Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Study Says Cool Kids At School Turned Out To Be Losers In Later Life

Study Says Cool Kids At School Turned Out To Be Losers In Later Life

The Debrief: In the words of Jessie J (sorry) 'Who's laughing now'?

Cast your mind back to the common room/playground/cafeteria situation at your dismal British secondary school. Was it ruled by a scary gang of girls with slicked back ponytails and drawstring Nike bags? 

Or was it a UK version of the ‘Plastics’, with their Topshop denim jackets, ghd straightened hair, high-heeled Dolcis school shoes (that were NOT Clarks bootleg ones your mum made you wear because they were ‘good for growing feet’) and push-up bras from La Senza because they had ACTUAL BOOBS?! 

Whoever made up the ‘cool kids’ in your school, there’s no doubt that when you were a teenager, you thought you’d never be as popular as them or have as much school cred – unless you were one of those girls yourself, in which case, yay for you (and I was really jealous of your Morgan tote bag). 

But a recent US study – where, if high school movies are to be believed, have a way worse clique problem/more rigid social pecking order – has suggested that if you were a popular kid at school, there’s a high chance life won’t be going so great by the time you hit your twenties. 

The study, called What Happened To The Cool Kids, was published in the journal Child Development by researchers from the University of Virgina. It looked at 180 American teenagers over 10 years, following them from the age of 13. The results suggest that those who were popular during their younger years had a higher risk of developing problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, and being involved in crime.

Professor Joseph Allen, professor of psychology at the University of Virgina, said, ‘It appears that while so-called cool teens’ behaviour might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviours to try to appear cool, at least to a sub-group of other teens.

‘So they became involved in more serious criminal behaviour and alcohol and drug use as adolescence progressed. These previously cool teens appeared less competent – socially and otherwise – than their less cool peers by the time they reached young adulthood.’ 

This Revenge of the Nerds-esque study is interesting, but I feel kind of uneasy taking comfort from wishing bad vibes on my former classmates. I was one of those ‘uncool kids’ at school, but I made awesome friends during those years who I’m still amazingly close to today – and that makes me feel better than knowing that bitch Shazza from Year 10 is now a bit of a loser. 

Picture: Rex

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

How Teenage Bullying Made Me The Person I Am Today

Stuff You Used To Do At School Because You Thought You Were Cool 

Things You Only Know If You Went To An All-Girls School 

Follow Lauren on Twitter @laurenjsmith