Teens: Who Are the Cool People?

You know those people? Those people who, like, came out of the womb wearing perfectly fit stone washed jeans, ruggedly hot converse and a confident swagger (or crawl I guess).  Ew, cool people.  Recently, I have been faced with the fact that I have never been one of those people.

I never started trends, I always coveted the cool girl group at lunch, I giggle like a hyena when I talk to a hot guy and I never rushed for the hot sororities in college.  The sad truth is, even though I never was cool, I always wanted to be.

I wish I could say that I always embraced the fact that I like reading tech blogs for fun, write teen fiction on my free time and hate wearing heels (don’t cool girls always wear heels…like even to class and to the supermarket?).  But, no, I didn’t always love the fact that I am weird and recently I have been faced with so many kids who are desperate to be ‘cool.’

I proposed this question to my group of teen trendsetters.  I found some of them shocking, some of them honest, some of them encouraging and some of them depressing.  Here are their answers:

What makes someone “cool”?

1) Cool people are always in a group.

2) Cool people are always laughing (at you, with you, with their group…)

3) Cool girls wear heels.

4) Cool boys wear hair in their eyes.

5) Cool people walk with confidence.

6) Cool People are mean.

7) Cool people love themselves no matter what.

8) Cool girls have hot underwear.

9) Cool people are the people everyone secretly hates, but are nice to on the surface.

10) If you think you are cool, you are not.

When I put this question into my Teen Trendsetter program and one of the teens asked me if I ever thought I was cool, I told her what I said above, and this:

“I have this problem.  Whenever I go to networking events, alumni events or parties I get really nervous.  I am not so scared of meeting people, but I really fear that group of cool girls in the corner.  Whenever I am with a group of ‘cool girls’ I feel out of place, left out and dumb.  I wish I could say that it goes away, but it doesn’t.  yet, I am working on it, because I realize that there might have been some mean girls in my past, but I define my relationships now.”

This started a great conversation with some of the girls, but one of the other adult moderators (another fabulous mom blogger), sent me a separate email that I am partially pasting here.  She is a mom blogger who is one of the social networks I have for parent influencers online.

“Vanessa,
It was so interesting for me to read you response to the cool girl question.  I wanted to write this to you to give you a different perspective.  The first time I started reading your blog I really wanted to approach you to get to know you.  But, you were my cool girl.  When we emailed, I got really nervous, the few times we talked I felt like a rambler.

When you invited me to join your blogger social network I felt like I was invited to the coolest party on the planet.  I practiced my intro and edited my profile a billion times and when you posted on my wall, I felt so popular.

I told some of my other mom blogger friends that you invited me to the social network and they were really jealous I got into your clique.  I tell you this because I am sure you had no idea, you were never mean or exclusive, but everyone has their own cool girl.”

This email shocked me! I couldn’t believe that someone thought I had a blogger cool clique.  It made me realize that every “cool person” has their own “cool person” who makes them nervous, or wish they could be friends with.  This is what I tell to teens, even the seemingly ‘cool people’ have their own insecurities and wishes.

I also say this to all of my readers, never be nervous to contact me and everyone is welcome into my “online clique!”

Dream big, work hard and you will get there,
Vanessa

This post is dedicated to my Alicia Zepeda who was the first person (non-blood related) to tell me why I was cool all by myself.  Thanks for listening Alicia.

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