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Do popular kids peak too soon?

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“The popular kids at school? They’ve already peaked.”

That was one mother’s advice to her daughter on her first day of school.

“They’re cock of the walk now, but they’ll be feather dusters before you know it and you’ll be having the last laugh,” she continued.

Chances are popular kids are not Queen Bee bullies, they're popular because they are kind to other kids.Credit:Craig Sillitoe

Leaving aside the fact that it’s a little early to be predicting the futures of five-year-olds, it got me thinking about the trope that the popular kids are mean kids who will grow up to be losers.

Cards on the table, there were times during my childhood when I clung to this particular consolation prize. Each time my application to the popular kid’s club was rejected I’d think, “my time is coming”. The thought that I would have the “last laugh” once I escaped the jungle of the schoolyard gave me hope.

It also appealed to my childlike sense of justice and balance. If you’re lucky enough to cruise through school on the wave of popularity, then it only seems fitting........

© The Age