Yes, Anjulie is a Juno-award-winning, platinum-selling songwriter and producer. It’s true that she’s worked with stars like Nicki Minaj, Icona Pop, Kelly Clarkson, Diplo, Zedd, Boombox Cartel and Benny Benassi. But when she was younger, she went through back to school jitters just like many other young girls may be experiencing this month. Now she wants to share what helped her in the hopes that it helps another young girl feel confident inside and outside the classroom!

Make Friends with People in Different Groups and Grades

One thing that was good about not being a popular girl in high school was that I had to be more creative with my friendships. Instead of trying to fit in with people who weren’t awesome enough to want to hang out with me, I found people that had common interests in other areas like the chess club, drill practice, and student council. The more motley your crew, the better you’ll be at making friends as you grow.

Make Eye Contact with People

When you’re not feeling very confident, the first thing to go down is your eye line. Making direct eye contact is the ultimate ice breaker, and it can be disarming.  When people I meet hold eye contact with me I’m very impressed – I also think they must be robots or unicorns.

Don’t be Afraid to be Different 

Being different always came naturally to me. In high school I was the only girl on the high school football team, I started a punk band called Cherry Cheesecake, I wrote songs about my period cramps, and I wore the school uniform to the high school prom! The more I let my freak flag fly and did the things I liked, the more I felt like an individual in charge of my own trajectory instead of being led by the herd.

Stop and Give Yourself a Mental or Physical Boost

School can be stressful, but we both know you can do it. I used to have trouble with stage fright but now before I go on stage I stop and take a moment to do 20 push-ups to amp myself up, and it works wonders. Short bursts of exercise release endorphins that reduce stress and make you feel good. If you’re not into push-ups you can try getting a boost from dancing, breathing exercises, or listening to your favourite music!   

Be a Feminist

One of the hardest parts of being a young girl is that you’re an advertising target. Corporations are trying to sell you stuff, mass media is trying to manipulate you, and social media is trying to tell you what is beautiful or sexy. One of my defenses against all of this has been to seek out non-mainstream messages. Some of my favorite authors, directors, and YouTube searches to inspire me are: bell hooks, Lena Dunham, Jill Soloway, Janet Mock, and Laverne Cox.

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