Do you find it hard to get excited about the same things as the rest of your peers? Do you frequently hide away in books/music/SparkLife while everyone else is effortlessly socializing? Do you always think of the perfect thing to say five hours after a conversation has ended? If you answered “yes,” then congratulations, you’re cool! Or, well, no you’re not; you’re awkward. But you’re going to be cool, and here’s why.
1. All the best people were awkward.
Okay maybe Channing Tatum was a popular kid, but can you picture Emma Watson pretending to enjoy a PBR? Do you think Kristen Stewart was voted most outgoing? Do you think George R. R. Martin created 3000 years of Westerosi history because he just had so many friends he didn’t know what to do with himself? Not so much.
2. You are stocking up on you time.
There is only one person you know will be hanging out with you for the rest of your life, and it’s that gorgeous mug in the mirror. So even if you haven’t quite mastered the social graces yet, this is your chance to start figuring out what you believe, what you like, and how to have a good time by yourself. Trust me, it will come in handy later.
3. YOU’RE NOT CRAZY, EVERYONE ELSE IS CRAZY.
Look, high school is objectively weird. I mean, pep rallies? What even are those? Awkwardness is a perfectly valid reaction to this in-between stage of life where the adults trust you enough to let you OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE, but demand you get a hall pass to USE THE BATHROOM.
4. At least you’re learning how to play an instrument.
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re in band. And while it might not be boosting your social stats now, in a couple of years when you’re wailing on bassoon in your friend’s experimental noise trio, you will be OOZING COOL.
5. Awkwardness today, inspiration tomorrow.
I can’t think of a single working who was not a shy, strange person at one time. In fact, lots of creative types think there is a causal relationship between adolescent angst and adult genius. Just think: your social fails will one day make YA novels! Your hours of agonized introspection will help you craft devastating prose! EVERYONE WHO WRITES FOR THIS VERY WEBSITE, I’LL WAGER, WAS TURNED DOWN TO AT LEAST ONE DANCE. (Oh, more than one! —ed.)
6. People generally assume that awkward people are smart.
Not that you’re not smart, but it doesn’t hurt.
7. It ends when you want it to.
Look, I’m not saying you can cure acne or social anxiety with the power of positive thinking, but you can fake it until you make it. (That’s what everyone else is doing.) Awkwardness is a little bit like the Land of Oz, in that the power to leave is something you eventually realize you’ve had all along. You can put down the book, hitch a smile to your face, and develop an opinion about Zayn’s departure from One Direction. Or maybe you’ll opt to stay in Oz and be awkward forever! It’s a strange place, yes, but it sure is colorful.
Are you living that awkward life, or are you giving Channing Tatum a run for his smooth, smooth money?