I am blessed (sarcasm) to belong to what is considered one of "the worst graduating classes" in the history of my school. This class is home to the groups of 16-year-olds who showed up at a football game so drunk a few of them puked on other spectators, passed out, and generally caused a ruckus. Regardless of the fact I've never even spoken to any of these students and rarely leave my house for social events, I still fall victim to the "out of control high schooler" stigma. It also does not help that our mascot is a Trojan and my graduating class's slogan is "14 paks and still going strong." ("Paks" refers to the student section at sporting events, but let's face it, there is something else being implied there.) However, I have learned a lot by being associated with such an appalling group of humans. For one thing, I have figured out how to avoid being stereotyped as one of them:
- Dress as a nun. Good people do good things. Nuns are good people. Drugs and underage drinking are bad things. Therefore, nuns do not drink or use drugs.
- Quote Shakespeare. Because no one who goes to drinking parties or gets arrested has time to read and appreciate Shakespeare.
- Never wear clothing with your school's logo. This will only lead to a conversation along the lines of, "Oh, do you know (insert name of student who you have never spoken to before here)? I heard he was arrested for (insert name of crime here)."
- Never answer school-related questions. Despite what you may think, answering the question, "Where do you go to school?" by saying "Yeah, I love cake!" is actually less awkward than just answering the question and having to discuss the havoc that occurs at your school.
- Distance yourself from your school. Go to college out of state and study abroad, become an elk hunter and move to the Alaskan wilderness, or join the circus. Just get out of your school's area, and the people you meet won't judge you based on your alma mater.
Or, feel free to use my personal strategy:
- Be completely unapproachable. No one will want to talk to you if all you do is give death stares all day. Not to mention, if nobody likes you, then how could you have been invited to party where people were caught doing drugs? You could not have been. Thus, there is no way you were involved and now you won't be associated with the kids who were there.
Are your classmates a bunch of blackguards? How do you deal?
Related post: The Pros and Cons of Early Graduation