How to Be Cool at School

Three Parts:Making a Good ImpressionMaking Lots of FriendsBeing Friendly, Confident, and Likable

Maybe you've already read up on how to be cool but are still left wondering how to apply those tips to your school life. It seems like a high-pressure environment, but checking your perspective on what makes someone "cool" can take some of that pressure off. To be cool at school, you really just need to take basic care of your appearance, be friendly and open-minded, develop your interests, and stay your normally awesome self. If you can do all of this, coolness could be easier than you ever imagined.

Part 1
Making a Good Impression

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    Get clean. One of the easiest things you can do for your popularity status is stay fresh and smelling good. Kids in school tend to judge a book by its cover, and being smelly is a one-way ticket to the reject table. Take showers regularly, brush your teeth, floss, and use deodorant. You'll look more attractive, whether you're a guy or a girl, too.
    • It's also a good idea to wash your face regularly. Pre-adolescence and adolescence is a breeding ground for acne, and washing your face can combat that.
    • If you're worried about sweating during the day thanks to the weather or gym class, keep a stick of deodorant or a good-smelling spray in your locker or bag.
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    Style your hair. In addition to not being clean, you also won't attract a lot of friends if you looked like you just rolled out of bed, regardless of what age you are. Take a few minutes in the morning to style your hair however you think it looks best. A little bit of effort goes a long way, even if it's just a bit of gel or a couple rounds with a flat iron or blow dryer.
    • If you don't like your hair currently, get it cut. No idea what kind of cut? Odds are your hairstylist will be able to tell you what kind of cut will look good with the shape of your face. You could get highlights or a different color, too.
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    Pay attention to your clothes. Every school is different, and there is not one individual look that ensures you'll be cool. At some schools its the rebels who are "cool," at others it's the "jocks." The only thing you can really do is pay attention to your clothes and make sure you walk out the door with a look you know you like. Are your clothes clean? Do they match? Do you feel confident in them? That's most of the battle right there.
    • If you feel like you look good, you'll walk around acting like you look good, and others will follow suit. So much of personality is confidence. You don't have to especially beautiful or especially smart or especially funny; you just have to be confident and the rest of the world may just be fooled.
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    Let your personality shine through your look. When it comes to your clothes and your accessories, don't be afraid to have your own sense of style. Discover the clothes you like to wear, the brands you like, the accessories you like, and create your style. Wear those clothes to school and be unique. Who knows? You could start a trend.
    • Being cool is also about being a leader and doing your own thing – not about being a follower. Don't worry about the people who judge you about your clothing and those that are trying so hard to blend in (these are often the same people). Your own sense of style will attract those who also have their own sense of style.

Part 2
Making Lots of Friends

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    Join a handful of organizations. Being cool isn't just about being popular, it's about being known. And what's the easiest way to get your name and your face recognized? By joining groups at school, of course. Try to join a few that don't overlap – that way you'll meet the most people and have a wide variety of interests.
    • Try to join one of every kind of activity: one athletic, one academic, and one artistic. You could be on the basketball team, on the school newspaper, and in choir. It'll look good on your college resume, too.
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    Observe. Try to identify who's where on the "social ladder." It's not that big of a deal (being cool is about being liked, which is different than being popular), but it will help you know how to identify with people. What are the cool kids like? Are they jocks, are they smart, are they rebels? How about the mid-crowd? Do they follow along or sort of do their own thing? And the lowest tier, what about them? With whom in which groups do you want to be friends with? It's a good idea to be friends with people on all rungs of the ladder – you never know where you'll end up.
    • If you do want to be popular, it's a good idea to befriend one of the nicer popular people; they'll be your ticket into "the group." Just make sure you don't abuse people on your way up. Sometimes friends don't work out, and then the rejects won't even want you later when you need a friend.[1]
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    Be friendly with everyone. Again, being cool doesn't necessarily mean you're popular. There are plenty of "popular" kids that are mean and not actually liked. Being one of them won't get you anywhere. Instead, aim to be popular and cool by having people legitimately like you. To do that, just be friendly and nice to everyone you meet. Why would you do anything else, right?
    • You probably have a pretty good grip on how to be friendly. The only thing to keep in mind is to be friendly to those people that you think aren't cool. Give them help when you sense they need it. Say hi in the hallways if you know them. You never know – they could be the next cool kid in a few months' time.
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    Don't ditch your old friends. Just because you're trying to move into the cooler crowd, you shouldn't leave your old friends behind. If you try to ditch them, the people you want to join will know — and no one wants to be friends with that type of person. Make new ones in addition to the old.
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    Act like it's all natural. You can spend ages on your hair/makeup and just say that it takes "one comb through." They will admire you because it would take THEM hours while it takes YOU 5 or 10 minutes. They will want to be like you, but don't keep mentioning or bragging about it.
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    Don't try so hard. Just about every adult will tell you that when you grow up, you'll realize that being cool doesn't really matter and if they would've known that being cool is about not trying, they wouldn't have stressed so much. Though it's easier said than done, try to relax a little. If you're trying too hard, it's a turnoff and people won't think you're confident and that you don't like yourself. And if you don't like yourself, why should they?
    • Here's an example: let's say this person you don't really know asks you out on a date. You say no. Then, they start sending you love letters. You still say no. Then flowers. Next thing you know, they're outside your door at night. They are trying really, really hard. Is it working? No. In fact, it's the opposite of working. You wish they had a little self-respect and you just want them to go away.
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    Value your opinion above anyone else's. Try your best to not care about what you think other people think of you. Just go with the flow. Why? Because not everyone is going to like you. No one is liked by everyone because we all have flaws and we all have different personalities. If you know for sure someone is judging you, you can voice it, then just act like you don't care, because you don't. Practice thinking this way and your confidence will improve via self-acceptance. People at school will start wondering where you got all this self esteem!
    • This is where style comes into play. The skaters have their style, the plastics have their style, the nerds have their style, etc. We're all different and nothing is necessarily better than anything else. If someone is judging you, they're caught up in their small, closed mind. They're not going anywhere anyway, so don't get on the friend train with them. It's a one-way ticket to a dead end.
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    Avoid being a bully. Don't be mean to other people in your school just to make yourself seem cooler. In fact, people generally hate bullies, they're just too scared to admit it to their faces.[2] In time, the bullies lose their power and then they're left with nothing. It may be tempting now, but in the long run it will only do you harm.
    • Don't spread gossip or start rumors.
    • Don't make negative comments. Just because you don't like someone, or something they've done, doesn't mean you need to voice that.
    • Don't exclude others. After all, you're reading this because you want people to like you.
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    Don't let bullies push you around. It's easier said than done, but in school, using your sense of humor and your good social tactics are the key. With friends at your side, you'll be untouchable. If things get too bad, tell a trusted adult so they can help deal with it.

Part 3
Being Friendly, Confident, and Likable

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    Be open-minded. Remember that part above about how being cool is about being liked by lots of different people? Well, to get all these different types of people liking you, you've got to like them. Open your mind and try to see that not only the coolest kids have value – that everyone does. You'll come off as a friendly, more likable, happier person – and that's the type of person most of us want to be around.
    • Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Zac Efron, Kristen Stewart, Lady Gaga – these are all pretty cool people who were not cool in school (or so they say).[3] This is proof that if you're not open-minded, you could miss out on some pretty awesome people.
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    Respect people. Being respectful to others even if they aren't your friends shows that you don't discriminate people based on anything because they are not your friends. You'll develop a positive reputation of always being kind and considerate and being friends with everyone because they can rely on you and that you won't judge them. That definitely sounds pretty cool.
    • A good way to make friends is to make them laugh. If you're cracking jokes at another's expense, just make sure they get it that it's in good fun. And try to stay away from making fun of teachers – that can easily backfire.
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    Keep it positive. You know that kid who's sulking in the corner, all dressed in black, who's always frowning and talking to no one? Doesn't seem very happy, does he? Do you want to hang around that negativity? Probably not. If you want to be a magnet for people, to get all of them liking you, stay positive. Keep your chin up, be willing to laugh at yourself, and spread your positivity and awesomeness. Other people will end up flocking to your side so it rubs off on them.
    • And will it rub off on others? Probably. Some studies say that just being around other happy people makes us more likely to be happy; and hanging around sad people makes us more likely to be sad. So could you be that beacon of light for your friends? Of course!
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    Smile. When it comes to humans, we're pretty simple. We know what we like and we don't like, and something we definitely do like is a person with a smile on their face. Not only does it show others that you're happier, make you more happier (your mind actually starts believing it), but it can make you more sexually attractive, too. [4] Put a smile on your face and see how you feel. Eventually it'll become a worthwhile habit!
    • Try not to put a fake one on either. Keep it natural. Most people can see through a fake smile. If you stay positive, having a genuine smile shouldn't be too hard to come by.
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    Stay true to you. Though the phrase "be yourself" is repeated frequently, it doesn't mean that it's not valuable advice. In fact, it should be pretty clear between "don't try too hard" and "stick to your own sense of style" that being yourself is where it's at, unless you are not cool, then, you have to change yourself to be cool. Why does being yourself, if you are cool, make you cooler? Being yourself means you're comfortable with yourself and you're more confident. When you try to be someone else, you're just an imitation, and phonies are definitely not cool.
    • Think about it: only you can really be you: no one else can. You're unique and have a set of characteristics and skills that no one else around you has. You can offer the world something different. So why try to be a second-rate version of someone else? You is definitely cooler than anything else "you" can be.
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    Realize that school (and being cool) doesn't last forever. In recent studies, it has been shown that kids who were cool in middle school generally aren't as successful in the long run as their less-than-cool peers.[5] So if you're stressing about being cool and popular now, try to see that the kids who are cool now are likely at their peak in life. It's all downhill from here for them, and all uphill from here for you. That's a win, even if it doesn't feel like it.
    • In short, being cool is temporary. Eventually, as we age, we realize that "cool" doesn't really exist. We move on and we all start to do our own thing because it's what makes us happy. If the cool isn't coming easy to you, just wait. It gets easier with time.
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    Become a leader. The cool people can't be followers, because they're the ones who set the trends. Take the initiative when it comes to making plans. Listen to different music, and introduce your friends to it. Start new games, and wear new styles. Not everything you do will become a trend, but being a follower isn't good for your status.


  • Just live your life! Live it the way you want to live it. Do you really want other people to tell you how to live? Live, love, and think.
  • Be friendly and be nice to people. Say hi to people, especially if you make eye contact and they look like they're expecting a greeting, and be friendly with your teachers too.
  • Being cool often means being funny. Tell jokes that make people laugh.
  • Keep up with the latest trends, but that doesn't mean that you have to have everything that's in style. Also don't sport too many fads at once. It will make you look desperate and lack a unique style.
  • You don't really need to have lots and lots friends. Find two or three good people that will always be there for you.
  • Help people when they are in trouble.
  • Don't be a bully be good to others. So that other kids will like your kindness to others.
  • Don't let your life be controlled by other people's opinions. Some people will always try to put you down, just to make themselves feel more superior.
  • When telling a joke or trying to be funny, be careful not to accidentally offend someone.


  • Make sure you check the dress code rules before you try dressing in style. If you don't you can be in serious trouble with the teacher/principal.
  • It's stressed again that being cool isn't everything. Often in high school, the "norm" is a dangerous thing. It can lead to peer pressure which can in turn lead you to destroy your life with drugs and alcohol. If being cool means doing things you know are dangerous, don't.

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