Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing going on in their current life. What I’ve noticed is that no one who was a big star in high school is also a big star later in life, except athletes. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.
I was never the lead in the play. I don’t think I went to a single party with alcohol at it. No one shared pot with me. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I even knew marijuana and pot were the same thing.
Because I was largely ignored at school, I watched everyone like an observant weirdo, not unlike Eugene Levy’s character Dr. Allan Pearl, from Waiting for Guffman, who famously “sat next tothe class clown, and studied him. But I did that with everyone. It has helped me so much as a writer you have no idea.
I just want ambitious teenagers to know it is totally fine to be quiet, observant kids. Besides being a delight to your parents, you will find you have plenty of time later to catch up . . . Sit next to the class clown and study him. Then grow up, take everything you learn, and get paid to be a real-life clown, unlike whatever unexciting thing the actual high school class clown is doing now. I think our class clown is doing marketing in Warwick, Connecticut.
– Mindy Kaling, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)”