Now in your twenties you may look back on your teenage years and cringe, but that time spent as an emo or scene kid has undoubtedly shaped your life. As an adult we now recognize the alternative emo trend we once followed like a religion, was an invaluable experience.

Here’s our top 5 things that being a former emo kid has taught us:

1. Things aren’t that bad… or are they?

If much of your emo life was spent feeling depressed, maybe it was for a good reason. Life as an adult was ahead, and life as an adult can suck! Paying rent or a mortgage, bills, along with long working weeks, and not having time to hang out in large groups in parks are enough to get anybody down!

That said, maybe it’s not all bad – think of the hours wasted moping around; your post-emo life is surely productive in comparison. You now achieve something everyday – not just perfectly applying black nail varnish; and your life has direction.

Emo night out halloween

2. Halloween is the only acceptable day to dress emo

 Each year you count down the days to Halloween, looking forward to dressing the way you used to. Halloween is basically Emo throwback day, the only acceptable day to dress emo or goth as an adult. Make the most of this and go all out each year!

Use Halloween as a photo op too! Step aside, ‘Selfies’, and hark back to your MySpace days with pictures that are all about the angles! Reminisce back to a time where a sweeping fringe hides half of your face – and eyeliner hides the other half – this was once an everyday thing.

3. Band tees rock, and it is okay to wear Chuck Tailors Converse…

…Just maybe not to work. Depending on you career choice, work attire may be quite relaxed. Studies show that work-wear rules and regulations have softened over the years.

As an emo you used to personalize your clothing to look unique and to express yourself, and so, even today you probably still look for ways to add that special something to your favorite outfit to stand out, or look for pieces of clothing not usually found in mainstream stores. Just bear in mind that whatever your job you may need to tone it down a little. Keep the casual for the weekend, and guys: no painted fingernails. (Oh, and ditch the guyliner too, leave that one to Jimmy Carr!)

4. Read books 

Years spent as a scene kid has made you open to change, and you realize that trends change over time, but that doesn’t mean you’ve changed your beliefs, your interests or favorite music. Those hours spent tucked away in your room reading taught you a lot. So swap those emo novels and books about self-exploration and feelings for classic reads.

Reading improves your outlook on life, and can in fact help with depression (and coping with adult life – see number 1). William Nicholson once said, “We read to know that we are not alone”. It can help you connect with the world, feel less depressed or isolated, and feel better about life. Further benefits of reading books include gaining knowledge and expanding your vocabulary. Reading can improve your writing skills too.

5. Music alters mood… 

…Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Emo music is stereo-typically melodramatic guitar-based rock music. It can either be aggressive and ‘shouty’ or it can acoustic and gentle. Chances are it contains confessional or explicitly personal lyrics, often about heartbreak or loneliness. Ditch these depressing sounds, but don’t write off rock just yet. Explore the genre and find a new sound.

Chances are you have an open mind when it comes to music. As an emo kid you didn’t listen to mainstream music. This has likely led you to discover a much broader range of music than other people since then. Time may change but your interests shouldn’t – gigs are great, so keep going to shows and remember: it is ok to enjoy the music and move around!

Featured photo credit: Restless Globe Trotter via flickr.com

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