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If you were one of the popular/ cool/ in-crowd kid at school...

(41 Posts)
Bluebellberry Tue 19-Jan-21 20:20:20

What do you think made you popular or cool? Was it looks, confidence, dress sense, way you spoke etc?
If you picked on other kids did you enjoy it, was it a power trip?
I was never one of the popular kids, they all seemed totally opposite of me so I was always so intrigued about how their mindset worked so differently to mine. I had low self esteem so wondered if popular kids is just naturally higher self-esteem, and somehow people can sense this?
Now I have a teen dc it's fascinating to see the same cycle repeat itself of the 'popular kids' crowd , and what makes wonder more what makes some one a queen bee or in the queen bee gang. I think confidence has a lot to do with it?

OP’s posts: |
Flower3411 Tue 19-Jan-21 20:31:27

I was in with the popular kids at school, however I was also a gobby little shit to teachers and often felt guilty as hell about an hour afterwards - would often apologise (not that it makes it okay). I was the joker, got in trouble a lot but looking back it was all a front. I had/have really low self esteem, I had panic attacks often in year 11 at high school. (Not that it was common knowledge) I was so afraid of being wrong/failing I decided not to try instead.
I can wholeheartedly say I never picked on anyone at school, quite the opposite I always went out of my way to make sure others were okay because I knew how it felt not to be okay. My mum was ill a lot when I was at high school so I also think the behaviour was a form of getting attention from other adults that I wasn't getting at home - I'm really not sure. (There are so popular wankers though, I'd like to think I wasn't one of them smile )
I did however prioritise the social side of school over the academic side - this, a lot of us had in common which I think does determine how "popular" you are at school.

Santaiscovidfree Tue 19-Jan-21 20:34:41

As above tbh...
I have 2 dd's and the more popular one has the most issues at school. And in general I guess.. The dd with a bff and a few good friends is less stressed and more academic..

Guineapigbridge Tue 19-Jan-21 20:38:59

I was popular despite being ordinary looking. Confidence, sense of humour and being good with boys helped. By good with boys I mean I treated them as equals, was good with banter and flirting and but they knew that I wasn't at all interested in trying to please them. I had brothers and a dad I was close to.

RosesAndHellebores Tue 19-Jan-21 20:48:58

Oh I think this is interesting. At school there was the gang of cool girls who could also be quite nasty. At the time, the uncool girls were aghast that the teachers let them get away with so much. With hindsight I suspect some of their circumstances weren't great and exceptions were made although I still think it's wrong that they were allowed to "hurt" others and therecwas too.little cognizance of the level of hurt.

I spent a lot of time at school learning to "read the runes" and staying on the right side of the teachers. I never shone academically like the needs and never was cool like the alpha girls.

About 25 years ago on a visit home I was served by one of alpha girls in M&S. She was fat, frumpy and life had by 35 worn her down. It was rather sad.

Moving on this was recreated by mothers in the playground and I was sad that the same old game played on.

I have been so much happier at work than at school and have found the alpha cool mothers in the playground end up divorced or often with children who play it all out again.

Chapellass Tue 19-Jan-21 20:54:49

I was "popular" at school (but hate that concept) and I do still have lots of friends. but I don't think I was / am cool and was definitely not mean to anyone - quite the opposite and deliberately so.

I think outwardly I would appear confident, although I'm not necessarily truly that confident. My self-esteem can be patchy. But I am resilient.

I've always been very outgoing and inquisitive, so I'll talk to people and ask questions, I think that makes it easy for people to have a conversation with me perhaps. Although I'm sure people find me annoying too. I genuinely like meeting new people though and becoming friends with someone.

I would have thought I was quite approachable at school as although in the popular crowd, I was friendly with everyone and was strong willed / minded enough to stand up for people (underdogs) as well, even (or especially) with the queen bee I was friends with.

However I was shocked at a school reunion when a woman who was in my year told me she'd been hugely intimidated by me at school. I didn't expect that.

ElizaLaLa Tue 19-Jan-21 20:56:00

I was in the popular group but I also flitted about a little bit. I never had self esteem or confidence issues, and don't shy away from 'confrontation'.

I was also one of the naughty kids but never bullied anyone.

Chapellass Tue 19-Jan-21 20:57:56

Forgot to add - at school I often got into trouble for talking but I was bright / quick and got good grades. Still get into trouble for talking

Chapellass Tue 19-Jan-21 20:58:20

...Too much now, I was going to say

MrsKypp Tue 19-Jan-21 21:00:09

Really interesting thread OP!

Not popular; preferred my own company because there were always fights in the playground and I was more the one for playing a game or sitting chatting quietly. I had one or two friends on and off, but bloody hated primary school.

had a best friend, always had other friends. Never saw any bullying at all ever. single sex selective (11+) grammar.

tellthem Tue 19-Jan-21 21:02:52

i wouldn't encourage them on any way to become one of the popular ones.. ive had this discussion with friends before and all the "popular" group at our schools have become the uncool ones now. mainly down to them being too cool to do well in school, so poor jobs or not in work now. and a lot had kids very early as were sexually active earlier than others to keep their jock boyfriends.

Kanaloa Tue 19-Jan-21 21:03:37

When I was in early high school I was quite popular/had a lot of friends but mainly because I wasn’t very nice. I think a lot of people wanted to be friends with me so they would then be less likely to be picked on. I was generally a bit of a bully because I was jealous of people, but I’m not like that now, I’m actually the total opposite and always tell my kids that bullying is the worst thing and you should stick up for people being bullied if you can.

SacreBleeeurgh Tue 19-Jan-21 21:06:41

I find this a really interesting subject. I wasn’t actually in the ‘cool crowd’ myself but I was in that sort of middle ground where it’s perfectly acceptable to speak to everyone from the ‘geeks/nerds’ (😷 sorry, I hate those terms now) all the way up to the Queen Bee, was never bullied, got invited to parties etc.

There were also two ‘strands’ to the in-crowd - the rebellious, defiant types, and the overachieving, multi talented, academic, sporty types.

The former have really been ‘worn down’ like a PO mentions - few have left our home town, haven’t really made a huge amount of themselves - a couple have actually passed away. The latter, on the other hand, remain massive overachievers and are extremely successful, well-off and live really exciting lives. I myself went in to a fairly prestigious career and (I can’t believe I’m saying this..) ‘married well’ so would probably be bracketed with them now.

I’m fascinated to know what makes the difference - it’s partially home life, though not entirely, and seems to be something to do with attitude and approach, even from a young age. I’ll be honest and say I’d love to know how to engender it in my own kids, because honestly, it makes school life so much easier.

Remmy123 Tue 19-Jan-21 21:10:09

I was popular.

I was pretty (never ever felt it, but was told)
I was good at netballl / sport
I was friends and was nice to everyone - the geeks, the bullies, the cool kids, the uncool kids

That's my advice to my kids - be friends with everyone dont just stick to who you think are popular / cool etc

funtimefrank Tue 19-Jan-21 21:22:45

Like a pp I was solidly acceptable b list which was quite a nice place to be. In 6th form my then bf went out with one of the A list lads (married him and they went on to have excellent careers, lovely kids and a big house. Annoying arses). Through her I got a bit of a glimpse of what a list was like and it seemed pretty exhausting tbh. Worried much more about what people thought of them than my mates and I.

I would also say we had 2 categories of cool kids and the group like my mates boyfriend were pleasant high achievers for the most part but I would say also much better looking than average.

The other cool kids did the drugs/sex/tattoos stuff and from what I hear didn't really move forward. School days seem to have been their zenith.

I have 2 pre teen dds and dd1 is heading towards being a list. She's very funny, quite confident and resilient, sporty and good enough at the academic stuff. Much as it pains me to say it, she's also stereotypically pretty and quite girly. The queen b in year 6 is very much in this mould.

Dd2 is very different and no where near as popular. She likes football and Lego, is easily upset and just a bit different. If I look at the pair of them Dd1 is just easy in pretty much every way and that reminds me of the popular kids in my time

IthinkIm Tue 19-Jan-21 21:32:15

This is interesting and something we were talking about the other day.

I was a popular cool kid, and it was the same all through school and uni. Nowadays I do make friends easily but prefer to only have a few close ones.

My DCs are also the popular cool kids. I've no idea why and I'm not boasting, again they've always been like that.

I don't know why. I never bullied anyone but I used to get in trouble at school for things like smoking and bunking off lessons.

IthinkIm Tue 19-Jan-21 21:34:07

Just had a thought, my DC's used to be very good at sports and I think that makes a big difference.

newNameAgainthrowaway Tue 19-Jan-21 21:43:33

I have changed my name for this as I am embarrassed.

I was popular at secondary school. I think this was mostly because I was dealing with so much stuff myself that I just didn’t care at all and this nonchalant attitude combined with a very self destructive element (drinking far too much, smoking, misbehaving) made other teenagers think I was “cool”.
I was very academic which meant I could get away with anything as the school just didn’t care. I also had an eating disorder so I was thinner than most and this seemed to be valued.

So for me it wasn’t confidence but the opposite. I had zero self esteem and was suicidally depressed, but people who didn’t know me would probably never have guessed and probably thought my life was perfect.

TrainspottingWelsh Tue 19-Jan-21 21:48:19

I suppose I was, always got asked to everything and I was generally liked, people were more inclined to want to be my friend than fall out with me. I think it was confidence, or perceived confidence.

A combination of reasons. Partly because I really didn't care, I was more interested in horses and pony club friends than trying to be part of a group at school or be popular.
I was also friends with loads of boys, but not remotely into them myself at that age, which at a single sex school made me very popular as a go between in my teens.
I was into alternative dress and music, was impulsive and given to doing mad shit, which I have been told since impressed some of my peers, the more so because I didn't draw attention to it or seem to care whether anyone approved or knew. Which I didn't.

I was also quite outspoken and confident, which probably attracted some, and made others reluctant to fall out with me.
I also had less than a loving upbringing, so it was impossible for a peer to personally bother me, let alone upset me, so the odd time anyone tried they always came off worse because I could be vicious, but could cheerfully laugh off anything they said or did.

I never used it to pick on anyone, and although I wasn't the leader of the popular group or even inclined to hang around with them all the time, I was often the one that was happy to stand out and say what I thought when they or anyone else was saying or doing something I disagreed with. And if that was something shitty those that had previously been afraid to say anything would then gravitate towards me.

unbotheredbutbewildered Tue 19-Jan-21 21:51:16

I went to a girls only school and would classify myself as 'fairly popular.'

Looking back on it; I was very attractive (how times change...), class joker who still achieved top grades, various sports teams and nice to everyone.

As much as people may criticise me for saying this...I think the thing that really made me popular was that I attracted 'rugby guys.' In a private girls-only school dating anyone in the local boys private school rugby team just made you cool...

There was nothing special or cool about me other than my ability to be friends with decent looking men.

Guineapigbridge Tue 19-Jan-21 21:53:17

Here's some factors that I think lead to popularity (not the tats, fags and too-cool-for learning kind, the all-achieving kind):
Stability, e.g. having the same home, same parents and same cohort of friends all the way through primary, and the ability to make new friends on your terms at secondary.
Non-sexual male approval, e.g. having a Dad who is around and who likes spending time with you. Older brothers.
Sports, e.g. having ability in a sport, and being healthy and in-shape.
Teenagers are very shallow so the last one is Looks, e.g. not chubby and not spotty and having good 'radar' for what clothing/style is cool)

BlueThursday Tue 19-Jan-21 22:01:19

I went to 2 high schools and had vastly different experiences in each.

In the first I was seen as nerdy, geeky, awkward and a swot who had a couple of friends. Doing well at school was something to be ashamed of. I didn’t have a “proper” Glasgow accent like the others

When I moved in 5th year due to the first school closing I was all of a sudden in a school where the “cool” people were both academic and they spoke like me. I definitely moved up the ranks in terms of popularity then. Hated the place though grin

Daydreamsinglorioustechnicolor Tue 19-Jan-21 22:02:25

I think it depends a bit what type of school you were at. At my secondary there were one or two over achievers who managed to be cool and popular because they were also good at sports and good looking.
But the vast majority of cool kids were the dangerous, under achiever type. Often they were funny and quite a good laugh, but definitely not academic.
I managed to get through secondary school in one piece by remaining unnoticed.

plumpootle Tue 19-Jan-21 22:04:10

I was popular. I was pretty (am not now) and confident, socially. I was good at sport, team and individual. Never picked on anyone but I'm sure I was thoughtless at times.

plumpootle Tue 19-Jan-21 22:05:41

Should say - I felt amazingly powerful at school. And the confidence and power I felt then did carry me along and even does now I think. But I work hard at being a good person and kind, I don't misuse it or anything.

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