July 7, 2023 | Eul Basa

Students Share When The Popular Kid's Life Fell Apart Completely

The popular kids are the envy of everyone at school. They usually come from rich families, have nice houses, and are spoiled with luxurious things in life. However, all it takes is one moment for all of those things to go away. Here's how the lives of popular kids fell apart completely:


#1 Living With Guilt

He lost control of his car when he and his best friend were driving to Taco Bell at night. He came out of it with a fractured collarbone, and his friend was found lifeless on the spot. He was really close to his friend’s parents too. He made a few posts on Facebook about how he was an idiot and how sorry he was.

The deceased friend’s sister and parents made it very clear that they didn’t blame him. It was winter, there was black ice, and he was 100% sober. Before the incident, he was a stereotypical popular dude but in a wholesome way. He later dropped out of school. I don’t know what happened to him afterward but it was just sad for everyone.


#2 Down A Dark Path

These are the ones that hurt the most because the person who lived was 100% not at fault for it but they can’t come to terms with that fact. They put it all on themselves. One girl during my high school years was walking with her boyfriend in her neighborhood when a guy driving a bit too fast clipped her and ended her on impact. The boyfriend was perfectly fine, but he couldn’t live with that and he went down a rough path. It was rough to see.


#3 A Scarring Moment

I saw my best friend from school (26 at the time) and another friend lose their lives in an armed robbery. I have had this for the past 20 years and revisit the scene often in my head and wonder what I could have done differently for a better outcome. His dad wanted it to be me instead of my friend. That obviously hurt hearing it but he was in such pain and can somehow be understood that a parent can feel that way.


#4 Persistent Grief

His dad passed away. It was really terrible. Before that he was popular, but also smart, motivated, a great athlete and actually a great guy and person. As much as you can be till you're 15. Then his dad lost his life right before he was going to have a football game... It was a heart attack in the shower before they were going to leave for it.

We heard about it later, and basically, from there, everything seemed to decline. He became angry as you could expect, and I think looking back you'd expect a decline in everything at first. But he just spiraled deeper and deeper. We didn't see him for a while and when I did catch up with him later, his brain literally seemed fried. It was sad for every reason.


#5 Losing Time

My twin sons are pretty popular in school. We just found out that my cancer is growing again. I'm 33, I'm not ready to leave this life. My boys are both nine years old, and they're not ready for me to die. I can only hope we make the best of however much time we have left together. Time is too short to take it for granted.


#6 Sad Times In 1999

Her mom was diagnosed with dozens of brain tumors at the beginning of our senior year and she passed away before Christmas. The girl went from stable, well-off and beautiful to a wreck, then off the map. After that, we lost four students violently, including two sisters. The staff quit. Pretty much no one in our senior class made it in life. 1999 was a really tough year for our school.


#7 Becoming Humble

One kid in school was popular only because he liked to start drama and bully everyone. So most people were "friends" with him just to avoid being a victim. One day, he tried that on the wrong kid and got beat up so bad to the point that he started crying. Honestly, I think it was a win for the bully because it gave him a pretty good wake up call. He became less of a bully and is now quite humble.

#8 Rock Bottom

This happened to a popular when I was in junior high. She wasn't paraplegic, but she had brain damage and lost her freaking mind. She suddenly had some huge cognitive deficits, no social skills, and was unable to complete elementary school work, but her parents insisted she return to the same school she went to before the accident.

Back in seventh grade, I hated the heck out of her—she was annoying, mean, and physically violent. She still is more than a decade later. But now, looking back, I can't even imagine the horror show that is her life now. Imagine knowing all of your friends still, but having them basically abandon you and not really understanding why. Imagine being mid-puberty and having your entire perception of life destroyed.


#9 The Good Guy

Three popular kids went swimming in a quarry. Only two came out. It sucks because the one that lost his life was popular for all the right reasons. He was a genuinely good dude. I was the weird kid, but his locker was right next to mine and he was friendly every single day to every single person. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.


#10 Burying The Truth

A rumor went around that his parents paid a hefty amount to ignore criminal allegations against him and keep him on the football team. It never ended up on the news. I'm not sure of the truth behind the rumors because my school likes to keep rumors hushed and there are too many kids at my school to get a single story.


#11 The Worst Case

When he hit and ended a state trooper on the freeway while the trooper was out of his car trying to remove debris from the road. That’s such a senseless way to immediately screw your life up forever. You ruin someone’s family and your own, plus you have to live with that guilt all because you made a mistake in a split second by accident. No one wins. These types of things are so awful but I really do feel bad for the guy.


#12 The Life-Changing Cliff

There was this cliff that was really dangerous. To keep kids away, the genius locals spread around the rumor that it was haunted. Naturally, the cool kids wanted to go there like all the time. Once, the gang of those supposedly cool kids (four in total) went there and no one really knows what happened. One kid jumped, while the stories of the rest didn't pan out correctly. Each one had a different version. They were under the influence. No one was jailed. But all three were depressed and eventually spiraled out of control.


#13 Peer Pressure

He got made fun of because he wanted to wait until marriage. At some point, he caved and did it. Teen pregnancy. I think the term "peer pressure" gets thrown around a lot like it’s some everyday thing you can shrug off, and it very well can be. But then there are cases like this where it can permanently affect or destroy someone’s life or reputation. Peer pressure needs to be taken more seriously.


#14 In Retrospect

I actually ran into one of the super-popular kids at the local bar when I came home from college. She would never give me the time of day in high school and I for sure thought she didn’t even know I existed, but SHE approached me at the bar, super tipsy, and said: “Hey, didn’t I go to high school with you?”

She then proceeded to tell me she wished she had been nicer to more people in high school and that she has no idea what she’s doing with her life. Honestly feels good to know that she’s thought about how she treated people back then. Not sure if that’s the norm or just a weird occasion.


#15 No Forgiveness

My stepmom was a jerk in high school (and still is in some ways). She went to her high school reunion and started talking to a girl she used to make fun of like they were friends. The girl said, "You made my life miserable in high school. Why the heck would I want to talk to you?" My stepmom said, "We were just having fun?" The girl said, "I wasn't. Maybe you were."


#16 Everybody Makes Mistakes

I never saw him again after high school but a guy who bullied me told a mutual friend of ours to pass along apologies for the way he treated me. He passed away sometime later, I believe from cancer. I wish I could have bought him lunch or a drink. It takes a big person to make that kind of apology. Everybody makes mistakes.


#17 The Devastating Fall

Well, a super popular cheerleader girl at my school ended up falling downstairs. she broke her back and got paralyzed. She now has to use a wheelchair. So yes, that is one example answer. Stairs are not a joke. The worst part is, she wasn't even a mean person—she was popular because she was genuinely nice to everyone.


#18 Health Is Wealth

One of the prettiest girls in our senior class came to school on Wednesday and told everyone she had brain cancer. The doctor told her and her parents this Tuesday afternoon. She went downhill really fast and she passed away before Thanksgiving. Her twin brother broke down and never really recovered. Everybody loved her.


#19 The Stud Quarterback

The stud Quarterback about two years ahead of me has been in rehab at least half-a-dozen times. He might be gone now. I'm not sure if that was a problem for him in high school but I heard he had nasty pain meds habit in college and probably transitioned to worse things from there. Actually, I think this is a common trend among most athletes, particularly football players.


#20 True Colors

In the fifth grade, our terrible teacher at the time told the entire class that the reason the popular kid acted out was that he didn’t get enough attention at home. She did this in front of the entire class, and he left the room sobbing. My entire perspective of him changed that day, and we all already knew that the teacher was a terrible person, but that solidified it in all of our minds.


#21 Life At Home

There was totally a kid like this at my school. He would always disrupt the class but I know his mom and stepdad would always go away without him. I think the teachers actually quite liked him though, even if he was a pain. I can't imagine them ever doing something like this. I imagine he would have got angry rather than sob though. I know he ended up being homeless for a while but I think he's okay now, a bit of a goth now though I've been told.


#22 Far From Superman

I heard this one from my brother. The resident popular kid and jerk with fully paid scholarships proceeded to get tipsy on Halloween, crash through the French doors of somebody's house, and pass out of their couch while covered in blood and puke while still dressed like Superman. Enter a horrified family finding him after they got home from their own Halloween party. The night ended with an arrest and no scholarships.


#23 A Split Second

Unfortunately, a cheerleader from my school had a 4-wheeling accident that left her in an almost vegetative state. Through years and years of hard work on her part, she's been able to gain a little more independence. However, she'll never be exactly the same as she was before the accident. It's really sad how quickly your life can change from an accident.


#24 A Sharp Turn

I graduated in '95 and shortly after, my mom asked if I knew this girl. I said yes, and she showed me the obituaries. Apparently, she was a passenger on a 4-wheeler and the driver was speeding. The driver made a sharp turn which resulted in her coming off the bike and straight into a tree. She lost her life instantly. And that was a big-time reality hit to me. Fresh outta school and a girl I knew lost her life.


#25 Personally Victimized

I know a guy who got intimate photos sent to him by a seventh-grader in the summer between eighth and ninth grade. Apparently, she had sent them to a lot of people and everyone knew it was messed up, but for whatever reason, this one guy got found out and he's on an offender list now. I’ve got a lot of friends who know him so I doubt he was being shady. I really feel bad for the guy.


#26 Still The Same

She was in a terrible car wreck and came out of it covered in thick scars, a wobble when she walked, and mental disabilities. She tried to fight me after our shoulders bumped in the hallway. It was an accident, but it was nice to see after a near-death collision she was still a massive jerk. Some people just never change.


#27 Once A Bully, Still A Bully

In the eighth grade, there was a really popular kid in my school that was the head of the football team. He was also a huge bully—he would beat "nerds" up for no reason at least twice a week. One day, he was under the influence and jumped off a bridge as a prank. I'm not sure how he didn't know that the lake he jumped into was riddled with underwater trees, as you can see the branches during the daytime. Either way, I don't think he was found. Our school held a huge memorial for him, but I will always remember him as a bully.


#28 Standing Up

When I made him cry. He had been bullying me at school every day for nearly three years (for two things I had no control over, my poverty and my physical appearance). At that point, I had had enough. I had discovered that he was adopted, so I told him, in front of our classmates, that his real parents probably wanted no part of him because they could tell he'd grow up to be nothing but a jerk. I got in trouble for that, but it was worth it to see him cry for once, and he left me alone after that.


#29 Losing It All

I'm not sure I would call him the popular kid, but in some circles he was. He was a bit arrogant in my opinion but he had money and liked to spread it around. His dad was a wealth manager. Lots of friends, family, and community members were clients. A few years after high school, it came out that dad had embezzled millions. Their entire wealth was stolen from friends and family.

This rocked him hard. His dad went to jail, changed his name and totally became a different person. I saw him after that and barely recognized him. His personality and even his posture were different. I felt really bad for him. I ended up having a really good talk with him and I can only imagine what he has gone through.


#30 Hero To Zero

The captain of the football team underwent surgery his senior year. I was 13 on the middle school team. His younger brother and I were very close so I was around him a lot. I looked up to him like an older brother. He drove me to early practices, was very smart, dated a pretty cheerleader... He didn't have a mean bone in his body, he had it all. For a 13-year-old, he was my hero. After his surgery, he got hooked on pain meds. This went on for years, and I would always ask my friend from middle school how he was doing. It never got better. He passed away last year. I miss my hero.


#31 Losing The Way

My brother was a popular kid in school. He was loved by everyone, and most of the people I graduated with know him but since we have different last names didn’t know we were related until I told them. He started drinking in high school, then went in and out of jail, and was forced into rehab instead of serving jail time. He lived in our mom's basement until he was 30. He finally moved out but my parents pay his rent. He’s a year sober now, though.


#32 Water Under The Bridge

When we walked across the stage. I was amazed by how much simpler university relationships were compared to high school. Popular people who picked on me in high school were suddenly desperately in need of a friendly face and it was all water under the bridge. I later found it funny how many people wanted to "reconnect" just a few years after making life a living nightmare for me. Watching the ones who peaked in high school spiral was kind of fun though.


#33 Dumb Decisions

This guy I used to hang out with in elementary school was pretty overweight but I had the biggest crush on him. I lost track of him a for a few years but I high school he came back and had lost all the weight. He was pretty athletic and was generally well-liked. I didn't talk to him but the guy seemed decent.

I guess he liked driving like an idiot, the year after he graduated he wrapped his car around a pole. They had to use the jaws of life to pull him out of his car but it was too late, he'd lost his life on impact. There had been multiple reports that night of people calling the cops to complain about his reckless driving around town. I just remember that chubby little boy I used to spend recess with every day.


#34 Out Of Cool Points

A kid in high school who was a big jock got busted for a DUI. Instead of taking the hit for the DUI, the kid agreed to go around town and help bust the places who were selling drinks to minors. In one weekend, none of us could use our fake IDs or get drinks. It got out who helped get the places busted. The guy was literally treated like dirt until graduation.


#35 Too Much Trauma

This kid was one of the most well-liked kids in school. Literally everyone loved him. He even showed up to the funeral of some kid he never hung out with outside of school. His dad got really sick after his freshman year of college and he was hospitalized for months before he needed an extremely serious procedure done to save his life.

He took the next semester off from school to care for his dad. This kid also lost one of his best friends to addiction and a close family friend. Life just started to kick the heck out of him. He’s still a great guy, but after experiencing something serious like that, it wears out a person. He’s quieter than he used to be, but still the same great guy.


#36 Threw It All Away

This was years ago and I only met the guy after the fact. At school, he was a baseball player and had a scholarship to the University of Hawaii for that. He was a good looking kid. Apparently, he got into some bad habits and fried his brain. I met him a few years later when I was working the night shift at a suburban Bay Area 7-Eleven. He was the guy that would be standing out in front of the store at 2 a.m. in the morning talking to himself. I later heard he had fallen off an overpass.


#37 Ruined By Twitter

Teacher here. High school football star yelled some offensive stuff to another school’s player while stopped at a traffic light, but he didn’t know the person he was yelling at was recording. The guy posted the video on Twitter. You could clearly see who it was. Twitter attacked. The guy went from quarterback and team captain with several offers for D1 schools to absolutely nothing. I’m sure he’ll still go to college or something, and hopefully, he can learn from this and change his outlook.


#38 Good Intentions

They had an appointment in West Point, in awesome 1962 Thunderbird convertible, and they hosted the only keg party we ever had when I was in high school. He was on the top of the world, then he decided to move his car in his driveway since the back of the car was a few inches over the sidewalk. A cop saw it, so he arrested him for DUI. The cop stopped the party, took the keg, and arrested several people at the party. He lost his appointment, the tow truck driver damaged the heck out of the car, and later the car disappeared. Everything came crashing down because he decided to be nice and move his car a few inches forward in his own driveway.


#39 A Grave Misunderstanding

I had a friend that lost his football scholarship to a good school because he got a DUI on a riding lawnmower. He wasn't even drinking and never had in his life. He was impaired due to what he was taking after having shoulder surgery. He lost the scholarship, and no decent school would offer him a scholarship so he ended up having to pay out of pocket.


#40 The Effects Of Divorce

He was a good friend of mine and a good dude all around. He was the rich kid and very popular, but he was the nicest and the most chill person you ever met. Right after high school, his parents divorced. He got heavily into drinking, went to rehab and gained a bunch of weight. He's on my Facebook and seems to be doing okay these days.


#41 A Senseless End

My sister had a kid in her graduating class. He wasn't a great student and was at risk of not graduating, but he didn't want to disappoint his sister, so he busted his butt and passed his classes. When they told him he'd done it and would graduate later that week, he left the school, street raced, ran a car into a pole and lost his life while his friends tried to save him. It was the saddest graduation I've ever been to. Not a lot of hopeful messages for the future at that point.


#42 Upside Down

He was an only child, and his dad had passed away when he was two. He was really happy-go-lucky, and he was popular because he was outgoing, supportive, warm and kind to everybody without fail. Although he was friends with the kind of kids who bullied people, he was the first person to tell them to knock it off if he saw it.

When we were 16, his mom, who was one of the nicest ladies I ever met in our small town, was crushed by a semi-trailer that drifted into her lane. He dropped out of school, he stopped talking to anybody, and he refused to let anyone visit him. I have no idea what became of him. Sorry, Jay. I hope your life got better.


#43 Losing A Fight

When she got beat in a fight. Basically, there’s an Instagram account that some kid runs and they record fights in our school district. They got a video of some girls fighting and one of the girls' hair was grabbed. She started to get whacked in the back of the head over and over until she got away. She walked away crying.


#44 Gone Downhill

The hottest girl in high school... She was the captain of the cheerleading team, drove a brand new BMW coupe and had the body of a Greek goddess. She got married after college and had three kids. It turned out her husband was an addict and is in now rehab. She now sells candles you stick in your ear for healing qualities. I saw her at a bar one night and she was so embarrassed that I remembered her. Midway through the conversation, she waltzed right on out of there and I haven’t seen her since.


#45 Concussion Complications

A younger cousin of mine was on the football team in high school. He was a wickedly smart kid and an overall sweetheart. He planned on becoming a dentist until a few too many concussions. Now his academic attention and motivation have declined and every time I see him, usually half a year at a time, his personality is different. Last I saw him, he dressed and carried the accent of a cowboy.


#46 Waking Up Better

He was my first ever friend. We grew apart in time but not too much because we were both in a small class. He became very arrogant and kind of a jerk at some point. Then, he suddenly got a brain hemorrhage and went into a long coma. He was fine after and became nice to everyone. I guess you could consider this a happy story.


#47 Fork In The Road

I worked in student housing at my university. Lots of popular kids, especially girls who were popular for nothing more than being attractive in their tiny pond. They usually had a hard time the first couple of weeks as they realized that they weren't all that special. The well-adjusted ones grew from the realization and adapted to the new reality, the other ones went through an attention-getting period that led many into a downward spiral.


#48 Karma Comes Around

My high school bully couldn’t keep above a 2.5 GPA to run for class president. He was forced to go to the nomination convention by our dean and then had to decline the nomination. All the timespan of about a half-hour. A little bit longer than a few minutes. Still, it was nice to see karma bite that jerk in the bum.


#49 Ruined Lives

We had a girl who was pretty much a model student. Then, she ended up dating a dude who was... well, let's say not at all a model student. (I'd gotten along with both, but never understood why they were dating each other). One day, they got tipsy together. Then they ended up having to be life-flighted to the hospital. We kind of assumed he'd get kicked out and she wouldn't, but to our surprise, they both got kicked out. I haven't heard from either since.


#50 Fitting In

He didn't own a phone but he was popular with people. I guess he wanted to fit in more, so he took his mom's phone and she came in during the middle of class and called him out. Everyone was sitting there awkwardly while he got chewed out. Everyone looked at him differently since that day. (We were in eighth grade at that time)




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