How to be Smarter: To achieve what you want, usually it’s less about being intelligent and clever, and more about outlasting everyone else. How to be Prettier: When you use shampoo, concentrate on rubbing it into your scalp; when you use conditioner, concentrate on letting it sit on the ends of your hair.
How to be (less) Awkward: It's not 1998 -- in this day and age, emails don’t get lost and computers work fine. If you get an email, you need to respond to it. The sender knows they sent it and they know you received it, and you have an obligation to answer in a timely matter (even if it is just “Thanks for your email and I will respond fully when I have more time to think)."