DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #22

Dear Granddaddy, I’m worried about what other students think of me. I don’t want to be one of those dorks. So, sometimes I do things not to be. Dan M. – Teen trying to fit in.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Dan, I know what you’re talking about. I felt that way, too, when I was your age. And as a teacher, I have seen way too many students face the same dilemma. It is very sad how many students sabotage their futures by trying to fit in and not be the so-called “dork”.

Way down the road, after high school, we realize that as teenagers, we felt as if everyone was always watching us. Our moves had to be cool then, however, once in our thirties, we don’t care anymore who’s watching. We also realize the so-called “dorks” are still doing their homework, but now it’s at their jobs instead. They also have pretty good jobs.

In our fifties, we realize that nobody was ever really watching us. We become saddened that we have wasted so much time worrying about it. We also see that the “dorks” are very successful now, and they’re still doing their homework. This is usually the point where we find ourselves trying to emulate them in a desperate attempt to make up lost time and income.

Sadly, this whole life-learning process takes too long to fully unfold. However, it could be drastically sped up, and many of the dumb “cool things” we did as youth could have been avoided if we just knew as teens what we will eventually learn when we’re older, wiser, richer, and cooler.

So, in conclusion, Dan, don’t do anything too dumb just to fit in. And don’t try too hard to be cool. These few years you have in public education are just a blip on your radar screen. You have a very long life, ahead of you, so, you might as well begin immediately making it better for yourself by developing habits for success, like doing your homework and learning how to talk to adults. Now that would be really cool, wouldn’t it?


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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: