Be the kid too shy to speak up in class.
Be the kid who laughs at the wrong things.
Be the clown who makes the teachers sigh.
Be the dreamer who spends all day in her head.
Be the geek who doesn’t get invited to parties.
Be the freak whose clothes are different.

Be the weirdo with strange ideas.
Be the boy the girls ignore.
Be the girl who dances by herself.
Be the queer with the difficult questions.
Be the dolt who isn’t any good at exams.
Be the whacko who takes the wrong path.
Be the weird kid.

Those normal kids will never change the world.



20 thoughts on “Be the Weird Kid.

  1. Sybbie 6 years ago

    Being weird isn’t weird, it’s just variety.

  2. Sybbie 6 years ago

    And it just so happens that being varied is so much more fun!

  3. Eliza 6 years ago

    Who wants to be the kid on the inside? I imagine it’s kind of lonely…

  4. scribe k. 6 years ago

    this made my day. thank you. =o)

  5. Caitriona 6 years ago

    I’m almost all of these! It’s nice to be appreciated, especially by an author I look up to as much as I do to you! 🙂

  6. Kate 6 years ago

    I would love to be as positive as the others responding here, but I think that being the weird kid on the outside is also lonely, when the compromises needed to fit in (as you may really want to do) are too much to manage. Few are weird kids because of innate self-assurance; mostly it is because they have no choice but to be who they are. Maybe they are the kids who are actually most themselves, long before other kids have matured into that individual knowledge, which is forced upon weird kids quite young.
    I also think it is much easier – maybe for that reason, that others have caught up – to be a weird adult than a weird kid; surviving those childhood years can be hard. Difference is not accepted very readily in a teenage world.
    Thanks for this post, Meg.

    1. Meg Rosoff 6 years ago

      I think being a weird kid can be a nightmare. But most interesting people were weird kids once. I’m not saying it’s easy, just offering support to those who are outsiders.

  7. Kate 6 years ago

    Oh yes, I do understand. I suppose my follow up question would be – what can we say to weird kids to show them that being different is a positive thing right now? They might feel, quite justifiably, that being included this week would be better than changing the world in a decade, so how do we give them the support from their immediate perspective and not from a future viewpoint? I think you provide role models in everything you write but what can an ordinary parent do (other than hand over your books!)?

    1. Meg Rosoff 6 years ago

      THough having said all that, being bullied is the worst thing. Totally erodes any self-confidence. All any of us can hope to do is defend the outsiders whenever humanly possible and provide as much role model for weird kids as humanly possible.

  8. Meg Rosoff 6 years ago

    Don’t think you can put a positive spin on everything in life. But I believe in being honest with kids. School is just school. Being successful at school doesn’t necessarily lead to success in life. And being successful by conventional standards doesn’t impress me particularly. Usually it involves the ability to make money.
    After making it as easy as I could for a kid who wasn’t any good at school, I’d try my best to provide access to things other than school that provided evidence of a world beyond the classroom. Karate, book clubs, film making, animal training, singing. Anything. I think it’s the kids whose parents secretly believe they’re failures who have the hardest time. It’s important for everyone to take school success and failure with a grain of salt. It’s a totally artificial construct and attempts to value kids in a totally artificial way.

    1. Lesley Martin 6 years ago

      I was that weird kid in a lot of ways, and it sucked. I just wanted to be liked and included, but was lonely and never felt i fitted in & was ‘wrong’. However, my daughter is now that weird kid, and she doesn’t care. She has friends who appreciate her and has no wish to be accepted by the ‘normal’ kids. I * hope* that our appreciation and nurturing of her individuality has given her the confidence to be who she is.

  9. Yona 6 years ago

    Hooray for celebrating weirdos!

  10. Girl Friday 6 years ago

    This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes, from Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic: “My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.” 🙂

  11. Pip 6 years ago

    I was weird at school. Not on purpose but just because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with saying I loved Elvis Presley when asked what my favourite band was…that was in 1993. Spent lunchbreaks hiding from bullies and hanging out with my other weirdo friends in the school music rooms where we acted out silent movie scenes and I played the piano. It was hilarious. The bullying was rubbish (involved having cigarettes stubbed out on my jacket on Sat afternoon in town, being spat on etc.. nice..) but I’d choose being an outsider over being one of the normal kids. Also I played the double bass which was just asking for trouble – – hah! Fond memories of my slightly geeky but frankly quite cool 15 year old self!

  12. csperryess 6 years ago

    I’ve taught middle school for over thirty years & I’m pleased to say that weirdness is far more acceptable than it once was. Sure, cliques still exist, but I see far more movement & acceptance, far more variety in terms of defining what popular is, far more space for variety in the areas of gender identity, gender presentation, muscial tastes, immaturity, sense of humor… Is angst still there? Do they all seem to think they’re isolated from the world? Absolutely, but that’s part of figuring out who we are. In the last two months I’ve had a 7th grade boy show up to school in a kilt, a kid go on a Transformers riff in a class discussion, 7th graders honestly discussing thorny religious issues, one still addicted to Garfield books, another going on about the brilliance of Kurt Vonnegut. Their tolerance for one anothers’ fascinations & tendencies seems far greater than it was years ago.

  13. Meg 6 years ago

    That is brilliant news. Let’s hope it’s a real and enduring trend.

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  15. Jacque 6 years ago

    >>Those normal kids will never change the world.

    Hmmm. I get the point of the post, Megan, but I for one am quite normal to all the ‘weird’ kids. This post just comes across as narcissistic and condescending.

    If ‘weird’ kids change the world, then I guess that all the ‘normal’ kids, all the non-creativity types, keep the world from spinning into chaos and provides the stability for said ‘weird’ kids to pursue their interests and for them to make a living off of it. It also depends on what you mean by “change.” I don’t believe all change is good, that all change is necessary.

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