Conquer Back-to-School 2021 with Main Character Energy!
BY GRACE CHAI '23
Butter-yellow daisies bloom in a ceramic pot. Snowy cream decorates fluffy pancakes bathed in the golden hour glow. Lofi beats drift in the breeze, rustling the pages of an open textbook as a student diligently takes ~aesthetic~ notes.
No, this isn’t a figment of your imagination. It’s the latest trend that has infiltrated the Internet: being the main character in your life. Basically, being a protagonist involves getting your life together and romanticizing it—enjoying life to the fullest.
While preparing for Back-To-School (BTS) season isn’t anything new, main character aspirants take BTS optimism to another level. Instead of getting organized by purchasing copious amounts of stationery (nothing I’d ever do, of course), they work on their psyche and set out to conquer the year—and not let it conquer them.
However, procrastination often quashes people’s aspirations a few weeks (or months, if they’re lucky) later. If that happens, how can you maintain main character-esque confidence and positivity while staying realistic and kind to yourself? I have two words for you, my friend: read on.
Practice slow living.
Romanticizing your life may initially seem odd—even counterproductive—but taking time to savor life is refreshing amid all the BTS hubbub. As a busy teenager, days often feel rushed and blur together, but by just appreciating small moments, you can cherish daily life more. Hone in on the sweetness of watermelon as you relish that succulent bite; admire the sunset as you drive home from school; bop to your favorite tunes as you read The Spectrum’s latest issue: watch your black-and-white day burst into vibrant color.
Even with your new appreciation for life, it’s sometimes hard to maintain a sunny attitude when you watch your best friend, family member, or classmate reach new heights. But we stan a supportive community here at The Spectrum, so hey, if others are doing awesome things, you should cheer them on like the mature person you are.
While you should definitely set goals for yourself (own that main character confidence!), letting others shine is one of the most main character-y things you can do, in both school and life. Applauding someone else’s success isn’t synonymous with putting yourself down; it simply means offering congratulations and understanding that you’re on your own journey.
Do what sparks joy.
In terms of personal journeys, it’s easy to neglect hobbies when school consumes most of your waking hours. But make time for things you enjoy, because when you reflect on high school years later, you might as well reminisce about the positive memories. Bake cookies, try learning a new skill, join a club (like, I don’t know, The Spectrum!), and soak up the good vibes. You can be academically successful without depriving yourself of fun.
Even if your hobby isn’t mainstream, embrace it. Don’t waste time worrying about people judging you, because honestly, we’re all quirky in different ways, and that’s okay. :)
No one, however collected they may appear, always has their life together. And if you fall short of your standards, that doesn’t detract from your self worth: you’re unique and talented in a way that no one can be.
So instead of picking your faults apart, forgive yourself. Acknowledge your flaws—every main character has them—and accept that you’re human. As cheesy as it sounds, know that you deserve love. Truly. According to a chorus room poster (join the performing arts gang, kids), if you make it through another day, that’s a victory. So pat yourself on the back if you powered through a rough day—that’s some real main character energy, my friend.
Apply these tips, and you’ll find that Back-To-School you has never had a brighter future. Go crush that school year!