How to be Popular in College

First, let’s clarify some things.

  • One, college is nothing like high school—the word popular has a new meaning. In college, popular means being well liked by a broad range of people, including the smart students, the computer guru’s, and people who were not prom king or queen.
  • Two, popularity is not a contest.

Keep those in mind as we look at tips to help you understand, and hopefully adopt, the qualities people enjoy being around.

Don’t try too hard

Try to imagine telling a girl you love her on the first date. It would seem insincere and ruin the date.

Trying hard to be popular is insincere and makes people feel awkward. It also means pretending to be someone you’re not—people notice this, and they don’t like it. No one wants to feel like they are being lied to.

If you feel anxious about college because you are afraid of messing up a fresh start, just take a deep breath, be yourself and go with the flow.


Think about who you enjoy being around. These people probably make you feel good about yourself. If you want to be popular, make people feel good about themselves by being humble.

Imagine a friend tells you he got an A-minus on a midterm. Instead of telling them you got an A-plus, congratulate them, and tell them you are impressed. It will make your friend feel good, and you probably will too.

If you are unsure how to be humble, think before you speak. Ask yourself if what you say will make people feel bad or good.

Be open minded

College is for exploration in and out of the classroom. Part of exploration is being open minded and having the ability to consider a different point of view, regardless of being right or wrong. It also goes hand in hand with humility; at times when you know you are right you can still tell someone you appreciate their view.

Being open minded also means not criticizing other people’s interests.

For example, playing World of Warcraft does not mean you are a geek, just as being a cheerleader does not mean you are stupid. An easy rule of thumb for staying open minded is to ignore stereotypes.

When you get to school, remember to be yourself, be humble, and stay open minded. Being popular in college and all aspects of life is easy—just treat others how you want to be treated.

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