I was not the coolest kid during primary nor secondary school. I tried my very best to always fit in, which I think made me stick out even more. Trying to be like the girls I was friends with never really suited me and I always felt like a bit of an outsider. This insecurity I had was eventually preyed upon, which though it was horrible at the time, made me learn a thing or two about friendships.
Being cool is about who you are rather than what you’re wearing. When you’re younger, you look at the cool kids and though you might wish you had those new trainers too, what you really wanted was the trail of friends following them around. You wanted (and still want) to be liked and accepted.
So, to get from wannabe status to wow-I-want-that-girl-to-be-my-BFF (not that I’m quite there yet), here are some things I have learned about what it really means to be cool.
Kindness is underrated. Random acts of kindness can go a long way, not only making somebody’s day but somebody’s week. You can be kind in a million little ways, whether it’s by offering to help an older person in the supermarket reach the higher shelves, supporting your friends and peers however you can, or by simply being friendly to strangers that you meet. Kind actions are memorable and they will always be cool.
Be your true weird self. Your quirks are what make you a little different, so don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to share them with the world. They are what make you different and what make you interesting. They make you you.
There’s nothing more uncool than being judgemental about somebody, whether it’s about their appearance or their lifestyle. You can live your life the way that you want so don’t criticise others for not living the same way as you. Besides, meeting different people is what gives life variety, so welcome everybody in.
Rudeness is exactly that – just plain rude. Just like being kind, being polite can go a long way. You’ll make better first impressions and generally seem like a nice person to be around. Say hello to the customer service assistant behind the till and remember your pleases and thank yous.
Respect other people’s emotions, lifestyle, outfits, make-up, whatever they are doing that let’s them express themselves. Here comes that old-age saying; treat others how you would want to be treated. And of course, respect somebody’s possessions, privacy and personal space!
The only time I really feel confident is when I am being myself. I had and still have a few close friends who make me feel comfortable enough to just be me, rather than be a knock-off version of them. Being comfortable in your own skin makes you happier, friendlier and everything in between. It makes you cool.