How to Be Cool in High School

Two Parts:Navigating the High School Social LadderAdopting a Cool Attitude

Do you want to be really cool in high school? Some think people are born cool - but that's just not true. You can learn to be cool, and fake it until you learn. Learn a few cool strategies so you can figure out how to be cool while in high school.

Part 1
Navigating the High School Social Ladder

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    Make friends with popular people. One way to be cool is to become friends with the popular people in school. This helps you start to get recognized by the cool, popular people in school. Once you start hanging around the popular crowd, people will start to know who you are.
    • Start with a person with lower popularity and work your way up. Starting with people on the lower rungs helps you gain access to the group. Plus, these less popular people may be excited that you are showing them attention. Make their day.
    • Don't be fake. That is definitely not cool. You want to make good friends, not superficial acquaintances that you will drop. If you get into that habit, people will start to think of you that way. You don't want to hurt your reputation.
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    Make friends with many people. Don't focus so much on one popular clique that you end up not making friends with anyone else. There are a lot of people in your school. Make sure you are nice to everyone! The more people you get to know, the more people you befriend, the more popular and cool you will become.
    • The first impression always count. Show your true self, and don't try to fake who you really are.
    • Make friends with people in grades above you and grades below you. Befriend people in different cliques. Get to know the popular kids, but talk to the kids on the soccer team, the drama clique, and the kids with the rock band. Making friends and getting to know a lot of people will help you increase your coolness. It will help get your name out there more.
    • Making friends with a lot of people can help you figure out which group you want to be part of. Becoming part of a social group, whether it's the jocks, the musicians, the popular kids, or the brains, helps foster a sense of belonging.[1]
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    Join clubs. One way to be cool and increase your popularity is to join clubs. Choose clubs that interest you, like drama club or maybe student council. What clubs are the popular people in? If there are people you want to be friends with, try joining the club they are part of.
    • Clubs will help you meet people. As you get involved in club activities, like theater productions and student council elections, your name will get out there so people will start recognizing who you are. This helps increase your coolness, because you'll be that guy in the fall production or that girl who won student council secretary.
    • Don't join a club you will hate being part of just to be friends with someone. You want to be part of things you will enjoy. Don't be a poser because people will be able to tell if you are faking liking something.
    • Don't join everything. You don't want to spread yourself too thin or be a show off.
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    Get involved in sports. Most high school athletes are automatically cool, just on principle. Think about what sport is cool in your school. Is it lacrosse, soccer, football, or baseball? Try out for the team. Just make sure you are prepared for the dedication and physical exertion. Also make sure you can play the game. You don't want to humiliate yourself at tryouts.
    • Are all the popular girls cheerleaders? Consider joining cheer leading. If they are all playing field hockey, play field hockey. Make sure to befriend the players once you make the team.
    • If you are not interested in joining the team, then get involved other ways. Go to home games. Many popular cliques will go to football games on Friday nights. Join them. Get involved with booster clubs and student council pep rallies.
    • Sports are a great way to make new friends and learn teamwork. They also help keep you in shape and look good on college applications.[2]
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    Share your food. Once you start sitting with people at lunch or hanging out with cool kids, bring food to share with them. This is a way to start a conversation and start interacting with people in a low stress environment.
    • Keep it simple, though. Don't make cookies. Instead, if you have a bag of chips, offer them up. After you open then, just simply ask, "Want some chips?" Don't make a big deal about it. Keep it simple, keep it cool.[3]
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    Go to parties. Figure out who throws the best parties and go to those parties. Go with a group of friends. If you go alone, then mingle and meet people. Have fun and enjoy yourself while at the parties.
    • Don't drink and do drugs at parties to be cool. Drugs and drinking underage are illegal. More than that, you don't want to be the sloppy drunk or high person who embarrasses herself. Instead, stay sober so you can act cool and not make a fool of yourself. Plus, it helps you stay out of trouble.
    • Don't have sex at parties to try to be cool. You should only have sex if you are ready. Having sex with someone because you think they will make you cool can only end in disaster. Instead, flirt with people, date around, and even make out. You just don't want to end up labeled as a player or a slut.
    • To avoid pressure at parties, try to not to draw attention to yourself when others are doing things you feel uncomfortable with. Walk to another room if you have to. Don't give in and do things that make you feel uncomfortable to fit in with a group.[4]
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    Be nice and genuine to people. Being cool doesn't mean being mean or cruel. Smile at people. Speak to them. Be nice to people who are less cool or in other cliques than yours. When you date people, make sure that you like them. Don't just date people to gain popularity and then dump them. Be a nice, genuine person so people will like you.[5]
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    Keep your principles. When trying to be cool, don't give up your principles. Remember, you've got to live with your choices. Things you do in high school affect your college acceptance and can influence your future. Don't sacrifice what you know feels right just to be cool.
    • Don't get bad grades. Most cool kids aren't the ones who are failing their classes. Maybe they're not the smartest or the valedictorian, but they get good grades. The cool, popular kids want to go to good colleges because they want good jobs that will make them money. Don't sacrifice your grades to make yourself look good.
    • Don't get into trouble. Some cool kids understand when to break the rules and when not to. But getting into fights, doing drugs, drinking, and being intentionally rude to teachers is not the way to gain cool points. A lot of cool, popular kids are actually the teacher's pets. This lets them get away with more in their classes because the teachers like them.[6]

Part 2
Adopting a Cool Attitude

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    Know that less is more. The key to being cool is to not try so hard. Cool people don't push; they're not needy. While working on your coolness, try dialing everything back a bit. Don't be too eager or too excitable.[7]
    • Don't fidget. When talking to people, stay cool, calm, and collected. Don't mess with your hair, adjust your shirt, or bite your lip. Try not to flail your arms around. You want to exude coolness, not nervous energy. Take a deep breath before talking, then speak slowly and deliberately. Try not to say "um" too much.
    • Be a bit aloof. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't speak to people, be interested when someone speaks, or smile. It just means that you shouldn't wave excitedly when you see the coolest kid in class. Don't run up to someone and starts rambling. Play it cool. Nod your head, smile, and say hello. Remember - less is more.[8]
    • Don't try too hard to be liked, to be accepted, or to be known. Don't care so much about those things. Leave the obsessing to other people. Keep your focus on staying cool, calm, and collected.[9]
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    Don't be the loud, obnoxious kid. When you walk down the halls, don't scream, yell, or laugh too loud. You don't want to be that person everyone rolls their eyes at because they can hear your conversation all the way down the hall. Talk at a normal volume. When you laugh, don't go overboard. Try not to laugh too loud or snort.[10]
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    Be yourself, but don't overdo it. Being cool is about being yourself. Posers, copycats, and wannabes are never cool. You want to be unique, be yourself, and keep your own interests. However, since you are concerned with coolness, you want to make sure not to go overboard. High school has never been kind to those individuals who are such an individual that they are in their own world. Save that kind of stuff for college.
    • Unfortunately, this might mean downplaying certain aspects of yourself. Are you into manga, video games, or pop culture? Do you like death metal, goth culture, or veganism? If so, decide how much of your true personality you can share and not alienate your peers. Will they stop talking to you if you talk about manga all the time? Are they going to think you're weird if you start wearing all black?
    • If you truly want to be cool and fit in, try not to experiment too much. Part of the key for being cool in high school is to be like the majority.
    • Try to find a balance between being yourself and not pushing your classmates away by things they don't understand.[11]
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    Understand that confidence is key. Think about what most cool people in movies and TV have in common: they are confident. They know they are cool, they like themselves, and they don't need to find validation through other people. Having confidence helps you not try too hard, which is definitely not cool.
    • Most people don't have an innate confidence. Instead, they fake it. Fake your confidence until you start to believe it.[12]
    • Have a mantra you repeat to yourself. Say to yourself, "I am awesome/beautiful/kind/smart/funny/etc." Say it in your head, post it in your locker - whatever works for you.[13]
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    Use social media wisely. Sites like Instagram and Twitter can help you increase your cool factor. When using Twitter, don't talk about other people. Instead, make your tweets funny and interesting. Be witty. Don't flood your feed. Instagram can be another great way to garner some cool points and increase your popularity.
    • Post when you know people are going to be on. Evenings and Sunday afternoons are good times when high schoolers aren't busy doing other things.
    • Don't post too often. Once again, the idea of less is more is important here. You don't want to flood people's Instagram feed or bore them. You want to intrigue them with your life. Post once or twice a week. Make sure those posts are good ones. Don't just post pictures of your food or your cat.
    • Post selfies sparingly. Don't be that girl who always posts a selfie with duck face, or the guy who posts a shirtless selfie. Keep the selfies spontaneous, like when you're at a cool place or out with friends.
    • Follow people. Like their photos, make sure they know who you are so they can follow you back. But make sure your follower-to-follows ratio is about even. You don't want to look like the person who follows everyone but who no one follows back. Unfollow people who refuse to follow you back.
    • Have fun with Instagram. Post flattering pictures of yourself, pictures where you're doing fun things, and pictures that show you have an interesting life.[14]
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    Dress the right way. Being cool doesn't mean following all the new fashion trends. Instead, take a look around and see what all the cool kids are wearing. What fashions are in style at your school? Shop from the stores the cool kids do and try to emulate their looks.[15]
    • Don't be a complete fashion copycat. Put your own individual twist onto the outfits. Wear accessories or shoes you want to, get shirts in the color you prefer, or wear styles you feel comfortable in. The key to dressing the right way is feeling comfortable and owning what you wear.
    • Don't go overboard with fashion. Dress simply. Too many fashion trends in one outfit will make you look like a mess. Instead, opt for one trendy piece with an otherwise simple outfit.
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    Have good hygiene. Being smelly, having dirty hair, and not taking care of yourself is not cool. You don't have to have the perfect body, but you want to take care of yourself. This ensures that you present the best you to your peers.
    • Take regular showers. You want to make sure that you keep your body clean, along with your hair and face. Brush your teeth before school every morning. Wear deodorant. Don't wear so much cologne and perfume that people can't stand next to you.


  • Don't be mean or spread rumors; niceness is the way to get in.
  • Don't agree with them on everything they say. They won't like you if you act like a wannabe
  • You may be confronted with peer pressure, but if you're straight forward and nice about it when refusing, you can still be accepted.
  • Figure out what is cool at your school. In some schools, sports are cool, while in others, being a hipster is cool. Figure out what works for your school.

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Categories: School Popularity