Gallup's pollsters asked about 1000 adults whether they think popularity during the teen years correlates with success later. 37% of respondents said kids who were popular in high school end up being less successful than those who were not popular. 25% of respondents, echoing the conventional wisdom, said the popular kids wind up more successful. 24% scored it a tie.
What about the other 14 % ? I find that a lot of people who weren't popular in high school come up with this idea about how people "peak" in life - and if you peak in high school then that means that you can't peak after high school. Now what does peak mean? Popularity? Happiness? Beauty? Money? And why can't we "peak" several times in life? Why is this a zero sum issue here that we only get success once in life? Now granted, I wouldn't say I was what you would typically consider "popular" in high school. But I never cared - it's what you care about that lets you peak where you want. I cared about good friends, good times, learning (I know - I'm such a book nerd) - rather, learning about life, enjoying life, and growing up - and I had a fabulous time in high school. I loved being a band geek, I loved the fact that I enjoyed school and I loved my high school life. I also loved college and I love what I'm doing now. I think it's just a matter of how you looked at life. If you constantly look for what you've lost and what people have taken away from you, then you are never going to appreciate what you have!