Backstreet Boys Share Lessons You Won't Learn In Class

The Backstreet Boys know best that school isn't only homework and tests. Millnnium mavens Nick, Brian, Kevin, AJ, and Howie share their inspiring lessons.

Kev's Big Britches Lead to Humbling Riches

Some event are so humiliating, you just wann curl up under your covers and never, ever come out again. You know, like when your mom- over your roaring objections- still pulls the car up and drops you off smack-dab in front of all your friends. We know- you could die.

But quiet cutie Kevin Richardson insists that these challenging experiences are priceless because they can actually help you grow as a person. "It's silly to embarrassed over everything," he offers. "Most people forget about it anyway."

Natch, Kentucky-born Kev understands it if you don't believe him, because he hadn't yet developed this mature outlook when, as an eight-year-old elementary school student, he barely survived his most blushworthy school blunder. "It was raining hard one day, and I fell in the mud," he recalls to BB. "My pants were filthy, so I couldn't wear them. I had to go to the school office, where they had spare clothes."

But the worst part wasn't over yet. "They had a pair of jeans, but they were too big and looked ridiculous," Kevin, 27, moans. "i felt really sad all day having to trudge around in these big, baggy pants. It was very embarrassing."

Today, Kev says, he's toughened up and learned to shrug off all those would-be mortifying moments that can happen on-stage!

Nick Just Said No- and Now Look

Before he sprouted into the mega-studmuffin he is today, Nick Carter was a skinny student who got teased at school for things like the big, square-framed, inch-thick glasses the doctor made him wear. "I remember I took them suckers off," the 19-year-old giggles. But the New York native has never been one to do harmful things- like smoke, drink, do drugs, or even join others in being mean to people- in order to be accepted. "I've always been my own person," he boasts.

Remaining true to himself and his convictions turned out to be a ginormous bonus to being a Backstreet Boy. "I think that in this business, a lot of drugs are invloved and there is a lot of peer pressure to do them," Nick sadly explains, insuring, "We definitely don't do them." The clever cookie adds, smiling, "The only high we got is the astro-high from when you get up on stage and see all the fans out there." And that's all this gorgeous guy and his "I Want It That Way" groupmates need!

B-Rok Discovers Pride in His Parents

Brian Littrell learned very early in life to have faith in the decisions of his parents, Jackie and Harold- even if it meant not graduating to the second grade along with all of his friends.

The Kentucky cutie remembers the painful time in his life when heart problems kept him out class. "My parents were worried that I'd missed so much in school," B-Rok, 24, tells BB. "They wanted me to catch up, so I went to first grade all over again."

Instead of whining and crying, li'l Brian realized they were right. "There's so many things I had missed," he says. "I don't think I would've done well if I'd moved on." And today, the family-lovin' guy still relies on his wise 'rents for love and support. "My mother and ather have been such a major influence in my life," Brian beams. "I've always felt proud to look to them for guidence."

AJ Found Out What Real Friendship's About

Have you even been lost in love with the absolute cutest guy on campus- only he wouldn't give you the time of day, even if you asked him? AJ McLean, 21, can so totally relate. "There was a lot of girls that I really liked that didn't want anything to do with me," the dynamo dishes. "Not even as friends."

AJ discovered that sometimes you can be so blinded by someone's beauteous bod and face that it's tough to admit they're the ones with the problem, not you. "All they really care about is what you look like or if you dress cool," he laments. "And that stuff doesn't matter. It's what's inside that counts."

Today, the Florida-born fella can look back and laugh, because it's the snooties, who wouldn't stop and notices his amazing potential as a person, who are falling all over themselves now. "All the really pretty girls in school that you never thought would ever talk to you, ever- who were always going out with the jocks- now they want to hang out with me," he chuckles. Not a chance! Aj know who his real friends are.

Howie Didn't Give Up When Things Got Tough

Sure, Howie Dorough's extremely proud to admit he was an excellent student in school. He was always super involved in extracurricular activities, too. But Sweet D (who turns 26 on August 22) is also not ashamed to tell you- are you ready for this?- that he was terrible at some of the things he tried. "I was in the school band trying to play the French Horn," the Florida native shares. "I tried my best, but I wasn't good at all. I gave up after a year. Then I tried to get into wrestling, but I was very good at that, either. I was at that awkward stage, and the kids I had to fight looked the same size, but they were stronger. So I lost."

Instead of swelling over his failures, the unstoppable Howie simply tried something else: singing. And look where it got him! Howie happily dishes, "All that hard work and not giving up paid off!" Now see if the same can't happen for you!

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