For my first article of the year I would usually do something like “aaahhh I have missed everyone,” or how no one should ever be caught with a lanyard around their neck, but I think I want to talk about something a little more dear to us. In the past few years it has become so mainstream (but not too mainstream, my darling hipster babies) to be awkward. I mean, everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Charlie Sheen is doing it. When the former mentioned that she would rather have some sort of film award she could eat, the .gif went rampant on tumblr. Charlie Sheen mentioned the fact that he was too awkward to make friends, after which everyone forgave his inhuman ability to possess tiger’s blood.

Now, my dear little nibblets, let us just get this out of the way. Jennifer Lawrence is not awkward for liking food. If that were all it took, the whole human race takes the cake (and then eats it). And Charlie Sheen not making friends? Right. Because tiger’s blood can even let that happen. Strange substance aside, he is one of the highest paid actors and he can fake a personality until someone actually likes who he is. This is me letting you know the parameters for awkward. Being shy is not awkward and introverts are not awkward people, they just don’t say every single idea that pops into their head, and thank god for that because someone needs to listen to me. People who enjoy food in the diet culture we have created are not awkward. Sorry Ms. Lawrence, there are plenty of us who agree. Burgers are better and the fact that we feel comfortable saying so is not something that anyone can think is wildly abnormal.

Want to know what awkward is? Awkward is a painful silence, filled by the inability to recover after breaking a friends prized heirloom, and never being invited back again. Awkward is the pregnant pause when you ask how far along a woman is, when she is in fact not pregnant. Awkward is telling your whole family that you’re a civil rights loving liberal, and never really being able to talk to them the same way again without them blaming it on you being a left-winged nutjob. Awkward is meeting someone with a penchant for handshakes, and thus will not let you go. Ever. Awkward is being told numerous times by many old women at Herberger’s that you dress in a trashy manner, when you are wearing the same shirt as them.

I think we all need to figure out the difference between awkwardness and confidence in our differences. Me? I’m an obsessive friend draft maker, and have a strange love for Simon the chipmunk. The friend draft is confidence. The love for Simon the chipmunk isn’t awkward-—you all know what I’m talking about. And that’s not awkward.

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Katelyn Henagin

Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.

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