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Posted by Anonymous on Wed 3rd Dec 04:00
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  1. Nerds aren't the only losers in the popularity rat race. Nerds are unpopular because they're distracted. There are other kids who deliberately opt out because they're so disgusted with the whole process.
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  3. Teenage kids, even rebels, don't like to be alone, so when kids opt out of the system, they tend to do it as a group. At the schools I went to, the focus of rebellion was drug use, specifically marijuana. The kids in this tribe wore black concert t-shirts and were called "freaks."
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  5. Freaks and nerds were allies, and there was a good deal of overlap between them. Freaks were on the whole smarter than other kids, though never studying (or at least never appearing to) was an important tribal value. I was more in the nerd camp, but I was friends with a lot of freaks.
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  7. They used drugs, at least at first, for the social bonds they created. It was something to do together, and because the drugs were illegal, it was a shared badge of rebellion.
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  9. I'm not claiming that bad schools are the whole reason kids get into trouble with drugs. After a while, drugs have their own momentum. No doubt some of the freaks ultimately used drugs to escape from other problems-- trouble at home, for example. But, in my school at least, the reason most kids started using drugs was rebellion. Fourteen-year-olds didn't start smoking pot because they'd heard it would help them forget their problems. They started because they wanted to join a different tribe.
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  11. Misrule breeds rebellion; this is not a new idea. And yet the authorities still for the most part act as if drugs were themselves the cause of the problem.

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