In school, what did they have and what were their personality traits? Social skills, but anything else? Money?
Most Helpful Girl
Usually, they're attractive, have good social skills, have nice things (could be a result of money or just parents that spoil them) and when I was younger I noticed the kids with the most involved parents were the more popular ones. (I'm talking like kindergarten-5th grade)
They grow up to be even more attractive, usually bloom early, dress well, they're used to being liked and are even more outgoing etc
This isn't always true though. But I have to say I've never encountered a "popular" kid who's poor.0
Most Helpful Guy
Generally, they were better looking. Looking back at my school experience, I'd say that every single person with above average looks were at least of average or higher popularity. There were some less good looking people that were popular, but that was generally due to having a very strong personality or being funny. However, most of the people that weren't that great looking weren't that cool or popular.
Most of them were confident and outgoing. Unless you can pull off intriguing and mysterious, then generally when you are labeled as shy or introverted, it took a bit more effort to be considered popular. Hiding in a corner never really gives your peers a reason to like you.
Sometimes money factored in. Money bought opportunity. Money and material things could garner interest from females. At a younger age, having the new, cool 'toy' could help develop friendships as shallow as that sounds.
Another factor is just circumstantial popularity such as befriending the right kids early on and essentially being a part of the cool kid's group all throughout your school years just through your association with them. Or piggybacking off of your brother or sister or cousin's popularity.1