I Tried the Cool Teenager Diet

Gotta relive those glory days somehow


Back in my day, those looking to reclaim their youth would simply suck the blood from a nearby child or get Botox or something. Now, thanks to social media, it is so much easier.

I will be 28 in less than two months from this story’s date of publish. Construct or not, 28 is a nothing age; it’s not a milestone in the way that 25 was or 30 will be. I’ve had gray hairs since I was a kid, disliked loitering since I was 12 and I accepted my mortality the moment I experienced a hangover for the first time, which means 28 is nothing to panic about. It’s kind of a snooze. Even my parents are like, “Who are you? Who cares?”

SO, I decided to regress. For one week I’d try to be a teenager. A cool teenager, because what other kind is there. (Rhetorical question, hence the intentional lack of punctuation’s ear.) Here’s a question I did need to ask, though: how do I “be” one?

Tell every front lawn owner who doesn’t want to shovel his or her car out of the driveway after a snowstorm something they don’t know, but a good teenager is hard to find. This is because the coolest ones, like my 14-year-old twin cousins, don’t answer text messages. They only respond to Snapchats. Also, the older-by-two-minutes twin has blocked me on social media apps because I once called him handsome in a comment under his Instagram, and the other is too busy with Grand Theft Auto. (Hey, we used to play that!!)

Luckily, our old intern/resident millennial Franny Keller came to the rescue. She answers emails because she’s almost not a teen, assigned me cool teen homework, and I completed it.

Some of it.


Homework for the week of March 21, 2016*
*When I was a cool teen, we’d write this on the backs of our hands then get yelled at by our moms because it looked trashy and ink is poison.

– Use Face Swap on Snapchat and be sure to send a daily safety snap to maintain streaks with friends.
– Go to “Instagram-able cafes” (they generally have avocado toast on the menu) and take pictures of the food for 10 minutes before eating it. Restaurants consist of Jacks Wife Freda, Two Hands, Cafe Gitane, Bluestone Lane, Dudley’s, Dimes, etc.
– Take pictures of any cool graffiti.
– Get a good latte somewhere trendy like Happy Bones, Saturday’s or Gasoline Alley. Take a picture of the shop and latte.
While on the subway, open VSCO app and filter all your pics of the day for future possible instas.
– Listen to Rihanna’s new album on repeat.
– Find cool artists on HypeMachine.
– Go to Reformation. You must use the photo booth while you’re there or it didn’t happen.
– Take a workout class with a friend.
– Attempt to make a cool PHHHOTO (no Instagram, it’s not the same as Boomerang!), preferably one with artsy lights.
– Check Instagram nonstop.
– Check the AstrologyZone app and also check your crush’s horoscope to make sure you’re matching up.
– Reload email and college applicant portal websites even though you know you’re not hearing from the school for another week.
– Get a fun dinner downtown and decide you need ice cream while you wait around to hear if any parties are happening. (Morgensterns, Van Leeuwen, Victory Garden are all favs.)

Here is what I learned: I am more of a cool teen than I thought! I use Snapchat’s FaceSwap on the reg. It’s giving me nightmares, too, which feels authentic. Also, even though I keep deleting my Snapchat and therefore can’t claim a streak, I’m well-versed in the accessory filters.

They don’t call me AmeliO Earhart for nothing.

Getting a good latte somewhere trendy and snapping cool graffiti art was easy considering that I work in cool coffee/graffiti wall mecca. NBD. What I could absolutely not do was multitask opening VSCO app to filter pictures while on the subway. That sounds dangerous. Eyes up! Stay alert! I texted Franny Keller as much because I’m worried about her safety now.

Listen to Rihanna’s new album — I’m never not.

Find cool artists in HypeMachine — that’s how I first heard about SZA way back. Oh! I’m so sorry. Did an ice cube just fall out of my backpack? Yea. That cool.

Currently have this on repeat in between Rihanna, though:

I get how to operate PHHHOTO, but it gives me mild seizures. I went to Reformation (and I wrote about it?) but failed to take a picture in the photobooth, so I guess it doesn’t count 🙁

Check Instagram nonstop?

Check the AstrologyZone app and also check your crush’s horoscope to make sure you’re matching up? 300%. James Corden, I know you’re married but we’re compatible!

I reloaded my email but for non-collegiate purposes (although this right here made me both nostalgic and sympathetic) and I went to a workout class with friends but didn’t exactly “work out” so much as I did glare at the instructor to communicate the word “no.” Forgot a pic. I got dinner downtown more out of convenience and hunger than cool-factor, but I did appreciate having an excuse to get ice cream as an appetizer and didn’t feel weird at all about eavesdropping on some local teens about their party plans.

All in all, I make an excellent cool teen, but I will say this: 1) when do you go to school?, and 2) no wonder you guys are always napping. This is exhausting. It just might be more tiring than turning 28.

Illustration by Meghann Stephenson. You can also follow Meghann on Instagram and Tumblr.


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  • sofia allyn

    o m g ameliaaaaa where is your shirt and your friend’s shirt from in this pic?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Mine is Caroline Constas and hers is Johanna Ortiz!

      • Emily Brandow

        I am getting a salary of 6800 dollars each week. Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and no bank credit ..tu Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 58 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine. Why not try this.

        Look here for details

    • Amy Mills

      Amelia this article was A+++ but was actually going to comment to say that u are sooo babely in this photo

    • Senka

      How beautiful all three of you are. I don’t know about cool teens ( I’m old enough to hypotetically be a mother of a teen), but cool catalog models, definitely.

  • I’m 27 almost 28 and after reading this I feel ancient. But I’m actually okay with that. Sometimes I still stay out until 2am with friends, wine doesn’t make me sleepy yet and I sometimes have pizza for breakfast which I feel are the things that keep my young. Right?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Wine doesn’t make you sleepy yet? But yes everything that makes you happy so long as it doesn’t hurt another is okay!!

    • I turned 27 this week and I am proud of that number! 27 is so much more fun than 17.

      • Agreed! At 17 I was a disaster! My skin was amazing at least.

  • Milda Zim

    Haha, I feel you, Amelia… turning 28 soon too and cant understand whats happening, but then again, I also felt a bit old, while reading this, cause, omg, as a teenager, what did we do without all these apps? My god.. I feel like I am about to say, I am so glad I grew up without them. and there… I sound really old.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I would have been so embarrassing on Instagram I can’t think about it

  • Bridget McCormick

    As someone in her late teens, I have to admit I was a bit put off by this piece…

    BUT, I was able to see the accuracy in it, and laughed nonetheless.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Bridget it was done with so much love. Don’t forget: anyone who is older than 18 was a teen once so it is only making fun of ourselves

  • I’m essentially 30 year old teenager. I 75% of this without being prompted lol.

  • I am still a teen and this is very VERY accurate of my life, especially the cool graffiti walls (http://www.fracturedaesthetic.com/2016/02/the-true-atlanta-teen.html) and the refreshing college portals parts. also avocado toast and cappuccinos make the best instagram posts

  • I’m 25 and wearing braces JUST like in this illustration and with that only, it makes me more of a teen than anyone else, not to mention I do all of the above.
    Ok I never open VESCO. And never heard of PHHHOTO. Cool.

  • Sarbonn


  • i feel like this is a safe space to share…. i was driving my 19 year old cousin’s new car yesterday. she started giggling. i asked what was up. she said “it’s so funny watching how you drive compared to like me and my friends” I was like what does that mean…”idk just slower and funny” and then SNAP CHATTED ME DRIVING.

    WHAT?! IM NOT 85!!!!!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      omg ahahahah

      • sorry for using a blinker am i right?

  • I’m turning 27 in 2 months and feel pretty much the same. Also- i’m not sure I’ll ever stop laughing at that koala meme! This one also hit home…

    • Amelia Diamond


  • I’m 17 and loved reading this!!

  • leonorjr

    you are a cool teen to me, Baby Sparkles.

  • Kristin Winters

    I am 27 and I often find myself asking my 14 year old brother what certain internet abbreviations and slang mean. Not sure when I got so old that I stopped speaking the language?!

  • Court E. Thompson

    Amelia. Get excited. 28 is an AMAZING year. You’re officially post all quarter-life crisis whatnot, but not yet staring down the deep, dark, hole that is almost 30. I loved 28. 29 kind of blows. But apparently that’s because Saturn loops back around or something….

  • sin_plomo


  • Sunny

    I love the first picture! Where are the sunglasses from?