Remember the cool kids from middle school?
 

They possessed the fearlessness to sneak into R-rated movies, the savvy to get away with shoplifting, the cachet to be invited to high-school parties and the looks to pull off Aeropostale while you were still in Gap Kids.
 

So, what ever happened to the kids whose exclusive clique left you feeling like a total dweeb?
 

Turns out, they’re the losers now! Rejoice chess club, debate team and theatre geek alumni!
 

A new study published in the journal of Child Development and covered by The New York Times offers some revealing statistics. The formerly socially precocious kids from middle school have a 45 percent greater rate of problems resulting from alcohol and marijuana use and 22 percent greater rate of criminal behavior than the rest of their middle-school peers. Problems with intimacy and holding down jobs are commonplace, meaning they effectively peaked at 13.
 

Perhaps most shocking is the finding that when their peers were asked how well the former cool kids, as young adults, got along with others, their ratings were 24 percent lower than the average young adult.
 

So, how did the cool kids of middle school fall so far in social echelon?
 

As it turns out, hanging with the risk-taking cool kids during middle school, some of the most formative years in one’s young life, exposes one to a dangerous combination of behaviors that often has lasting, destructive consequences.
 

Dr. Joseph P. Allen, the leader of the study, suggests that while the cool kids were chasing social status, they were missing out on formative years of seminal, intimate friendships. Thus, they frequently have problems relating to others when adults.
 

Dr. B. Bradford Brown, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told The New York Times that hanging out with dubious, ‘older’ cool kids exposed kids to reckless behaviors and suspect morals at too young of an age.
 

So, don’t fret if you weren’t the coolest kid in your middle school! Your low social standing in middle school may have actually saved you from a life of failed relationships, addiction and unemployment.
 

Thomas Freeman is Texas-transplant and aspiring journalist trying (but often failing) to navigate New York City. A current NYU student, Thomas also writes articles and manages media content for 20to30.

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