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A Guide To Faking Sophistication, As Told By A High School Student

Crystal chandeliers and tall marble walls crowded my peripheral as I entered the excessively grand hotel lobby. I gazed in wonderment at the oversized sitting area, complete with luxurious, leather upholstered chairs and silken sofas. As if the venue’s overwhelming elegance weren’t enough, couples adorned in imported gowns and pressed suits seemed to glide across the room, further heightening my anxiety levels. I knew I didn’t belong, but I was committed to trying. A time like this called for a drastic change in persona— a delicately contrived alter ego that I would assume in order to meet such an extravagant standard. Whether it’s attempting to portray the most pretentious version of yourself at a classy event, or striving to make a tastefully arrogant impression on new coworkers, carrying a slew of impressive character traits in your arsenal is a helpful way to trick people into believing you grew up in a high rise in the upper east side.

An important part of transforming yourself into the patron saint of artificial sophistication that is often overlooked is the amount of fieldwork the process involves. One cannot simply attain the essence of an overtly ostentatious socialite from their couch. So it’s time to retire your routine evenings comprised of reruns of The Bachelor and leftover lo mein, and hit the streets. Endeavor to find your idyllic hangout for gaining the insight and the knowhow in regards to your mission. I’d recommend any coffee shop with a minimalistic approach to branding a cappuccino, so long as everything on the menu is grotesquely overpriced. But not to fret, the purchase of a five-dollar cup of mediocre coffee won’t be necessary, as your time spent there will instead be occupied by claiming a spot in the reading nook, informing yourself on current events via the multiple news outlets you follow on social media. If this isn’t your speed, perhaps you’d prefer an establishment that better caters to the knowledge-craving scholar in you. Any trendy bookstore with a section entitled “Post-Shakespearean Anthologies” existing within it should suffice. Enough time spent at either of these oases for the wannabe-worldly should, in time, result in equipping you with the means necessary to tackle your task at hand with a newfound sense of confidence and enthusiasm.

In addition to discovering the appropriate environment conducive to your new habits, it’s vital that’s you modify some already common truths of your identity and interests. I’ve compiled a list of some intricately refined details that when used correctly in casual conversation, will ensure your success. For example, don’t have a wine growler? Get one, and tell everyone it is life changing. Coffee? It’s not good unless it’s from a French press. Starbucks? What’s that? And your dog is no longer a mutt, but a “designer breed” known as the Mongolian Water Shepard. And those distant cousins that are constantly Facebook messaging you from Rome? They’re from Italy, not Western New York. And who needs Cable when you can watch Vice documentaries and your favorite Wes Anderson movies online? Yeah, you own a pair of culottes, and yeah, they’re your favorite clothing piece in your wardrobe. And Netflix? That’s for watching the best up and coming international films, and you won’t settle for anything less than award-winners from Cannes, Sundance, or ideally, both. Whole Food’s new kombucha line pales in comparison to your homemade fermented brew. Speaking of Whole Foods, the overrated health food market isn’t sufficient to supplement your high carb, low fat, vegan needs. No, that right is reserved for your local indie farmer’s market. All of these facets of new and particularly intelligent-sounding personality aspects are sure to get you on the track of becoming the ripe, young sophisticate you’ve always longed to be.

Now that you’ve obtained the practices and skills required for achieving your aspirations of finding the most enlightened edition of your personality, it’s time to put yourself to the ultimate test. Go forth with a profound sense of ardor for your newly-invented self, and give yourself recognition for your efforts. You’re ready to take on your peers, colleagues, or strangers on the subway, and ambush them with an impressive aspect of your recently-developed identity. So go ahead, scan Yelp for the most exclusive kava bar in the area, grab your Italian leather messenger bag, put on a stern face that says “Don’t talk to me unless you are able to hold a discussion pertaining to the early works of Marcel Proust,”, and show the world what an astonishingly sophisticated individual you can pretend to be.

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I am a sixteen year old high school student with a passion for writing and journalism. I was born and currently reside in Millbrook, New York, a small town in the Hudson Valley. I've been a dedicated English student my entire life, having been in advanced classes throughout both middle and high school. I also have writing experience extending outside the classroom in extracurriculars like Model United Nations and Debate Club. It has always been a dream of mine to write about relevant and pressing topics, so needless to say, I am very excited to be writing for Affinity!

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I am a sixteen year old high school student with a passion for writing and journalism. I was born and currently reside in Millbrook, New York, a small town in the Hudson Valley. I've been a dedicated English student my entire life, having been in advanced classes throughout both middle and high school. I also have writing experience extending outside the classroom in extracurriculars like Model United Nations and Debate Club. It has always been a dream of mine to write about relevant and pressing topics, so needless to say, I am very excited to be writing for Affinity!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Liz Baldwin

    March 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Awesome Ella! How do you know all that?!! You could it be that you really do your research at Farmer’s Wife or Babette’s?

  2. Ella Munderback

    March 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you so much!! Indeed I do!! I am very fortunate to have grown up in an area with such great places for inspiration (Babette’s is definitely a favorite)!! 🙂

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