When I was in high school, I really wanted to be popular. I think everyone does, basically. (I was not popular at all).
Being popular is a good thing. It doesn’t mean being superficial, being dumb, being a mean person in the top clique, being a follower in order to be in the top clique...any of these negative things often associated with being popular in high school. That’s not what being popular is, even though popular people in high school might be these things as well.
Being popular is being well-liked by everyone, for social reasons. Human beings are social animals. There’s nothing bad about being popular. It’s a really good, really great, thing!
This is something that is particularly important to us in high school, when we are becoming adults and starting to define ourselves socially as adults. But it’s also important at any stage in life.
For the longest time in my life, I was not popular. I felt so terrible about this. Am I popular now? Hmmm. I don’t know. But regardless of whether I am or not, I certainly wouldn’t want this to get into my head and become arrogant about it, or to let it define me as a person.