One of the Cool Kids

“I always feel like such a loser!” lamented one of my coolest friends as we sipped from our respective mochas at a downtown Alterra.

An extended eye roll from my side of the table caused her to further elaborate on her melodrama in an attempt to legitimize her case. Realizing halfway through her rant that she was failing to chip away at my disbelief, she raked her pink-tipped fingers through her choppy bangs and blurted out “Becky, I’m serious! This is a real issue!” before driving her face into the nook of her crooked elbow, which was resting on the edge of the table. Her edgy auburn ponytail quivered as she continued grumbling into the ridges of the wooden surface.

I suppose that’s what happens when one is pursuing a career in the fashion world.

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That’s right—this is her! Feel free to roll your eyes along with my past self.

Still, it never fails to boggle my mind when my friend gets into one of these funks. Always on top of the latest trends, my friend is gorgeous, charismatic, brilliant, and loved by everyone who comes into contact with her—save the occasional jealous female who finds my friend intimidating. As usual, I gently reminded her of all the aforementioned things. Dismissing my words with a wave of her hand, she raised her head, let out a deep sigh of exasperation, and asked how I manage to feel cool all the time.

Taken slightly aback, I assured her that I did not always manage to feel cool. Yet, as the phrase escaped from my lips, the words of a dynamic guest speaker a professor brought into my class semester filled my mind: “Be Cool, Stick Out, Make a Difference“. Maybe I should always feel cool.

Hours upon the conclusion of my friend session, I found myself wondering what it meant to truly encompass the arbitrary state of “being cool”. What do I do that makes me feel “cool”? Well, since you asked:

  1. Laugh. Laugh with reckless abandon. Interact with people who’s sense of humor aligns with yours, and don’t try and suppress the joy that bubbles out of your system. Afraid someone will be irritated by your unbridled happiness? Don’t be. As a cool person, you should know that their irritation only stems from jealousy. You are clearly having the time of your life, while they are having a mediocre day at best.
  2. Capitalize on a talent. For me, this includes figure skating. Parents and children have stopped dead in their tracks on route to the public skate rink, mesmerized by the way that my friends and I spun and leapt across the ice. The shiny national silver medal in my room helps as well. This is not to say that your coolness needs to be reaffirmed by the public. Who wouldn’t feel cool blasting N*SYNC at 5:30 a.m. while doing laps on an empty rink?
  3. Read. Do you know how many literary references are made in movies, songs, comedy acts, or simply every day life? No? Imagine how much cooler you would feel if you caught on to that obscure line from 1984 in that one Rage Against the Machine song! On a similar note…
  4. Stay up to date with pop culture. Certainly, you do not need to watch every episode of Glee. Being aware of the basic plot line and a couple main characters could be useful, however. Watch the Oscars. Read some EW articles from time to time—just to make sure you did not miss any breaking news on the latest Chris and Rihanna drama.
  5. Lend a helping hand. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Look over someone’s paper. Become a cat socializer at a local animal shelter. Opportunities to make the world a better place are in abundance. A warm fuzzy feeling will fill your soul and spill over to those around you when lending a hand. To say the least, it is a cool feeling.

Of course, there are a plethora of ways to accomplish the goal of “being cool”. This short list barely touches upon the endless possibilities. Regardless of the route you choose to tread on your quest for coolness, do be sure to ultimately reach that promised land. In the world of Public Relations, being cool is of the utmost importance. Boring people fade into the background, while the loud, creative ones with all kinds of bizarre stories rise to the top. Find out what your cool factor is and flaunt it. Know that others are trying to do the exact same thing, and refuse to be intimidated by their cool factor. Because, if you cannot connect to the power of your coolness—it is unlikely that others will be able to see it.

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