11 Things That Happen When You Grow Up As The 'Good Girl'

by Alexia LaFata

When we were teenagers, it was cool to be rebellious.

Think about “The Breakfast Club for a moment. Why does everyone love Bender so much? By all accounts, he's a huge pain in the ass. He picks on people, blows cigarette smoke in people's faces and wears way too much leather.

But he's also intriguing and mysterious. He's wild in his defiance and complex in his teen-ness. He's bad and cool and cool in his badness.

Of course, Bender might be an extreme example, but he's one that exemplifies the appeal of the rebellious teen.

In high school, following the rules and doing your homework wasn't cool. What was cool was skipping gym class, kissing boys, staying out past curfew and getting your older brother to buy you alcohol.

Looking back on my time as a teenager, I was so far from the rebellious definition of "cool" that it makes me laugh now.

When we're young, we try so hard to craft identities for ourselves, to carve out spaces for us in the confusing world of adolescence and pubic hair. For me, that identity was "good."

Growing up, I followed all the rules. I listened to my parents, didn't drink, did well in school and never wore winged eyeliner. And I know there are more of you out there who are just like me.

Here's how you know you grew up as a "good girl."

1. You unabashedly cared about your grades and your extracurricular activities.

Yes, you were that kid. You raised your hand in class all the time, you regularly got A's, and you were heavily involved in extracurriculars, likely in at least one leadership position.

As an adult, these kinds of go-getter qualities are great, but during adolescence, there was truly nothing worse.

2. You were from a relatively small, close-knit town.

The only way to truly identify as a good girl and have that identity be a part of you is if people know you as a good girl.

It's much more difficult for this to happen if you're from a big city or a town that's a little bit disjointed.

When you're from a small, close-knit town, your reputation becomes known and sticks with you, which reinforces that aspect of your identity.

3. You were proud.

Your straight-edgedness and overall wholesomeness were points of pride for you. While other teenagers felt "cool" because they stole alcohol from their parents' fridge and bought weed from the creepy dude in the mall, you felt cool because you didn't.

You secretly delighted in the fact that you didn't need any of those things to have fun. Sometimes, this might have resulted in you holding a secret moral high ground, but most of the time, you just didn't care.

You had better things to do anyway, like soccer practice and rehearsal for the school musical, which you were a lead in.

4. You were late to the physical-maintenance game.

Throughout your teen life, you didn't care much about your appearance. Makeup didn't really appeal to you. The only wax you knew about was from bees and candles, and you had no boobs to put in a push-up bra anyway.

While everyone else was embarking on milestone mother-daughter adventures to Victoria's Secret, you were stuck in Kohl's, in the section with the boring, unlined bras. Woe was definitely you.

5. You never had a rebellious phase.

And you really, really wish you did. Because now, while all of your adult friends talk about the rambunctious shenanigans they got themselves into while they were teenagers, the craziest thing you did was, like, accidentally take more than the recommended dosage of Advil in one day.

You wonder if you could make up for your lost youth now, but then you realize part of the appeal of youth rebellion is the "youth" part, since nothing is really that crazy anymore when you can legally do it.

6. It took you way longer to learn how to let loose and have fun later in life.

Because of your pride in your goodness, it took you a hell of a lot longer to learn how to enjoy a drink at a college party.

You were intimidated by how many of your fellow freshmen were professionally funneling Natty Light at age 18. You often wondered where their parents were during all of this.

You still remember the first time someone handed you a beer and the first time you actually got drunk; they were both very separate occasions that occurred several months apart.

For the former, you remember taking two sips and putting it down, and for the latter, you still, to this day, have no idea if you were faking it because you kind of thought that's what everyone else did anyway, or if you were actually drunk.

7. You've been called a "role model" more times than you can count.

Around your hometown, everyone knew you as a "good example." A "role model." A "model teen."

When parents scolded their kids, they said things like, "Why don't you act more like (your name)?" which probably made everyone hate you.

One or both of your parents also likely worked at a well-known business in your town, so they were able to talk about you a lot and spread the word about how great you were, you role model teen.

8. You probably grew up religious.

There's nothing like a good ol' indoctrinated need to remain "pure" (in every sense of the word) to make someone into a good girl.

This doesn't necessarily mean you were a Mormon, but throughout your life, you held the same religious beliefs as your family, and you had a decently strong sense of faith.

Your family probably took you to (insert religious service here) every weekend, and you probably went through all the required steps to become an adult in your religion's eyes.

Just another accomplishment under your belt, you good example, you.

9. You bought heavily into the sexual purity thing.

One simply cannot speak of purity and religion without speaking of sex.

Growing up, you had no desire to be sexual. You were genuinely convinced sex was dirty and would taint you. It wasn't that you didn't have crushes on boys and boys didn't have crushes on you; you just felt really weird when it came to getting physical.

You realize now that this mentality is preposterous. Or maybe you don't -- in which case, you should definitely get over it.

10. Your friends used you as leverage for convincing their parents to let them go to a party.

As an adult, we forget we once had to ask for someone's permission to have fun. We forget that between the ages of 11 and 17 we weren't allowed to do anything without asking our parents first and giving a convincing argument.

Well, during your adolescence, you were the convincing argument.

People who tried to get their parents to let them go to parties used you as a gauge for how "safe" the party would be. They said things like, "But come on, (your name)'s parents are letting her go!"

And, to be honest, it worked. It always worked.

11. You've grown out of labeling yourself as a "good girl," but a part of you will always be one.

As you became an adult, you learned you shouldn't classify people in such simple terms as "good" and "bad," including yourself.

Human beings are far more complex than that, and it's unfair to label people's actions with such limiting, dichotomous language.

But no matter what, you carry a piece of that good girl around inside of you forever. You'll probably always feel anxiety in the face of authority, and you'll probably never shake that desire to be a good example for others.

And maybe that "rebellious phase" you longed for will seep out in little moments throughout your life. Or maybe it'll be one long stretch of behavior in the future.

Most importantly, though, maybe it doesn't have to be called a phase at all. Maybe it can just be called "you."