If there is one piece of advice I can give to students starting the new school year it’s this: BE NICE.
Just be nice! On the outside, that girl seems so cool and confident ’cause she’s mean and doesn’t look at you or when she does look at you her eyes melt your soul and make you want to go home. But on the inside, she’s just as insecure and scared and fragile and confused as you. In fact, she’s more insecure and scared and fragile and confused than you and that’s why she’s mean. She thinks it’s the only way to be, but I’m here to tell her it’s not.
You can be nice, mean girl. You can do it! I know you can! Nice is the new cool. Smile more. And not that fake smile you flash, but a real smile that comes from happiness, that comes from seeing the good in others. And stop squinting. You just look confused. And stop melting souls. Seriously. Stop.
Everyone in high school is so freaked out. No matter how calm someone seems, I promise you they are freaked out. Freaked out about doing and saying the right thing, the cool thing and because you’re so mean they end up saying nothing cause they’re afraid you’re gonna make fun of them. And what they were going to say was probably interesting and awesome and you missed out on learning something new. Everyone did. So stop making fun of people! Just STOP.
You’re trying to make friends and be popular – I get it. But when you go to sleep at night, you feel this pain and you pretend it’s not there but it’s there cause your meanness stays with you and you know that all it really accomplished was pain – for you and the person you were mean to. So what’s the point? Stop pretending there’s a point to being mean and a point to being popular. Just be nice. You’ll be amazed at the results.
My favorite students, the ones who truly are cool are the ones who are kind. And I look at them sometimes and I’m just so darn proud of their kindness. And I know that they are going into a cruel world, a world that will hurt them, a world that I can’t stop from hurting them, but they don’t let that stop their goodness. And I love their goodness. And their goodness is why I get up and go to work in the morning. And I know they will sleep soundly with no pain in their chests and only goodness in their hearts.
So be nice. Be cool. Sleep well.