This is my post from the Knowmads website…
Who’s the coolest person that you know?
Is it the person who has lots of friends and is so popular? Is it Snoop Dogg? The person who wears the latest styles? The person who is up to really interesting things? Who’s going against the norm? Pieter Spinder? Or is it the person who acts like nothing bothers them and shows no emotion whatsoever?
What is the definition of cool?
When it comes to describing someone as cool or uncool, I like what the Oxford dictionary’s 1 of 4 definitions of cool says, “fashionably attractive or impressive: youngsters are turning to smoking because they think it makes them appear cool.”
I can honestly admit that most people don’t say, “Kristin, you’re so cool!” It just doesn’t happen.
I can’t even tell you how many times my best friend in college, Sherri, would yell “dork!” every time she saw me walking around campus (it was hilarious every time even more when I was actually going to the library to study which was very typical) or my basketball teammates (on every playing level) would call me a dork. I knew I wasn’t the ‘cool’ that many were striving to achieve. I beat to my own drum and just did what I wanted to do.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been exposed to some pretty cool non-traditional educational programs that are going on around the world. Schools like YIP, Hyper Island, Kaospilots, Embercombe, Knowmads (of course), Rietveld and many others that aren’t following strict curriculum, schedules, academics, or pumping out humans to join the rat race. All these schools have their unique selling points and each one would give you a completely different learning experience.
When I look at the students who go to these schools from their websites, I think “Damn, these kids are cool.” The stuff these students are up to are impressive. They’re doing projects and creating businesses. When I first encountered these schools I asked myself am I up to anything remarkable? If I were to go to one of these schools would I fit in? Could I live up to being as ‘cool’ as them?
I remember looking at the Knowmads student bios before I applied and those sorts of thoughts popping into my head. Then when I saw Filippa’s bio, someone I knew before Knowmads, I thought her bio was as cool as everyone else’s. Since I already knew she was cool (she can pull off wearing her grandma’s clothing and go to Mexico without speaking the language just because she can), I knew my ‘dorky coolness’ could hang with her ‘coolness.’ But frankly I didn’t care if people saw me as cool or not, I just wanted to be DOING cool stuff.
After I decided to take the leap to Knowmads, something strange happened. My friends were telling me I was cool. Huh? Who me? Cool? Far from it. When I made videos on my situation for going to Knowmads and being able to stay at Knowmads, people started calling that cool. Yes, I moved to Amsterdam from the States without knowing exactly what I was getting myself into. And yes, I’m going to a school that really isn’t technically a school. But anyone can do this if you want it bad enough. You can do anything. You just have to have some guts.
What I realize is that my friends weren’t calling me cool directly, they were calling what I was doing cool. I happen to be cool by association (of the things I do). It’s the actions we are doing that are the cool stuff.
But let’s get one thing straight. Anyone can call anything cool and they’d be right because it’s their opinion. Cool is subjective.
I guess what I’m getting at is that if you look at all the tribes at Knowmads and think we are so cool for attending a school like this, then thanks for the props but I don’t think any of us came to Knowmads to gain cool points. It just so happens that the Knowmads school functions extraordinary different than other business schools. What I think really makes us cool is that we all decided to go down a path many haven’t discovered. We are all people who haven’t found what we are looking for in life and Knowmads might be it. I look at all the current and past tribe members and am extremely impressed that we all embarked on a journey marked with so much uncertainty. We have no idea what we’re going to get out of our 12 months or who we’re going to end up being. That’s pretty cool to me.
Being a Knowmad means that you are ok with the unpredictable. To go to a school that’s only 2 years young with no tangible reward at the end of completion is kind of crazy for today’s standards. What I love about all the tribe members and especially the first tribe is our risk taking capabilities and our ability to trust and have faith that what we are getting ourselves into is the right thing for us.
Everyone is cool in their own way. Whatever cool is these days.
Cool to me is being up to fascinating and out of the ordinary things which I can vouch is definitely happening at Knowmads. I bet if you’re reading this right now you are probably up to some pretty cool things or you have some crazy ideas in your head that made you stumble across Knowmads or maybe you know a Knowmad and therefore you’re cool by association Either way, I’m curious to know what you are up to. What crazy ideas are you thinking about? What projects are you working on? Contact a Knowmad. Come to our Monday Morning Breakfasts.
We’re open to everyone and probably think you’re cooler than use, but who’s comparing.