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The Main Character Mentality and You

Who doesn’t love a great movie? With thrilling adventures, epic romances, exciting plot twists and more, we wish our lives could be as spectacular as the lives of the protagonists we see on the big screen. So why can’t they be? Why not model our own lives after the magic of the movies? Imagine it: drama, adventure, action and romance all centered around YOU as the “main character.” With this movie-mindset, your life is sure to be more interesting and exciting. Here’s how to become the main character of the movie that is your life: 

  1. Create a dramatic storyline: Watch a rom com, take notes and apply your favorite moments to your own life. Give the story of your life a plot filled with risks and adventure. Some of the ideas you borrow from the rom coms may seem risky, but remember that the crazier the experience, the better story it makes! 

  2. Focus on YOU: As a main character, you have an image to maintain. The perfect clothes, perfect friend group and spontaneous/Instagram worthy adventures every weekend.

  3. Be a protagonist: In order to be a true “main character,” you need to be the person that everyone loves. Make sure you have aesthetically pleasing social media accounts, post inspirational quotes on social media and comment generic but positive things on random people’s insta pics at least once a week. Not only does this solidify your main character image but it also shows off your humility as you stoop from your main-character-throne and grace supporting characters with attention and advice. After all, you’re not a heartless and selfish monster!… or are you? 

Does anything about this “main character mentality” seem a little off? It should. Modern culture has made it a trend to model our lives after TV shows or movies. We caption posts on instagram with “main character moment” or comment on a TikTok that someone is giving off “main character vibes.” The choice to see ourselves as the main character might seem like a positive or even empowering mindset on the surface but this trend is anything but harmless. The truth is, there is EVERYTHING wrong with the main character mentality. 

The “main character” mentality promotes a completely narcissistic lifestyle. To become the “main character,” you must define yourself as more important than those around you (the supporting characters). Consequently, you as the main character can never be a good friend because self-obsession makes you too busy to focus on others. You will also use social media to broadcast and solidify your movie-like life. Similar to an actual movie, social media allows you to present the best “scenes” of your life in a way that is filtered to be perfectly aesthetic and flattering. You as the main character will broadcast your adventures, gain followers to promote your narcissistic world view and grace others with your ethereal presence through the giving of comments or likes. Such interaction allows you to feign interest in the lives of others without the excruciating time and effort it takes to actually build relationships through consistent and meaningful communication. Becoming a “main character” robs you of the opportunity to have meaningful and authentic connections with other human beings. A life lived well requires you to both give and receive support from others. This balance cannot be maintained if you choose to see yourself as the only person in your life worthy of support. 

The “main character mentality” might make your life into a more dramatic and entertaining story, but it will not bring meaning, purpose or authenticity to your life. A great story does not make a great life. What makes life great is what we do with our beautifully authentic character to support the people around us. Let’s end this toxic trend and choose to be “supporting” rather than “main” characters. 

 

Averi Muniz

Northwestern '24

Averi is a freshman at Northwestern University who is planning to double major in Legal Studies and Psychology. Her favorite things include music, cats, and all things Disney. When she's not writing for Her Campus, Averi sings with the Alice Millar Chapel Choir in Evanston, IL and enjoys long walks along Lake Michigan.
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