It really does get better!

[Note: This is a bit uncomfortable for me to share, but the points are worth making, and my experience is the best example I know.]I was a really unusual kid. My Dad had this theory that education expanded the mind exponentially, rather than arithmetically,  that is, each new thing you learned led not to one more new thing, but 5 or 10. Since I was pretty smart anyway, my parents started me in school at age 4. But the school I went to was new and tiny, so kindergarten was one other little girl, Donna, and I sitting in the back of a room of 15 or so first graders. Mrs. Hessian (yes, the teacher’s real name) ignored us a fair amount, and so I was bored. I hated being bored. I complained to my parents. The solution was obvious — put me in first grade. They only had to move my desk up one spot, from the very back of the room, by myself, to one row up, with a couple of other kids. Poor Donna got that back spot.

That’s how I got to be 2 years ahead in school. On top of that, I was very small for my age, so I probably looked a year or two younger. This was fine in elementary school, but when I changed schools for the third time in 3 years, entering middle school, it got to be a problem. On top of that, I was one of 5 nominal Jews in an otherwise completely Christian school (I don’t think any of us were very observant). Even worse, I was just about the smartest kid in the class. It didn’t help that when the history teacher told us Marx’s tenet, ‘Religion is the opiate of the people’, I publicly agreed. All those things that made me different, made it hard to be accepted. Can you say ‘outsider’?

So I spent most of middle school wishing I were normal. Have you seen the TV ad for the new X-Men movie, where one of the characters says, “I just wanna be normal“? That’s exactly how I felt.

Luckily, my mother had the presence of mind to tell me that as I got older, I would get out of there, and be able to get to places where I’d be more accepted — that it would get better. So I really applaud the “It Gets Better Project”. Although it’s aimed at LGBT kids, the message is there for anyone who is different in any way — too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too geeky, too artistic, too sensitive, too smart, too anything.

It gets better in another way, as well. What makes you an outsider in high school, makes you successful in life. Why? Because “what makes kids popular—conformity, aggression, visibility, and influence—won’t make them happy or successful after they graduate… what makes people unpopular in the hallways of high school, mainly an unwillingness to conform, tends to translate into success as an adult.”

So if you’re an outsider in school, it really will get better. And if you’re still nursing the wounds from those times — it’s easier than you think to let them go. Call me at 888-4-Hollis (888-446-5547) and I’ll explain.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.