Be smart, but in the cool way where you still have friends. Be in all the AP classes, especially the math and science ones. If you struggle, make sure everyone else is too before you complain. This is how you talk just enough in class that you’re seen as smart, but not overbearing. This is how you subtly show you’re sensitive, and caring, and listening, and listening. But still manly. Strong, decisive. This morning you just threw on clothes in record setting time, but your sweater and shirt and jeans just happen to work together.
Play a sport. Be athletic, the type of athletic where you really look athletic. Hide that you’re a benchwarmer, and when your friends come to watch, laugh it off like you don’t care. Because nothing fazes you. You’re a calm, cool, and collected guy. Be seen in the weight room. Laugh, even when you’re too tired to be social.
You’re the one to ask the girl out, to make a move, to pay for dinner, to propose. None of those things terrify the shit out of you. Be assertive. Your finger never hovers over the send text button, you never overthink, you never get confused. You’re still calm, cool and collected.
Go to church. Don’t let those values intersect with your social life; that’s no fun. Hang out with friends. Go to parties. What if you don’t get invited to parties? Get invited to parties. Be extroverted, even when meeting new people freaks you out. Don’t mention you’ve never tried alcohol besides that one sip that one time you made risotto, that’s just weird.
Know what you’re good at, and have a plan to do well in life. Well, at least to get rich in life. Get into college. Only the ones from this list will do.
Be the brown face in the school Magazine. Be a leader in diversity club. Be hyper involved in everything. Because you have something to prove.