some other qualities and attributes.
Let’s find out what they are:
Good manners are one of the best ways to ensure popularity in school. ‘Thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘I am sorry’ are words and phrases that are never out of fashion. Say them with a smile and mean them too.
Even when you think that your own ideas are better than anyone else in the class, listen to what other children have to say and don’t interrupt just to make your own voice heard all the time. Don’t say mean things about other students because such things have a way of getting out. Using profanity or bad words does not make you seem cool — they make you seem ill-mannered and rude!
Oily hair, dirty skin and untidy uniform all indicate that you are not bothered about yourself or how others perceive you. This is enough to turn most people off. As young school children, you do not need any make-up or jewellery to look nice. In fact, they make you look older and artificial.
Just being neat and clean will give you a fresh look. Good hygiene adds a sparkle to your eyes and a glow to your personality. Get up early enough in the morning to groom yourself properly. Take daily baths in summer and change your socks and undergarments regularly.
And remember to brush your teeth twice a day. Bad smell from the mouth is extremely yucky if you wish to whisper something to your friend when the teacher is not looking.
A good sense of humour
A good sense of humour does not mean that you excel in making fun of your classmates and teachers. Remember that there is a difference in being funny and being cruel. If you wish to retain your friends, have a sunny disposition and a ready smile on your face. See the funny side of things and do not complain, criticise or whine all the time.
Be kind and friendly towards others
Every child has something to offer to her or his peers. You can help weaker students with their studies. If any child has been absent, you can offer to help him complete his missed work.
You can befriend a shy or lonely, new student or you can share your lunch with someone who has forgotten to bring theirs.
There are endless opportunities in school to be kind and friendly, and you should avail those without any thoughts of rewards.
Taking part in extracurricular activities gives you an excellent chance to try out new things in school. You can discover new hobbies, talents and make new friends at the same time. You do not have to excel in each and every new activity but each will help you become a well-rounded person. Don’t be afraid of failing or other students laughing at you. Winning is not the main aim of taking part in any competition, just giving your best is what counts.
Volunteer to help others and do not isolate yourself if you suffer any disappointment. For example, suppose your school is hosting the annual drama and you do not get chosen for the lead role. This is not the end of the world. You can audition for smaller roles or volunteer to help with sets, costumes, etc., or just help your friend with her script learning. Be generous and show sportsmanship. This will ensure your popularity and happiness at the same time.
Your personal attitude reflects your beliefs, feelings and values regarding what you consider right and wrong. In school, try to avoid getting drawn into nasty gossips or making fun of other students or teachers. Do not blindly follow other people’s verdict or comments. Instead rely on your own personal experience and judgment.
For example, if a teacher is always dressed in plain, simple clothes and your friends consider her dowdy or unfashionable, don’t jump on the bandwagon blindly. Ask yourself, “Is she a good teacher?” or tell yourself “Maybe she has personal problems we do not know about” and then make your opinion.
This habit will ensure that you place less importance on outward appearances and more on things that are of greater significance. Adopting this attitude will save you from a lot of heartbreaks and disappointments both in school and in your later life.
Don’t boast or show off
Show and tell segments are best reserved for kindergarten students where they bring a favourite toy to school and proceed to show it to the whole class. As far as older children are concerned, there is nothing more irritating than to listen to people who keep showing off their possessions and achievements or brag about how important their daddy is and the wonderful places where they spent their vacations. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments, but don’t brag continuously about it in the hope that people will praise you or think that you are someone unique and special.
Learning how to get along with other people is an important aspect of your childhood education. By adopting a friendly and honest attitude towards your classmates and being a person others can rely on will ensure that you have a happy time in school. Don’t buy popularity at the expense of being a fake or a sycophant. In the long run this will only damage your personality and reputation. If you are a genuinely nice person, others will take you to be one, but if you just put on a show of being nice to others while talking bad about them behind their backs, you will soon find yourself alone. So be good to others and good things will happen to you too.