42 Captivating Alexandra Robbins Quotes

Alexandra Robbins, a journalist and author, has a longstanding record of communicating the systematic problems of our high competitive system and how academic standardized testing hurts our society. Here is a look at some memorable Alexandra Robbins quotes to inspire you.

“Although she was gregarious, she inadvertently separated herself from people because she was so often inside her own head, focusing on her creativity.”

“Awkwardness defines my life”

“Being an outsider doesn’t necessarily indicate any sort of social failing. We do not view a tuba player as musically challenged if he cannot play the violin.”

“Conformity is a mask behind which students can hide their identity or the fact that they haven’t yet figured out their identity.”

“Conformity is not an admirable trait. Conformity is a copout. It threatens self-awareness. It can lead groups to enforce rigid and arbitrary rules.”

“Exclusion is common behavior. But that doesn’t make it unchangeable. And that doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with the cafeteria fringe.”


“Groups satisfy our brain’s natural inclination to make sense of hordes of people we encounter and observe. This quality is so inherent that children intuitively understand the need to form groups without adults having to teach them.”

“He comes in entirely as an outsider. He lets his mind wander. He’s not endangering his academic position because he doesn’t have one, and he can take those risks.”

“He could be disciplined when he wanted to be.”

“He didn’t realize that simply by mingling among various lunch tables, he was befriending people in different crowds, weaving together the fringes of the cafeteria.”

“How could he encapsulate in a pithy admissions-interview line all of his unique ideas and interests?”

“I figure I’ll win the fight in twenty years or so anyways when I end up with a decent life and their unemployed and living at home.”

“If schools celebrated student scientists the same way they celebrate student athletes, more students would be encouraged to pursue the subject. Instead, science is considered nerdy because schools help students to paint it that way.”

“If teachers are uncomfortable at their own school, they will pass on their uncertainties or negative attitude to students.”

“If there is a single factor that spells out the difference between the cafeteria fringe headed for greatness and those doomed for low self-worth, even more than a caring teacher or a group of friends, it is supportive, accepting parents who not only love their children unconditionally, but also don’t make them feel as if their idiosyncrasies qualify as “conditions” in the first place.”

“In one survey, respondents listed Princeton as one of the country’s top ten law schools. The problem? Princeton doesn’t have a law school.”

“In the midst of a crowd, an individual’s layers of restraint peel away, revealing potentially barbaric instincts and a susceptibility to a “crowd contagion.”

“In the minds of their peers, too often students become caricatures of themselves.”

“Instead of revamping school policies to welcome every child, many school systems are bent on revamping the students to conform to their schools.”

“It was a relief to inhabit someone else’s life for a while, to get her personal issues for a brief respite. In a play, she knew exactly how all her character’s problems would be resolved. No matter how the cast performed, the end turned out the same. No questions, no worries, no unknowns.”

“It was the fact that they tried so hard that doomed them.”

“Membership in small groups allows people to feel similar and different at the same time: similar because they are a part of a group in different because the group is separate from the masses.”

“My heart broke not only for the daughter who already was forced to become her mother’s alarmingly narrow ideal, but also for the middle daughter who knew that her in mother’s mind she had already failed.”

“No student should be encouraged — by anyone — to change himself until he’s “normal,” a term that says everything and means nothing.”

“Nobody’s listening to me, he thought, story of my life.”

“Nonconformists aren’t just going against the grain; they’re going against the brain. Either their brains aren’t taking the easy way out to begin with, or in standing apart from their peers, these students are standing up to their biology.”

“Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit.”

“Nursing is more than a career; it is a calling. Nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them.”

“Part of the problem is that people at our school don’t listen. They just put on the headphones and tune out the world. It’s intimidating.”

“Polarization (is) a tendency for groups to form judgments that are more extreme than individuals’ personal opinions.”

“Random, meaningless groups can adopt an us-versus-them mentality.”

“Social standing does not necessarily translate to social acceptance.”

“Someone else’s success is not your failure.”

“Students usually don’t refer to themselves as nerds until someone else accuses them of being one.”

“Studies have shown that, at least among students, popularity equals visibility.”

“The only way I’m going to make any friends is if I take the first step.”

“The trade-off seems like a no-brainer. Would you rather be bribed during your hospital stay with made-to-order omelets or would you rather be, for example, not dead?”

“There are no consequences for poor work ethic and no rewards for good work ethic.”

“Too many parents fail to understand that there is a difference between fitting in and being liked, that there is a difference between being “normal” and being happy. High school is temporary. Family is not.”

“Unruly geeks change the world.”

“What is to give light must endure burning.’ I think people who care for others understand. Caregiving is painful.”

“When a child sees herself through the prism of her peer group, the resulting self image can be distorted.”

Alexandra Robbins reviews how outsiders win and the strategies employed to become successful.

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