First of all I officially feel old, and I’m only 24. My high school days were a while ago now. Since I write Young Adult and “they” say to draw from real experiences, I thought revisiting my own YA days might be fun. You never know what will make it into a book. For quick reference: Freshman year 2004-2005, Sophomore year 2005-2006, Junior year 2006.
Note: These are true stories. Here’s how to be a cool teenager way back in the mystical mid 2000s.
My friend desperately wanted a new pair of glasses because hers were dated. She wanted a hip pair of the all-plastic frames. Her current ones still had metal frames and those plastic nose pieces. Not cool. So she came up with an idea.
She asked me to stomp on her glasses. Yep. I only needed her to ask once. That sounded hella fun. She placed them on the concrete outside our classroom, I raised a foot up, and then smash. She had a fresh pair of broken, totally lame glasses. She went home and told her mom that she dropped them in the hallway and some upperclassman accidentally stepped on them before she could retrieve them.
She came to school the next day with a pair of sweet plastic frames and a mischievous smile. Our evil plan worked.
If you wanted to be cool you had to wear Converse. That was just the rule. But they are only cool if they are grimy, well-worn, and nearly falling apart. Obviously brand new, shiny white and stiff Converse weren’t cool. I mean, that almost made you less cool because then you were just a poser. But every pair of grungy Chucks had to start out new at some point.
My friend saw my new pair of Converse and immediately said, “Those are too white.” She came over and started kicking them to create scuff marks and hide their newness. Who cares that I just asked my mom to buy a pair of sixty dollar shoes? Scuffed up meant cool.
I thought I was so badass doing this, but I’d rip down the posters in the girls’ bathroom and all the hallways. Yeah, I’d been watching 10 Things I Hate About You. So screw Sewing Club and band concerts and bake sales and all that mainstream club crap. They stood for conformity, and hey, my grungy Chucks were now sporting an Anarchy sign amongst the other hand drawn doodles. I had to stick it to conformity, be a rebel, and thus achieve coolness.
Seriously, though? I’m lucky I didn’t get caught. I was terrified of getting in trouble.
Speaking of conformity I went to a private school before this. We had uniforms and rules on how we could look that would drive anyone mad. I couldn’t choose my own shirts, pants, belt, or shoes, so my solution? Pimp out my jewelry. I wore bracelets halfway up each arm on both arms every day. Like, seriously, you couldn’t see skin. I wore rings on every finger. And I picked out my shoelaces at Hot Topic. They said “You suck and must be punished.”
I thought that was fitting.
Come back tomorrow for Part2!
What are your high school stories? How did you achieve coolness when you were a teen? Reply below!