How to Appear Like a Smart Girl at School

This guide will cover mainly physical appearance plus tips and advice on how to act in school. A smart girl can have the world at her feet if she works hard for her goals. This article assumes that you are already a smart girl and want the world to know it, but for more tips on increasing your actual intelligence, please see the related articles.


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    Envision yourself as the "smart girl". Observe other brainy girls carefully. What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them? Make a list of the pros and cons before you consider the change.
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    Cut your hair to a medium length. Studies have shown that medium length hair is perceived as intelligent. If your hair is medium length, you can neatly braid it, wear it down and natural or put it in a neat looking bun. If you would prefer to keep it long, that is okay, but, you should make sure it's clean and neat. Whatever your style, make sure it doesn't take too long to manage. You will want to spend more time learning and less time standing in front of the mirror. Keep it natural looking and avoid excessive hair product (including dye, except in a natural colour). A small leather headband is good too.
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    Dress intelligently. Cotton polo shirts, T-shirts with the names of museums or with university logos on them, plain and tailored looking pants, knee-length and above the knee skirts and clean, neat, clean-cut and sensible leather shoes/sandals are all nice. Navy blue, plaids and brown also look nice, but don't do it every day. Avoid trends and flashy clothes. Dress modestly. Don't show too much skin.
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    Keep your make up clean and not excessive or elaborate. No glitter or shine. Imitate the makeup of women of stature. Look for inspiration from fashion websites that address makeup for working women, and only use makeup in that section. You don't have to wear any makeup if you don't want to. Avoid excessive piercings.
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    Wear glasses if you need them. Sometimes it makes people seem more intelligent, especially rectangle and rounded frames. Keep them clean. Thick frames are especially good. However, if you don't need them, don't be pretentious.
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    Carry these items: a practical backpack of reasonable size, a good book to read, an address book to put your friends' phone numbers in, notebooks for your various needs, school paper, some pencils with good erasers, some ball point pens, a hand held manual pencil sharpener that doesn't need to be used over a trash bag, some good art erasers, some good eraser caps and a study/day planner.
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    Impress the teachers. Start to study very hard and keep trying to raise your grades. Ask your teachers what you can do for extra credit. Your teachers in high school will write recommendations for you for college. Keep that in mind! Become a "do-er" at school which means win the science fair, run for office or organize the school dance. Write good articles for the school newspaper.
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    Show enthusiasm about school. Many teens show, or pretend to have, a very negative or bored attitude about high school and working hard. They think it is "cool" to be indifferent. Be the opposite. If you don't take delight in school, why waste your time? You are there to learn.
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    Build a "homework cave" for yourself at home. Keep all your work/books/supplies in one place, along with a desk and a strong desk light. Insist on peace and quiet from other family members. If it is too loud at home, study at the public library. Organising your schoolwork and making lists helps you, not just in school, but in life.
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    With your principal's permission, start a project in your school. Try to raise money and awareness for worthy causes such as "Stop Hunger in Africa" or "Cure Childhood Cancer". You will also feel like a better person for it.
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    Exercise as much as you can. It will give you much-needed focus and make you more relaxed. Eat protein sources: egg white, tuna fish, chicken, power bars, etc. Try out for a good team sport like soccer or something you enjoy. Get good at it and enjoy it. Attend sports camps in the summer for at least 2 weeks. Try to jog, slowly building up to 5 kilometres (3 miles) a day to help your endurance. Also run stairs if you can to build up your leg muscles. A great side benefit is how thin you will stay or become and you will feel great about yourself. Also working out at a gym can build strength and confidence.
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    Find a smart woman for a role model. Ask if she will "mentor" you during school.
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    Set goals. It's much easier to get things done if you clearly outline to yourself exactly what it is that you need to do.
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    Work hard to get into a good college. College admissions look at the High School you went to, your transcripts (grades and SAT scores), your teacher/counselor recommendations and what you tell them in your essays about yourself. Finish college applications early when you are a Senior.
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    Broaden your hobbies. Discover interesting things to do with your close friends and when you are by yourself. Try to pick a music, a sport, a craft, and anything else you love.
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    Practice time management. It will leave you more room for fun. Figure out where you are losing too much time in your day and fix it.
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    Develop poise. Work at becoming steady and confident. Try to some have composure at all times. Giggling, gossiping and insecurity make you look silly. Practice staying calm under pressure and being comfortable in a variety of settings.
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    Always have your stationery out in lessons. Have your planner out, then put your pencil case on top in front of you. Get your ruler and pen/pencil out, ready to learn.
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    Answer questions 3 times a day, not by getting picked, by volunteering. Teachers will think you are really trying and it could be the few marks you will need to move from a B to A.


  • Whatever you do, be yourself. There is nothing smart about pretending to be someone you're just not. Stick with your look - it's just sad seeing someone try to be smart and the next day completely going back to being "one of the pretty girls". You will totally lose respect.
  • If you are trying to use a bigger vocabulary, make sure you actually understand what you are saying. Otherwise you'll seem like a fake and everyone will laugh at you. Try learning a new word from the dictionary each day.
  • Make friends of all types and just relax! You are a teenager, after all, so make the most of it.
  • Always try your best to be noticed but not too attention getting. Take lots of notes in class and listen to your teachers. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to get special recognition at school. Be the first to finish your class projects. Don't just look smart but be smart. Win some awards and praise from the school teachers. Set goals to improve your grades but don't stress out too much!
  • Start writing all the time. Anything you want to write is fine. Most high schools and colleges reward very good essays. They might even read your story aloud to the class!
  • Never goof off at school. Be serious, but also be friendly and talk quietly during class if someone talks to you (but be sure to keep your conversations short).
  • Work at discovering your passions and interests in life. It is so important! Seek out experiences that make you grow as a person. Take small risks (2 of them) every week. Look carefully at how you could create a more ideal world. If anyone makes fun of you just ignore them even if it is hard.
  • Be more competitive. Try to see what scores other people have, and try getting yours even just a bit higher than theirs.
  • Always use correct English. Saying "No, I don't got a pencil" sounds sloppy and uneducated.
    • If you have a cell phone and you text people, try to use as little 'texting slang' as possible.
  • Do something off the wall that you have never tried just for yourself — learn to play the trombone, horseback ride or live in another country for 8 weeks during your Senior year. Check out all possibilities and keep an open mind.
  • Try out a "smart" activity, such as the forensics (speech and debate) team at your school. Researching for your events, be it extemporaneous speaking, oratory, or a certain style of debate, is a fun and addictive way of learning new things. Other things you can do: tutoring, community service, and maybe political campaign work (especially now).
  • Reap the rewards of being a "smart" girl. Make an "achievement" wall in your room. Place papers that get A's, school awards, team medals, trophies, anything that you got for working hard and achieving. It will grow over time and you can look back with pride in how well you are doing.
  • While you're at it, try to enrich your mind. Take your reading a step further. If you like reading slightly trashy, fictional books about strong girls and women, read a book about modern feminism. Watch or listen to the news as much as possible. Impressions of intelligence are built over time, so the more often you can offer some insight or fact you gain from higher level reading or just knowing about the world around you, the smarter you'll seem.
    • Have a book with you all the time — again, not something trashy. They are great conversation starters. Look in the Classics section in the bookstore. Have a SAT TEST book to study, and carry it around. SAT test guides should be seriously studied because you need high scores for college.
    • However, this would be an example of having an open mind — not all the women who write, say, grocery store romance novels actually like such novels (though many do!) but are just trying to make ends meet. Always try to look at the big picture.
  • Ask people what their grades are and seem very concerned with yours. Smart girls are obsessed with good grades because they want to go to a good university such as Stanford, Dartmouth, Williams, George Washington University and maybe even some Ivy league schools such as Harvard or Yale.
  • Work on the school newspaper. Make sure you always have an after school activity every day. Team sports and any charity work look great on a college application.
  • Develop strong ethics and beliefs. Question everything and remain curious. Develop a love for social activism. Do you love any of your country's main political parties? Why? Are you pro/con gun control or the death penalty? Why? You will need to write essays to get into college so start thinking/questioning what your values are. Do your own research. Also, it is good to be knowledgeable about current events and politics.
  • Yoga is a good way to relieve any stress. They sell CDs or you can take a class.


  • A big turn off of hanging around smart people is they risk becoming "know-it-alls" and bragging too much about themselves. Keep clear of that obnoxious behavior and fly low under the radar. Never brag about your high test scores or awards. Surprise people when they didn't know you had it in you! Wait until they hear about it from your mom, best friend or teachers.
  • To do this you must be steady and consistent. Your behavior and your language should be softer and not aggressive.
  • If your parents start to pressure you about grades and the like, tell them you are working on yourself and show improvement. If they are obsessed about you and everything you do at school, you may have a problem, especially if they won't back off. Tell them very nicely and gently that they need to get a new hobby besides you. Smile at them and give them a hug. You are not only smart and lovely (inside and out) but a lady as well. Remember that.
  • When you go to a party do not drink. Alcohol destroys brain cells not to mention your liver. Many kids who are under pressure or stress from school drink to forget their problems. Don't be a crowd follower, as it makes you look and act stupid and you might do things you will regret. Don't get off your goal oriented track. Better yet, just drink soda instead, as alcohol is awful for you, not to mention illegal if you're a minor.
  • It's hard if you are shy but smart kids ask their teachers questions. It might be extra hard to ask a teacher a question about the subject that he or she is teaching — especially if, in your culture, a) girls are discouraged from asking questions, and / or b) asking questions implies that the teacher doesn't know what s/he's doing — but try it anyway. Then listen very carefully to the answer.
  • Don't let the day that the college admissions offices release their results make you too upset. The competition these days to get into certain universities is almost impossible ... almost. Don't take it personally!
  • A typical day of a smart girl is tough. You might have AP or honor classes to study for, then a sports practice or a club session. During the summer try swimming and biking to build your physical endurance. Exercise helps the brain function better.
  • There will be people and events that will seem, or actively try, to stop you in your goals and dreams. If you want it badly enough, you will be successful.
  • If you feel burned out and are seriously unhappy, ask your parents if you can take the entire summer off.
  • Always do your homework and turn everything in on time. It's pretty much a given that smart girls are responsible about deadlines and this is crucial to your image of intelligence.

Things You'll Need

  • Various pens and pencils
  • backpack
  • book
  • planner
  • address book
  • erasers
  • hand held pencil sharpener

Article Info

Categories: Intellectual Types