Remember that cool kid in school who never did his homework and got away with it, was captain of the football team and managed to bang the hottest girl in school as well?
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You probably think about how goddamn cool he was all the time even though you don’t really know what’s happened to him, but it turns out that it might not be so good. Even though the captain of the football team staying in his same small town all his life is a cliche from a hell of a lot of American movies, it turns out that this is actually a scientific fact now according to some researchers from the University of Virginia.
Joseph P. Allen and Hugh P. Kelly are Professors of Psychology and said the following:
It appears that while so-called cool teens’ behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool, at least to a subgroup of other teens.
So they became involved in more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug use as adolescence progressed.
These previously cool teens appeared less competent–socially and otherwise–than their less cool peers by the time they reached young adulthood.
There you have it. That guy you idolised is probably some loser in jail or at least unhappy and working some crappy job whilst you’re killing it. Go pat yourself on the back.
Whilst you may think this is an overly simple view of things, it turns out that this conclusion is the result of a decade of research that followed 184 teenagers from the ages of 13 to 23, collecting info from the teens themselves as well as their friends and parents. Unfortunately, despite the fact that they were ethnically, racially and economically diverse, the study was conducted in the southeast United States which probably skewed the results slightly as per the movie cliche I mentioned above.
Anyway, the study found that teens who were romantically involved at an early age, engaged in delinquent activity, and placed a premium on hanging out with physically attractive peers when they were 13 were perceived as cool by their peers. This was no longer the case by the age of 23 though, and many of them had problems with alcohol and drugs and were engaged in criminal activities. So it goes.
For more cool kids, check out this woman who advertised for cool black kids to hang out with her son because he was being bullied. Seriously.