Earnestcore and Resolutionsmaxxing
plus everything i was influenced to buy this year
Thank you for reading After School this year! I sent 241 letters over the last 365 days, which totaled up to 5,979,621 views. There are now 30,601 of you, up from 13,653 at this time last year.
I started this newsletter two and a half years ago because I was (am!) pathologically obsessed with consumer trends, and I felt like I was observing so many shifts and memes and moments without actually processing what they meant from a macro viewpoint.
There is a truly dizzying amount of trends these days — and many aren’t even real trends! — but while most will not impact your business’s bottom line, I sincerely believe that none of them, from yearnposting to landlording to monkmode to hopecore to manpris to brotox to delusionships, are meaningless. Yes, even Skibidi Toilet. Together, they’re telling us something much bigger about what’s happening in society. Sometimes society is terrifying and we need to recognize that!
It’s hard to articulate how much I get out of writing this newsletter, so it’s a real thrill that others get something out of it, too.
I have a day job that I love, which means that I spend my early mornings, evenings, and weekends working on After School. Not always great for my health or my relationships, but it sure is good for my brain. I hope it’s good for yours, too. (And if you’d like to work together in 2024 — or sponsor the newsletter! — please do reach out.)
Unlike seemingly everyone on TikTok, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in goals.
In 2024, I’d like to do:
more in-depth analysis, more interviews, more reporting.
If you’re a Gen Zer or a parent of a Gen Alpha and would be open to answering my questions — anonymous or credited! — from time to time, please reply to this email. 😇
more short-form video. I finally got over my fear of a front-facing camera this year and yesterday, I had my first semi-viral TikTok — 1M views. I really wish I’d put on some mascara before recording this, but we’re leaving regrets in 2023.
fewer typos 🥴
THE BEST THINGS I GOT THIS YEAR
Since I began writing After School and feverishly tracking trends and spending an absurd amount of time on social media “for work,” I’ve bought quite a bit of stuff that has seeped into my little brain after spotting it on TikTok or Instagram.
I’ve also been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some nice things from brands that I write about a lot.
Here, I’m sharing some of those things that I acquired that I love as well as a few things I deeply, deeply regret.
(If you’re new here, there’s a lot of my face in this issue and that is not usually the case, so please don’t unsubscribe on account of my bad selfies. Back to usual selfie-free programming this week!)