9 Nerds Reveal What Happened to the Cool Kids from Their High School


High school is rough. It seems like the cool kids will rule the world forever, while the freaks, geeks, and misfits will forever remain on the losing end of life somehow.

Of course, about a week after you’re out of high school, you realize it was all a joke and you never have to see most of those pukes again for as long as you live. Take a look at what these 9 Quora users said about how the cool kids from their schools ended up. You might be surprised.

1. Food Stamps

I come from a small town. The cool kids were the rich kids. Born with silver spoons in their mouths. One of the popular girls had driver’s ed with me. The teacher fell all over himself to be nice to her. She drove first, the boys fought to open the door for her, the teacher gave her perfect scores.

Me not so much. A total nerd, shy, quiet, intelligent and straight A grades but too damaged to look at anyone popular, much less converse with them. That was high school.

Imagine my surprise when I decided to go to community college and saw Ms. Popular in my class. Seems she got pregnant senior year. Married the popular boy who also had rich parents. Had the kid and was in early childhood education classes with me.

Of course her mom was the teacher. She got all straight A grades on each assignment and so did I. One day, she was talking about poor single moms with disdain again, and I guess her mom just had enough.

After Ms. Popular went on a rant about how “People on food stamps should only be allowed to buy the necessities. Beans and rice should be the limit. They’re poor and don’t work for anything anyway.”

“I’ve even seen people use food stamps to buy dog food,” she continued. “Why would you have a dog if you’re too poor to feed yourself? It should be illegal.

Her mom (the teacher) turned to me and said, “Do I have your permission to talk about your last paper and ask you some questions? It is worth extra credit if you say yes, and I promise not to say anything too revealing. We can stop at anytime.” I said yes.

So the professor began telling the story I had written about.

“Last week the police chased a criminal through Nancy’s neighborhood. About 2 am she was woken to a man rattling and banging on her door. Her German Shepard freaked out and when the dog began barking, the man moved on. He was shot in the steps of the apartment next door. The police told her if he had gotten in he would have held hostages so it was a very good thing her dog scared him and delayed his entry into an apartment. The dog probably saved her and her daughters’ lives that night.”

Then she turned to me: “Nancy, are you on food stamps?”

“Yes,” I said, somewhat embarrassed.

“Are you trying to fix your life, by going to college to get a good job and to set a good example for your children so you can provide for them without government assistance?”


“When was the last time you didn’t have dinner so your children would?”

“Breakfast,” I said.

Her mom (the teacher), turned to Ms. Popular.

“You have led a charmed life. I say write your greatest challenge and Nancy writes me the story you just heard. You write about eating rice and beans on every other Wednesday night to show your parents you can help them buy you your first house. I’m so glad you lived the life you did, but you should realize how lucky you are, and stop judging others who have it harder than you. You all want to be teachers? You’ll need some compassion.”

So that’s what happens to pretty, rich, popular girls — they grow up to be pretty, rich, popular adults, who judge without shame because they never had a truly hard day in their lives.

This is a true story. It happened 30 years ago. Ms. Popular and I are now friends.

2. Old Folks

I live in a community containing a lot of retired people. It’s like high school all over again, only 60 years later. Everybody’s here, the nerds, jocks, cool people, and the king and queen of the prom.

The king and queen are now fat and ugly, the cool people are wrinkled, and the jocks are having a hard time accepting that the game is over and the nerds have won.

3. A Terrible Predictor

In my experience, “coolness” in high school was a terrible predictor of everything adult. I see no negative or positive correlation. That by itself is fascinating, and maybe shows the artificiality of coolness. My favorite line on coolness comes from the Beatles: “You’re a fool, to play it cool, by making your world a little colder.”

4. “The Cool Kids don’t age well”

Apparently the Cool Kids don’t age well.

At my 35th high school reunion I was stunned to see how old most of the cool kids looked. Meanwhile, many of us nerds still looked probably at least 10 years younger.

My theory? Tanning! The cool kids probably spent a LOT more time in the sun than us nerds. And the effects accumulated over the years.

Other possible theories … Smoking? Drugs? Alcohol? Or maybe just dumb (lack of) luck.

5. Ha!

One of them owns a theatre, several others are your typical successful family men with boats, swimming pools and summer vacations, a couple others are artists…

I mean… They never left our hometown and they’re all fat drug addicts that live in trailers. That’s how this is supposed to go, right?

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