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The world’s most eternal struggle, spanning age groups, nationality and time itself is rooted in status, and status alone. The desire to be popular. Being popular is not an easy task, although some have a more natural affinity than others, but these painstakingly researched tips will augment the Joe Cools of the crowd, or propel the Sarah Plain And Talls to new heights of popularity, value and self-respect. Because at the end of the day, what matters more than other people’s opinions about you?
The first, most difficult step is to establish a persona. You can be a jock, skater, nerd, whatever. You just need to be easily identifiable as something, because nothing is scarier than a unique individual. If you are already popular, you can expand your circle of influence by incorporating multiple personas, and thereby appealing to a wider range of audience, demographic, or what have you. You establish a persona by conforming to certain trends, such as mimicking rapper vocabulary in socially awkward settings, ripping holes in designer brand jeans, or listening to the high-pitched squealing of the latest emo singer. The persona does not have to be your inner self, but it must be a label, easily identifiable to others. This allows you to meet more people, because like-minded individuals will flock to those who are similar and knowable, rather than someone whose personality is unknown from a glance.
The amount of people who know your name has a direct correlation to your popularity, so be sure to surround yourself with hangers-on, an entourage so to speak, who follow you around and describe your latest exploit to everyone in the general vicinity. The more attention focused on you, the more chance to become popular. This extends to the virtual realm as well. Myspace bulletins, Facebook status updates and mass texts put you in other people’s minds throughout the day. That is a key step toward true popularity, when vast majorities of people think about you when you aren’t even there.
So the persona has been established, and many people are thinking about you throughout the day. What adds to popularity from there? The answer is apparent: doing something of supreme greatness which typifies who you are, and becomes the thing that others remember when your all-too-familiar name pops into their head. This feat has to fit the persona, because a jock who performs a complex, technically sound concerto will not be favorably looked upon by his target audience. Good examples would be for a jock to win a huge game in the last second, for the academic to score a 180 on the LSATs or for the class clown to sneakily insert pornographic pictures into unsuspecting school library books. This is a point where the only limit is creativity – an inventive mind will easily find popularity because of this step alone.
Unfortunately, there is a negative side effect to attaining popularity. You may think you are on top of the world, with more friends than the Quakers, when suddenly Miss Molly Cupcake or Mister Flex Armstrong does something that surpasses your skill. They may not even do anything, but their potential to usurp your popularity is a threat that cannot be ignored. And thus, the art of the preemptive strike is explained. Remember your reasoning, and you will be capable of even the cruelest action towards them. You worked hard to put yourself into an easily packaged box, and this kid wants to open the box and strew the contents around the CU campus like they are mere Styrofoam or other semi-useless waste fit to be discarded in the nearest trash receptacle.
In other words, they want what you have, and are a threat to your retention of it. They must be eliminated with extreme prejudice. Remember the rule of doing a grand thing so others think of that when they think of you? The inverse applies here. The embarrassment must be so total, so utterly humiliating, that one cannot even contemplate that other person’s existence without remembering the time when Molly tripped in front of Bobby Goodlooks and spilled her lunch all over herself (on chili day of course). If your opponent is a rascal, a sly dog, or genuinely superior, the solution is also clear: gossip. Gossip can turn the most chaste, faithful virgin into a ravenous, sex-crazed hussy. Gossip, even if exposed as flawed, will divert attention away from the person’s good qualities and keep the attention where it should be: on the Alpha Male or the Queen Bee (which is you, if you followed these steps to the letter).
Popularity is not an easy task, but the rewards are bountiful. Your collegiate peers will respect you, admire you and generally worship the ground you walk on. You will be prettier, more athletic, or smarter than the rest, and this will create an overall sense that you are just plain better than the others. Why did Hector Halfwit beat me on a chemistry test when I studied for hours and he barely lifts a finger? Because he’s just better than you. Studies have been inconclusive on the post-college effects of such behavior, but it should work beyond as well. College is preparation for real life, and these actions are as well.
Enjoy the fruit of my wisdom; it will guide you well to the end of your days.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Adrian Kun at Adrian.email@example.com.