Dear Agony Aunt,
I’m just a normal guy and I’m about to move to Sydney for my first year of university. I desperately want to fit in. I’ve seen on social media that the coolest people in Sydney belong to a subgroup known as the “Hipsters.” I guess my question is…how can I become a hipster and be cool at uni this year?
To find out how to become a hipster, we must first understand what a hipster is. What makes a hipster tick? What sets a hipster apart from the crowd of unremarkable losers? According to the Bible of the Twenty-First Century, Urban Dictionary, a hipster is a subculture that values independent thinking, counter-culture, being progressive and rebellious, an appreciation of indie-rock and indie films, creativity, intelligence and witty banter.
Now, how to become one? Follow these six easy steps my friend, and you will be a qualified hipster in no time!
- To be hipster, one must KEEP AN OPEN MIND
You have to make an effort to think differently than everybody else. That is a cool thing to do. You must become that annoying person, standing in the quad, yelling about stuff that people don’t care about. Get out there and fight for the underdogs, the LGBTQI community, the animal adoptions shelter, the homeless junkie that lives underneath the bridge. Participate in peaceful protests. Make your own picket sign. Be the first one to point out when someone’s joke pokes fun at a minority, is racist or politically incorrect. They will thank you for opening up their minds, and ultimately they will become like you.
- To be a hipster, one must REALLY CARE ABOUT STUFF
Go out into the world with compassion and a thirst for knowledge. Be that guy on the bus that lectures people about the article that they read online last night. Pick up a newspaper. Don’t be the guy who relies on their Facebook feed for news. Brush up on some useless events that are history and share them with your friends. Intelligence is cool, and you should make sure that everyone knows it.
- To be a hipster, one must be CREATIVE AND INDIE
Slay that poetry reading at your local independent bookstore. Crush open mic night at your local Newtown pub. Go paint that mural you’ve been dreaming of. Knitting is cool, don’t let people tell you otherwise, so don’t be shamed to get some serious needle-action going on your commute. Bonus points if you wear something that you’ve knitted yourself. Play theatre sports in the Roundhouse, even if nobody’s watching or if they boo you. Remember, every hobby you take up mustn’t be a mainstream one like sports, or else you are automatically un-hipster.
- To be a hipster, one must TALK LIKE A HIPSTER
Being witty is all about your basic 80s pop culture references. Watch those Molly Ringwood movies, reread those books you were assigned in high school. Listen to Lorelei Gilmore; she knows thing or two about wit. Learn from her. Memorise quotes and casually throw them into conversation as if it were effortless. NB: You can’t be a fully-fledged hipster without watching The Goonies or The Breakfast Club. Get torrenting! I mean, um, go to the video store and rent them on VHS. That’s cooler.
- To be a hipster, one must listen to HIPSTER MUSIC
First thing’s first: raid your parents’ CD collection. Or you grandparents’. Bonus points if it’s on vinyl. Old music is so in right now. Search Tumblr for music blogs that have the word ‘hipster’ in the title. If nobody has heard of your favourite band, then congratulations! You’ve officially developed a hipster taste in music. For the advanced class, I suggest listening to songs in other languages. It’s just cooler.
- To be a hipster, one must DRESS LIKE A HIPSTER
Go to your local thrift store. On your shopping list should be: band T-shirts that are too big and you can roll up the sleeves, big ugly sweaters knitted by someone else’s grandma fifty years ago and baggy flannel shirts that you can tie around your waist. Bonus points for things with holes in them. Double bonus points for jean shorts with rips in the legs. If you aren’t sure what your best colour is, then the answer is black.
I hope this has helped you, “Atticus”. Welcome to Sydney.