FRIENDS ‘N’ FIENDS: MY TOP GUIDE TO PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET AT THE SKOOL FACE
FIRST, MAKE A PIE CHART AND PUT YOUR FRIENDS IN IT
Most people in schools can be put into categories. Yes, really. You can make a graph with them. Or even a pie chart. SEE DIAGRAM BELOW. (Don’t say I never give you anything.) Just don’t try to eat one. Pupil pie charts can be pretty indigestible.
Trust me, I’ve tried eating one. I still get tooth pain.
A ‘sheep penguin’ is simply a very popular person who does exactly what everyone else is doing (like a sheep) and walks around with a giant group of friends, huddled together (like penguins).
The clichéd ‘Mean Girls’ can be a good example of this, but sheep penguins can be boys too, so keep this in mind! Just because a jock isn’t a girl doesn’t mean they aren’t a sheep penguin.
They’re everywhere, so get out a magnifying glass! I’m going to tell you how to spot them.
Sheep penguins can be girls or boys. They usually have styled hair, don’t abide by the rules of the school uniform, and have a smug or laid-back attitude.
They are in the middle of every crazy dating drama and they are the most sought-after people in the school – everyone wants to be friends with them (or date them, or be them. Just anything to do with them, honestly)!
So how do you stand out against the rest of the people wanting to be their friends – but then again, why should you want to in the first place? Sheep penguins are at the top of the pyramid, and they have all the gossip. They know everything about everyone, and have everything they could ever want at their fingertips. With them as your friends, you can survive school, truly.
Secondary school means something different for everyone because everyone has different experiences of it, but I’m sure that most of you can agree that it should not include being a bully. Some of you won’t mind, and if you don ‘t then just become a sheep penguin. It is the easiest way. But, there are ways to go that don’t include being mean.
Usually sheep penguins are only friends with other sheep penguins, so the only way to be friends with them without being a sheep penguin is to get on their radar. To do this you’ll need the help of the next group of kids.
A ‘Brainiac’ can usually be defined as someone in the top class, someone really clever. Brainiacs can be anything from as shy as a mouse to even being a sheep penguin.
Usually you will find it quite easy to tell a Brainiac apart from other kids, but there are people who try to hide how clever they are so they can be popular, which makes it trickier. Then it’s a challenge. But we all know challenges are fun! Right?
Since Brainiacs are so clever, teachers don’t tell them off as much. A Brainiac might wear their uniform wrong with their shirt untucked or their tie crooked, but no teacher would notice or care. Of course, this makes it hard to tell a Brainiac from a sheep penguin. You’ll have to use your super-sneaky spy intel to find out, if you’re in any doubt.
You might also get a lot of Brainiacs who wear glasses. If a sheep penguin needs glasses they’re more likely to care about their appearance and get contacts. But of course, this is not certain as some sheep penguins are more confident and there are a lot of Brainiacs who don’t need glasses.
But that’s just a stereotype! Just because someone wears glasses, it doesn’t mean they’re a Brainiac. It just means that they acknowledged that they needed glasses, and they had the courage to put them on and face whatever teasing they may get. Those people are truly amazing.
If you see someone teasing someone else for something they couldn’t help like their eyesight, then make sure that you admire the courage the person with glasses has. If you’re reading this and are unashamed of wearing glasses, good on you! Pat yourself on the back. Oops, I’m rambling.
Let’s get back on track, shall we?
Whether you can tell at a glance if a person is a Brainiac or not, you will need at least one Brainiac’s help to achieve your goal in school, whatever it may be. If you are a Brainiac yourself, this will not be a problem. But, everyone can become a Brainiac if they really put their mind to it. You just have to get in the mindset for learning. You can do it, if you study. I have more on studying later, if you want some tips to getting into a study group…
Sheep penguins mainly use their connections to ask Brainiacs for help, since sheep penguins spend so much time going to parties and gossiping, they don’t have time to study. If you can find a subject a sheep penguin is bad at, but you are good at, then you can offer to tutor them. This is a great idea.
Not only do you help someone else learn, but you also learn something yourself. If you can teach someone else, then you’ve truly mastered a topic because you can explain it in simple terms. Plus you can gain a friend and ally if you get to know them!
It’s the best outcome for everyone, really.
Just like the tiny sea creatures they are named after, plankton are those people in school who keep their heads down and out of trouble. They don’t want to get involved in any drama, and they do this by trying their best not to stand out or get dragged into arguments.
Most likely, you’re a plankton or behave like that occasionally. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; most people are plankton at one time or another.
I often envy plankton – my life would be so much simpler if I just didn’t get involved. But for some reason I feel a sense of social responsibility. I like to make a bad situation better, or to teach something to somebody who’s desperate for help. It’s the main reason I’m writing this book, of course. To help others out.
You probably won’t notice plankton, unless you are one. But, if you look for them, then you notice things about them. Plankton sometimes wear their hair so it covers their eyes, but not to an extreme because they don’t want to be noticed.
The main goal of plankton is to get through the school year without too much drama, so they wear their school uniform perfectly, to avoid being noticed by teachers.
If you ask a plankton what they want to be when they’re older, all you’ll get is a glare – but honestly, who can blame them? Sometimes I’m so tired, all I can only think about the next day, let alone what I’ll be doing in the next decade!
The trick is to get out of that work-sleep-work cycle and see the big picture. Just be aware it can be pretty big!
So get out there and talk to plankton (even if you are one yourself). Introduce yourself and start a conversation. You have to be open to new things, and you need to find out what they consider most important. Once they’ve shared their deepest, darkest secrets, you can really begin to understand them and enjoy having them as a friend.
Plankton often don’t realise their true potential. But you could help with that if you have one for a friend.
Everyone of us is different, with different interests and beliefs. Unfortunately, when people try to blend in and avoid trouble, it can be hard to see that. So you have to look at each person as an individual, because each individual has the potential to become something truly amazing.
BUT WATCH OUT FOR CHLOROPLASTS
One last important thing to note.
My brother says, ‘Most people are chloroplasts, useful only for photosynthesis.’
He also says, ‘Don’t quote me on that.’
Too late, bro.