British Columbia, Canada
That was a fantastic way to explain the situation to you by Local Rebel, and he is right. (I could just squeeze his bunny fur for the caring way he presented this to you.)
Unfortunately no matter how we try in life to control or change someone the only person we have a right to do that too, with even some success is ourselves. However, I remember in school feeling the same way actually, I was really popular, and Head Cheerleader, but once I decided to drop cheerleading for academics, I lost a lot of "friends," or did I? See? You have to mean more than someone "neat" to hand around. Sometimes growing up we pay a terrible price to be popular. Good luck, and I hope you pick your friends well, seems you would be a good one to have. I would just accept them for who they are if they are the ones you wish to keep company with, or if they make you "feel" inferior, unwanted, or bad, find some friends that don't make you feel sad. Friendship shouldn't hurt. Do me a favor though? Don't keep feelings bottled up, if something is eating you, share them - you never have to apologize for how you feel, as feelings just are, and need no explaination or apology.