I read this essay Why Nerds are Unpopular a few days ago and feel the need to share it with everyone. I don’t agree with all of it, Graham is looking deeply into a shallow pool when he examines the American High School Experience but a lot of it rings true to me. School is the only place to be (outside of prison) where attend by law, with no real method of exit. I remember thinking that I hated life in middle and high school, only to find after I left that I just hated being in school, confined with people I didn’t really know for eight hours a day with no option of leaving.
Eric Hoffer has several essays about being useful as the key to self fulfillment. Being in school, you are by definition, not being useful. I’m also reminded of Joel Spolsky’s dictum “Happiness is controlling your environment. If you’re the socially awkward type, (which I was!) then you have no control over the only environment you have any hope of controlling, which is your social environment.
Well worth reading.