I stood there, those billowing Elephant Pants encasing my legs like a hypocritical sack of irony. I had just gotten up off the floor, where the black stage had decided the rip a beaming hole in the knee of my new pants. I saw it as a sign from the universe.

“Cassie,” the universe spoke, “this is your first message. Have you given in to all that you have admonished over the years?”

You see, ever since those awkward middle school days, I have been one to reject cultural trends. And it wasn’t a move to be “hipster,” which in its own irony isn’t even against mainstream society. No, I chose to be my own sort of rebel, and that meant dressing in a style that was essentially the love-child of Hot Topic and the local thrift store. I was Marilyn Manson-Macklemore before it was cool. It still hasn’t become cool, but I like to think that by the year 2050 I will have been a pioneer of that awkward genre of style.

Let’s get back to me ripping a hole in the knee of my pants. It was a moment as momentous as when Spongebob ripped his pants at the beach and started a tirade of musical acceptance for his state of pants.  My experience was during a rehearsal for the Schuster Theatre’s Play Fest of Fear, leaving me to have a strange epiphany upon the stage. I had just received in the mail earlier that day my shipment from the Elephant Pants, an organization that sells bohemian, Moroccan-style pants to gain profits that ultimately go to fund efforts in saving African wildlife. It is a noble cause for sure, but as they caught on recently, I found myself in quite a state of personal dilemma. Do I buy some of these trendy pants or do I continue to live in my state of anti-trends?

Obviously, I gave in. I admit, I continuously try to reject trending items, but I always find myself giving in. Starbucks? I have given into it. Longboarding? Gave in to that too.

But after the floor proved stronger than the knee of my pants, I realized something important. You can try and try, but if you don’t do something for the right reasons, it isn’t worth doing. I started giving into trends because I thought it would give me some answers. It did, just not the answers I was aiming for when I clicked “Confirm Order” online.

It really isn’t “giving in.” That makes it sound horrible. If you want to wear billowing pants, do it! If you want to ride a longboard through Erie while listening to OMI’s “Cheerleader,” do it! Just because something is popular doesn’t mean you have to do it, but it doesn’t mean you need to avoid something that interests you either.

That’s the beauty of college. You can try everything that you would normally have frowned upon in high school. I never would have believed I would love cultural trends as much as I do now. Of course, I still have ones that I reject, such as the unnecessary compulsion to have “Kylie Jenner lips.”

So go out there and don’t be afraid to do what you love. Has someone called you “basic?” Oh well. Little do they know, basic solutions make great cleaners. So wipe out those nay-sayers and jump down the trend rabbit hole with the enthusiasm and positivity matched by Billie Mays in his Oxi-Clean commercials.