Most people get the hang of deodorant. They get it because they don't want to smell bad. People start smelling bad somewhere around 11-14 years of age when their bodies begin to make significant physical changes and hormones are released to begin that awkward stage of life called puberty. We who have survived puberty probably remember how life suddenly stopped being simple and how your body started doing ridiculous things without asking you first.
One of the first socially impactful changes is odor... Thanks mother nature, what the heck is that about? Anyway, some of you may be in this difficult time and just so you know, if you can smell yourself it means everyone in a 20 foot radius can smell you too because you are less sensitive to your own scent due to olfactory fatigue. This is when your nose smells the same thing for a while and stops caring that it is smelling that thing so it doesn't bother telling your brain anymore. That or your brain gets really tired of your nose telling it the same thing over and over so it just ignores the nose every time it says the same thing. This can be a problem when you are making the transition into awkwardness because you've never had to worry about smelling weird before, so you may not have even known what deodorant is! Well, deodorant can be found at every grocery store, every convenience store, and most other stores really. Go find a stick that smells pleasant (Boys, don't go for the musk scents unless you are over 6 feet tall and ride a horse, Girls, I trust your judgement) and buy it. Now a little advice since no one seems to tell you these things: don't just swipe the stick over your arm pits once, it wears off in like 20 minutes, just in time for you to be sitting in class after gym next to the prettiest girl/cutest boy in school. Apply around 5-7 passes so it doesn't wear off in an hour.
Ok, I'm going to stop there for a sec. I am only going to write to the boys from now on because, let's face it, 99% of girls figure this stuff out. Maybe it's because moms actually tell their girls stuff about life, or they have nicer friends, but dads just look at their boys and say, "Good luck son." Maybe this is because they just barely survived this period themselves and no one told them what to do either. Maybe they blocked it from their memories and can't really tell you what you're supposed to do. Regardless, boys seem to be the least aware of what is going on and seem to think that if they ignore it, no one else will notice.
Now, back to to point. Wear deodorant! And if you want, you can ask an adult about perfume/cologne.
Adults, try perfume/cologne in addition to deodorant, especially if you are single and don't know why. If you are doing this for the first time take a friend (of the same gender if that is more comfortable, opposite if you're braver) with you to the store and ask them what smells good on you. If you go to a nicer store they often have trained professionals that can help you find a really great scent for you. The right scent (and not TOO MUCH of it) can really turn heads, but it needs to work with your body chemistry. That's why you ask the pros or take a friend. Often people just choose a fragrance they think is nice or cool or popular, but it reacts poorly with their chemistry and the scent can be altered, and sometimes it even becomes unpleasant. Again, this is a good reason to ask someone, especially a professional, so you avoid getting something that makes a bad impression. And seriously, don't use too much! It's overwhelming and very off-putting when someone walks by and suffocates everyone around them with too much perfume or cologne.
Good luck everyone, keep your eyes open, and notice the world around you.