I am “that girl.”
You know, that girl that got pooped on by a seagull on her way to the cafeteria. That girl who fell on her a** in a mud puddle in the quad. That girl who made out w/Kevin-the-player behind the gym. That girl who got drunk and slept in a bush at her HS reunion (wait, scratch that last one).
It’s a tricky existence…navigating the hell that is high school, where being invisible is as bad as standing out and so much effort is expended trying to fit in without conforming. Sometimes the real hell of high school is living with yourself. Not some world-wise, grown-up, quasi-superhero, kick-ass version of yourself, but the wimpy, head-in-the-sand, freak-a** version who cares entirely more about the outside than the inside. The version that spends entirely too much time hiding and angsting over what people think about you—people you don’t even like!
Maybe that’s why MTV’s AWKWARD rocked me like a hurricane, because I understood Jenna Hamilton, the show’s “that girl,” on a cellular level.
One of the things I love most about AWKWARD. is Jenna Hamilton’s carefrontation letter. The anonymous letter is brutal in its honesty, so much so, that it is impossible to believe the author is anything other than a frenemy. Jenna’s carefrontation says things like:
· number 1: Stop being a p**** (think kitty slang)
· number 2: Your instincts suck. Second guess them.
· number 3: The only people more pathetic then you are your friends. Drop the dead weight.
· number 4: When you're pretty, you're happy. And clearly you're not happy.
· number 5: Pull your head out of your a** and stand out.
· number 6: Nobody likes the pitiful. Stop being such a drag.
· number 7: You have to be cruel to be kind.
One of the questions AWKWARD. made me ask is if I were to write a carefrontation to my fifteen-year-old self, what would I say? After a couple weeks of thought, here’s what I came up with.
In ten years all this mundane, angsty adolescent bullsh** will matter about as much as something you scraped off your shoe. So stop the Emo crap and grow a pair!!!
· number 1: Life will always suck. Find the joy in each day.
· number 2: Stop waiting for someone to rescue you. Rescue yourself!
· number 3: Sometimes being liked is not as important as being feared. Connect with your inner BIATCH.
· number 4: Screw what your simple-minded peers think. Do what makes you happy.
· number 5: Invest emotionally in your besties not your frenemies. In ten years, you won’t give a sh** about your enemies but your friends will still matter.
· number 6: When warranted, throw a punch. Some jerkwads deserve it.
· number 7: Always stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. It might be uncomfortable in the short term but you’ll like yourself a whole lot more in the long run.
· number 8: Don’t try to hide, or conform, or blend; Stop worrying about standing out or fitting in; No one will give a sh** whether you were invisible or popular. Figure out who you are and be that person. Own your life!WOW! If I could only invent time travel, go back and stage an intervention for myself... Unfortunately, I'm not Stephen Hawking or H.G. Wells (I don't even srite science fiction). Fortunately, thanks to AWKWARD. creator Lauren Iungerich, I realize just how far I've come since my pathetic teen years.
Other things to love about AWKWARD. (The part where I shamelessly plug one of my fav new shows.)
· The music
o The nemesis – the lovely Molly Tarlov gives a wonderfully layered and complex performance as Queen Biatch Sadie
· o The bestie – Jillian Rose Reed is hilarious as Tamara
· o The mom – Nikki Deloach’s performance can be described in one word “free-boobing”
· o The guidance counselor - Desi Lydic’s Valerie is often ditzy, always radiant
For the full 411 read the glowing NYTimes article High School, That Hilarious Minefield
Now that I've turned you on to AWKWARD. ("You're welcome.") it's YOUR TURN:
What would you put in a carefrontation letter to your fifteen-year-old self?
Carey Corp is the author of THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN and a new short story THE WAY LIFE WAS FOREVER.