Cheerleaders are prominent people in any school, and many get involved in more ways than one to spread the most school spirit! You might find cheerleaders on the ASB staff, enrolled in AP courses, elected in student government, or running several clubs around campus–for leading is what they do! What cheerleaders need to remember is that their job isn’t just to build up an impressive high school résumé, but also to show care and compassion to their fellow classmates as they do. No matter your role in school, you are around the same group of peers for three or four years, so might as well make an impact on your classmates by being a positive role model and someone that encourages them to succeed! It may seem silly to cheer on classmates who aren’t on your school’s football or basketball teams, but it definitely won’t hinder your reputation to open your energies to all. Plus, watching your classmates succeed feels pretty great, especially when you know that you played a part in the end result. So, if you feel that your school could use a classroom cheerleader, here are a few easy ways to start standing out around campus.

1. Acknowledge the small stuff. You never know when a small compliment can make a big impact. Your peers might be having a bad day, week, month, or just feel overall lousy... and never mention it. As a cheerleader, you’re used to being peppy, but that outlook doesn’t necessarily apply to the general student body at large; everyone has their personal problems! By complimenting one of your peers who stepped up in English class with an outstanding book report, or mentioning to a peer that you’ve noticed the great strides they’re making with their Spanish pronunciation, that small little action could really go farther than you think! It’s easy to float through school–especially high school–unnoticed, so be the one who makes the more ‘invisible’ students feel included, valued, and accomplished.

2. Volunteer to help. Everyone knows cheerleaders are busy-bodies, so if you’re already balancing too much, donating your time to your fellow classmates might not be the best option for you. But, if you do have time to help out, start reaching out to struggling students in the areas of study that you flourish in. You can post flyers around campus that you’re starting a study group for the upcoming history exam, or that you’re happy to mentor anyone struggling in AP Chemistry. Maybe there’s one student who’s just not making the grade in one of your classes: ask if they are down to start studying after school until the end of the semester in order to get a passing grade. By doing so, you might just get someone back on track for graduation.

3. Show up. Again, if you don’t have extra time to spare, you might not be able to pull this off either. But, if you find yourself with a few nights free during the week, show your support for your schoolmates by attending the big play premiere or the volleyball playoff game! There’s always SOMETHING happening around your school, and cheering on your classmates who aren’t in your immediate friend circle can really boost your peers’ self-esteem. If you truly don’t have time to spare outside of school, try to support the efforts of a club’s bake sale during lunch or any other event around campus during school hours. That way, you don’t have to squeeze school spirit in between your other obligations.

How else can cheerleaders cheer on their classmates? Share your ideas in the comments!