1. Cut holes in all of your sleeves so your thumbs poke through, because everyone knows that no long-sleeve shirt is complete until it also serves as a pair of fingerless gloves.
2. Have full-blown fights with your parents — sometimes in the actual Hot Topic itself — over the political/band t shirts that your parents would not let you get.
3. Put safety pins in everything for no reason.
4. Get really serious about those plastic fuck bracelets, even though everyone had a different explanation for them, and a different reason for wearing them.
5. Decide you are straight edge for a few days and go around with the black Xs written on the back of your hands, even to class, as if someone was going to offer you some meth in the middle of pre calc.
6. Discover the branding of Tool and Rage Against The Machine while standing in a Hot Topic, as there was no other store you knew, other than CD stores, where you could acquire such things.
7. Abuse black eyeliner, regardless of gender.
8. Pretend like your rock tastes were refined, complex, and political, but secretly listen to a fair share of My Chemical Romance, AFI, and Papa Roach.
9. Sing all the lyrics to Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” while making yourself food in your parents’ kitchen.
10. Get really into Disney Princess/Hello Kitty/other traditionally “girly” things, but only if they were represented as zombies.
11. Purchase psychedelic mushroom/orb candles in bulk, to represent all of the life-changing trips you’d never been on. (Side note: You never actually burned them, because preserving them in their perfect shape was part of the point.)
12. Change all of your bios/away messages/blog headlines to System of a Down lyrics.
13. Spend hours flipping through the posters and staring at the enormous wall of t shirts at Hot Topic, usually while drinking a Slurpee/energy drink/coffee if you were really mature.
14. Agonize over your first purchase of Airwalks.
15. Become obsessed with Tim Burton, to the point that it was nearly a religion for you, and no one could talk to you about The Nightmare Before Christmas without an enormous lecture from you about what they don’t understand.
16. Wear mesh shirts under t shirts, again with little thumb holes cut out for aerodynamics.
17. Have your parents drop you off far away from the mall entrance so that no one would see you got shuttled around in a station wagon like a prep.
18. Refer to people sincerely as “preps.”
19. Wear keychains/shirts/pins that said things like “You laugh because I’m different, I laugh because you’re all the same” in green slime writing.
20. Sing Rocky Horror Picture Show songs while walking down the hall, much to everyone’s chagrin.
21. Get really political, even though you couldn’t vote and weren’t really sure what any political party actually meant. Depending on who was asking, you were somewhere between a Communist and an Anarchist. You were whatever political party Che t shirts symbolized.