Most likely to be burdened with expectations: Is there a curse in that graduation label?
For some, the pressure to perform is driven by the recognition they receive in high school, but in adulthood, it can leading some overachievers to regard the trait, and the label, as a burden. For others, the very low bar set for them in high school gives them the mental mettle to want to prove everybody wrong — high school dropouts such as the late Canadian-born ABC news anchor Peter Jennings and American Idol founder and music producer Simon Cowell went on to win fame and fortune, breezing past high school peers with their unprecedented success. Taylor Swift was labelled a geek in high school and shunned due to her love of country music and now she’s the top selling digital music artist in history.
Nearly one-third of people named “Most Likely to Succeed” regard it as a “curse,” found a recent poll of 1,369 American members of MemoryLane.com, formerly known as the high school memorabilia site Classmates.com.
“For people who care too much about what other people think, it can definitely be a burden,” said Alexandra Robbins, author of The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, which hit bookstores this month.
“It’s really important to shed the labels that have been affixed to you in school because you don’t want other people’s perceptions of you to taint how you see yourself. It is a very common thing for the adolescent brain to incorporate other people’s images of you into your self-image, but it’s dangerous,” she said. (Photos: Barack Obama via Getty Images; Pamela Anderson via Getty Images)