The art of awesomeness.
In school, people often look up to others for the completely wrong reasons: They have Snapchat stories featuring envy-inducing parties every weekend. They have an exclusive clique and their boyfriends are the hottest jocks at school. They literally look like Barbie.
Don’t take this the wrong way – these are all great things to have, but they’re totally not it. There’s a reason why high school reunions are hilarious. It’s because in ten years’ time, the people who you thought were so incredibly cool are. So. Not.
So what is cool?
For starters, here is the Glam Salad definition:
Enjoys close, meaningful relationships, loves a lot, pursues one’s passions, stands up for one’s beliefs, doesn’t give in to peer pressure, laughs often and lives freely.
How is this achieved?
1. Love Yourself
Try to make all your actions align with the fact that you are your very own best friend. This means learning to accept all those weird parts of yourself, working on becoming better, and getting to know what you like.
You should be taking care of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health by eating well, sleeping well, avoiding useless drama and not hanging out with negative people.
2. Treasure Your Best Friends
At times it may seem like if you’d be a member of the “Plastics” your life would be so much cooler. We beg of you, don’t leave those that cared for you unconditionally. That girl you hit it off with from the start? She probably likes you for you. Those girls that would only accept you if you changed or suddenly started dating Cameron Dallas – they only like you conditionally. How would it feel to wonder if the people you hang out with only like you because they can get something out of it?
Develop a group of close friends, real friends, with whom you have incredible sleepovers and meaningful heart-to-hearts.
3. Do What You Enjoy
Everybody likes doing something. What’s your thing? Maybe you’re really into mixing different types of cereal to create super-combos. Maybe you like writing poetry about hedgehogs. Maybe it’s even watching Netflix – but it has got to be because you love the world of film production or costume design or celebrity journalism. Any semblance of talent that you can possibly develop – just dive into it.
Pay no heed to people who ridicule you for pursuing your passions. One by one, the stars will align and that is how you will fill your life with activities you love and become an incredibly inspiring, COOL person.
4. Focus on More Than Just Boys
There will always be those girls that can define their entire high school career with one word: Boys. They spend all their time Snapchatting, Instagramming, Facebooking and flirting with boys. In their posts on social media, they are often flanked by not one, but three super-hot guys. They’re always dating the most-wanted guy. They’re the coolest.
Jokes. Can we tell you a little secret about most (we said most not all, stop yelling) teenage boys? They’re not worth your time.
For some reason, a lot of boys (especially, especially that hot guy in your school that everybody wants) have no problem using girls’ bodies as objects for their own selfish reasons. They literally won’t even feel guilty. Here are some of the things you’re missing out on: Being cheated on. Being used. Being lied to about said cheating. Being played with emotionally. Having guys boast about you as one of their conquests in the locker room.
So keep this in mind. Do you want to let guys use you or do you want to have a real relationship? #CoupleGoals isn’t just about looking gorgeous in matching clothes at Disney World. It’s also about having a guy who is interested in getting to know you and whose eyes light up when you two discuss how you’ll be taking on the world.
You have to learn how to differentiate the good ones from the bad, and then, you will find that you have lots of time to pursue other things besides for boys.
5. Plan Your Future
You probably have someone paying the bills, so besides for obeying your parents, you are free to spend your time as you wish. In life it only gets harder and then you don’t have the freedom to luxuriously dream and work. What we mean by this is that you have these years as a young adult to imagine the grandest, boldest, brightest most beautiful future for yourself. What is your deepest desire? What do you want to be?
Write it down. For example: “I love the idea of fighting for human rights around the world. I think Amal Clooney is the most amazing human rights lawyer, and I’d love to build a life like hers.
What was her background? After studying at Oxford and NYU, she worked at a criminal law firm for several years and then became a big player in human rights law. I, too, want to help refugees, raise awareness for humanitarian crises and travel the world while doing it.
It doesn’t end with dreaming. Think about what you have to do right now to live the life of your dreams. You’re not getting to Oxford with B’s and C’s. You have to start reading all about human rights law and staying abreast of what’s happening in the world. There are even organizations which allow you to get started. Ileri Jaiyeoba and David Kobrosky are two teens who founded organizations. You can do it, too.
So there you have it: Loving yourself and your supportive besties, discovering your passions, focusing on more than just guys, and dreaming without bounds is how you truly become cool.
Actually, now you’re way more than cool – you’re mind-blowingly, jaw-droppingly YOU. And if that’s not breathtaking, we don’t know what is.
Cover photo: Melody Jacobs.