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How to Bring Your “Main Character Energy” Into the New School Year

There may have been a hundred TikTok trends that controlled the Internet this summer, but one that stuck out to me was being the "main character." It makes sense that you view yourself as the protagonist of our film; you are in every scene. You control the voiceover in your head. 

As explained by Michael Karson Ph.d., J.D. of Psychology Today, being the main character can take over your life or negatively affect others. However, it is possible to maintain your "main character energy" in a healthy manner. Why wouldn't you want to "romanticize your life" and spin a positive, exciting narrative? As summer ends, there is no reason to revert back into some side character or background extra. Sure, it can be disheartening to see yourself as just a little square in a huge online lecture. You are the main character in your life, and these are a few simple ways to keep it that way.


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"Finding your niche" is essential for establishing yourself. A memorable main character has a few personality traits or interests that make them unique. What are the obsessions that you can't seem to get out of your head? Whether it's climate change, "Euphoria" or photography, find ways to bring a few passions into your work. 

If you have creative flexibility in your assignments, try to incorporate your niche. When you're building a portfolio to showcase your work, a common theme can show consistency and show a potential employer what you care about. My portfolio is full of content about summer camp and movie reviews.

Your niche and your aesthetic can go hand in hand. What vibe are you trying to give off? If your classes are on Zoom, you can still wear those chunky earrings and blue light glasses with frames in your favorite color. If you feel like your aesthetic is complete in sweatpants, then a full outfit is purely optional. 

"Wall drip" is also something to take advantage of. What is behind you on those video calls? Curate what you want your classmates to know about you, almost like a Youtube video background. Hang up posters, lights, plants and anything else that screams "you."

If you're attending school in person, use your mask to your advantage! Match it to your outfit, or get printed masks that align with your niche. Do not underestimate the power of the mask-sunglasses combowalking around campus behind that look simply exudes "main character energy."

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You can also create a playlist that represents the soundtrack to your life. Mix some nostalgic tunes with your current favorites. Blast it with the windows down when you're driving around, and listen through headphones when you're picking up groceries. Make those mundane tasks a little bit more exciting. My playlist includes "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye as well as "Fabulous" from "High School Musical 2."

Ultimately, being the main character requires confidence from within. Get comfortable being by yourself, whether that means studying in the park or getting a coffee. You are in control, so you have to ask the barista for more creamer in your latte. Being dependent on someone else to fix your little problems is definitely a side character move. 

Rememberradiating "main character energy" is about recognizing that your own life is important. You deserve to curate a memorable style that your peers associate with you because you're awesome! However, you aren't the main character in your BFF's life, so don't try to star in her film. Have faith that your own movie is a box office hit.

Abigail "Abby" Reasor is a senior at VCU. She is majoring in public relations and minoring in French. She loves to talk about Disney World and vegan food.
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