By now, I think we’ve all come across the main character trend that has found its way across the TikTok platform. However, if you are one of the few who doesn’t know what it means to be a main character according to all of Gen Z, then perhaps I should introduce you. Main characters are simply the most important people in a story whether it be from a book, movie or TV show, and most of the action or plot tends to follow this character. Many main characters that Gen Z typically look up to may include those from the coming-of-age genre such as Rue (Euphoria), Christine (Lady Bird), Charlie (Perks of Being a Wallflower), Ponyboy (The Outsiders) and the list is endless.
This trend translated into real life during 2020 while the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic took rise. With so much of Gen Z unsure of what to do next or how to take back their lives, this trend took off tremendously. In this viral TikTok by Jessarlund, she said, “You can really be the main character. You really can choose to go on random adventures, cut all your hair off, blast 'Tongue Tied' as you dance down the street, work hard and achieve your dreams, and change your whole life right now. You don’t have to live like a side character—at any given moment you can choose when your movie begins.”
The point is that you’re given one life, so what’s the point if you’re not doing what you want? And why wait for the unpromised future when you practically have the means to do what you want right now, at this very moment? I used to be a person that was so caught up in my past and worried about my future that I never found myself enjoying the present. There are times that I still do, but less so that it doesn’t affect my reactions to what happens in front of me.
Being the main character means realizing that you are in control of your life: the things you say to people, the things that you want and simply the things that you think. There are many factors to weigh in, but it’s all about realizing that you are capable of creating the life you want to live by coming to terms with the fact that you are in control. Once you stop being so hard on yourself, then you’ll notice how much easier and enjoyable life is when you stop giving a sh*t.
[bf_image id="8q3kcck63tqqbb7sw8txz8"] This was one of the main tips that really turned my life around. Due to the theory of the spotlight effect, I always thought everyone’s eyes were on me. That they were watching my every move and my every mistake. Then I began reading Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson, detailing 100 tips for doing exactly what the title says. I began to realize how much of my first 19 years of life that I missed out on because I was “sweating it.” As I read, there was a part of me that didn’t want to live like that anymore, especially due to the physical and mental toll it constantly took on my mind and body.
You’ll realize some of the smallest problems you have, even the ones in your head, can seem meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Not to seem insensitive because it may be something really big now, but in five years, will it matter? Will it even in 10? I’ve recently come to make this one of my mottos because it allows me to clear the negative energy that surrounds me. I’ve also learned to do whatever I want because at the end of the day, who is really going to argue with me about it? If I wanted to go outside and dance around in the rain on my college campus, who will argue with me? It may seem embarrassing, yeah, but think about it, will anyone ever confront you?
Either way, what makes me feel like a main character isn’t necessarily what will make you the main character in your own narrative. Everything I’ve talked about here is obviously easier said than done but making the conscious decision to adopt the main character mindset little by little every day really works. So, what are you waiting for? Go find your tunnel song, fall out of a speeding car (I can’t be held responsible) or simply just watch the sunrise by yourself on the top of a parking garage, I don’t know. Whatever is going to make you happy in this one life you get to live is reason enough to just do it.