All this was all just fine with me.
I was one of the middle tier, the greater majority. In this group, people were rarely pushed around by bullies or challenged to a fight outside the school gates at home time. Few of us really excelled in our schoolwork but then nor did we particularly fail. We just floated through our time beneath cloaks of normality, doing our bit and not too much more, comfortable in the knowledge that one day we would be moving on and that none of what went on here really mattered that much at all.
I was one of the middle tier.
The upper tier lived their lives in a far more colorful and explosive manner. In their world it mattered which teams they were picked for, it mattered which of the pretty girls in school they were going out with, it mattered which parties they were invited to and it mattered that all those in tiers below granted the deference and respect which they so thoroughly deserved. This was the world of the budding men. The people who grew up faster than the rest of us, and found themselves shaving a year or two before anyone in any of the tiers beneath them. These people walked through school corridors with confidence and literally robbed the air from those around them as they passed. This was the moment in the budding men's lives where they could dominate. I have since bumped into a few of these people since those times and it seemed that at some point the world had caught up with them somewhere along the line. The spurt of growth did not continue and perhaps seeing everyone around them catch up took away the confidence which they had so fleetingly been granted. These are the people who rarely moved away from the town they grew up in and went to school in and found themselves trapped somewhow in a decaying loop of memory from a time when they were bigger than the rest of us. They often get local jobs where there is little competition perhaps because they condone potential failure, to be bettered by smaller, weaker creatures.