Every college student knows a Frat Boy Brad. Or maybe yours is named Josh, Zach, or Hunter. He’s straight, white, and upper class. He’s probably a business or engineering major. He probably isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. He votes Republican, insists that the American Dream is possible for everyone if only they work hard, and whines about affirmative action giving unfair advantages when he got into this school on a legacy. And don’t you dare call him privileged because he works REALLY HARD, bro!
He is conventionally decent looking and thinks literally every girl is attracted to him. He owns two kinds of outfits. One includes khakis, a button-up shirt, and boat shoes. All name brand of course. The other includes cargo shorts, a mesh tank top that probably says “suns out guns out”, Adidas sandals, athletic socks, and a backwards hat. Yet he thinks he can make fun of girls who don’t dress to his liking.
When he rides on the back of his bro’s moped, he actively does not hold onto him because he would rather risk his own safety than do something that might “look gay”. But hey, nothing could ever happen to him, right?
Despite all Brad’s flaws, there is one area where he’s got it figured out. What’s that, you ask? He never lets anything make him think himself any less awesome. Fails a test? He still thinks he’s a genius and does better next time. Girl turns him down? He still thinks he’s hot shit and tries again with someone else. Gets drunk and makes an ass of himself? He finds a way to turn it into a funny story for later. His sense of self-worth is impossible to bruise.
For we non-Brads of the world, it’s easy to let our failures bring us down. Some of us equate that failed test with not being smart anymore. That girl who turned us down with not being likable. That embarrassing drunken night with never being taken seriously again. But most of the time that’s not the case at all. And this post serves as much as a note to myself as it does an anecdote for all of you. Next time you think you royally fucked up, ask yourself, “What would Brad do?” “Would he think himself any less awesome over a thing like this?” No? Then neither should you. Just because you weren’t born thinking yourself to be a master of the universe doesn’t mean you have no right to think you’re pretty great even when things aren’t going so well.