Stargirl was an outcast in normal High School society, because she was unique and not afraid to explore her freedom and creativity. However, she changed herself for Leo, to spare him embarrassment and to become someone that he would like and appreciate. The High Schoolers at Mica High made fun of Stargirl and did not appreciate her creativity, because so much emphasis was placed on being "cool" in the social scene at the school. However, Stargirl began to change to try to fit into the crowd, and she did receive some acknowledgment in her new, more normal persona as "Susan". However, she eventually realized that no one really appreciated her for who she is, especially after she returns after the competition to find that no one cared. So she returned to being herself, her amazing, creative, interesting self -- Stargirl. Even if it meant losing popularity or even Leo, she had to stay true to herself.
At the start of the novel, Stargirl is approaches with a sense of hesitation by the students at Mica High. Part of it is that she is homeschooled, creating a sort of disconnect between she and the student body. Another level of divergence between both Stargirl and the students is her eccentricity. Her name and its implications, her free spirited demeanor, as well as the way in which she carries herself creates a sense of difference about her, and one that causes the students to view her with skepticism and uncertainty at the start of the novel. The way in which she embodies the spirit of freedom and non- conformity creates an uneasy relationship between the students at Mica High and Stargirl. This dynamic at the start of the year sets the stage for the exploration what Spinelli will examine between the relationship between the individual and the social order in which she is immersed.