These celebs didn't let their high school stereotypes define them. Neither should you

These celebs didn't let their high school stereotypes define them. Neither should you

There are plenty of celebrities who have broken free from stereotypes. They've shown that you can forge your own destiny no matter what others say

Tired of the constant name-calling at school? Feeling desperately confined and pigeonholed? School stereotypes have always been around, and from the "wallflower" to the "weirdo", these words are often degrading, hurtful, and generally humiliating. 

But we don't have to let these names define us. No matter how other people label you, deep inside, you probably have plenty of hidden talents, skills and passions that the world is waiting to see. So don't be shy about it. Do your own thing and follow your goals, because you never know where they might take you!

The Bookworm

Who says that someone can't be smart and beautiful? Natalie Portman proves that you can be gorgeous, artistic, and still have a head on your shoulders.

Accustomed to straight-A's and commendations, the Golden Globe-winning actress starred as Queen Amidala in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. 

However, she skipped the film's premiere so she could focus on her upcoming final exams. Her hard work paid off, earning her a bachelor's degree from Harvard, where she co-authored two research papers.

The Rebel

Even though it feels like it will last forever, high school is a very short time. It's great though, because in that short time it's acceptable to make mistakes and also to make changes. US President Barack Obama is a champion of virtues and righteousness ... but in his autobiography he confessed to all kinds of naughty behaviour.

This sparked some controversy and gave some ammunition to his political opponents, and Obama himself called them "bad decisions" that were not done "in the highest moral character".

But Obama's unexpected honesty has allowed other "bad boys" and "bad girls" to identify with him, and shows that it's never too late to tame your inner wild child and pursue a higher ambition.

The Underachiever

Everybody knows Steve Jobs ... but he wasn't always that successful. As a young student he had plenty of failures and below-average test scores. The eccentric college drop-out graduated high school with a 2.65 GPA (out of a possible 4.0). 

He started his career as a low-level technician at Atari, but went on to become one of the biggest names in tech history, creating one of the world's most successful companies along the way.

The Music Nerd

Focusing on sheet music and lugging around heavy instruments, you can spot a musician from a mile away. But many music students also have other talents and goals.

Want evidence? How about a student who was the drummer for his high school marching band? He had a talent for playing the saxophone, but he set his sights further and ended up becoming president of the United States. Before turning to politics, Bill Clinton seriously considered having a career in music. He attended music camps in Arkansas during most summers and even received music scholarships from many colleges.

The Jock

The star athletes don't always turn out to be David Beckham or Li Na. For example, self-made comedian Ryan Higa, known as NigaHiga on Youtube, was state champion in judo and wrestling. 

In his Draw My Life video, he said he was feeling lonely at high school. He turned to sports - and found confidence. 

Despite being accepted to medical college, his fame on the internet encouraged him to become a professional YouTuber, and now he makes funny videos for a living.

The Drama Geek

Lady Gaga is a famous singer, but her outrageous kits and stage performances show that deep down she's a drama geek. By the time she wrote her first piano ballad at the tender age of 13, Lady Gaga had already started her theatre career.

She starred in her high school's productions and appeared on TV series as a background extra. But she got tired of unsuccessful auditions, so she dropped out of her theatre conservatory and threw herself into her dream of being an artist.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Don't let labels define you


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