I spent last weekend at New York University, deemed by College Magazine as being the most hipster campus in the country. What is a hipster, you may ask? From what I’ve observed during my weekends in New York City, in my English classes at Rutgers, and from shopping (and listening to conversations) at my local Urban Outfitters, these are the five most prominent qualities I have noticed about the hipster life:

1) “Well, I think…”

Hipsters are not afraid to embrace the counterculture of whatever is going on mainstream. I appreciate articulate counterarguments on things ranging from the upcoming election to the best clothing stores in the nation.

2) Know Thy Passion
The hipsters I’ve encountered are passionate about something. Often times their passions are in the creative and artistic realm—poets, guitarists, filmmakers alike are among the hipster population. Whatever it is, hipsters know it in and out and aren’t afraid to show it off, especially when they can explore such creativity in places like New York City and Boston.

3) For the Animals!
I encountered more hipster vegans in New York City than anywhere else I have been—first thinking that many vegan items are cheaper than non-vegan items, but then hearing some hipster vegans shed light on how they reject the popular consumer mindset which involves killing animals for their meat and dairy products.

4) Loving the Good Things You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
I love when my hipster friends send me links to songs or movies I’ve never heard of, and then I end up listening to entire albums by these artists or watching independent movies with them. Hipsters follow indie bands most people have probably never heard of and have seen many foreign films which are both excellent, but rarely spoken of. Once they’re in the mainstream, they start to lose some “hip” to them!

5) Looking Effortlessly Cool
Though being a hipster is really a mindset, I definitely couldn’t ignore the fashions. It looks comfortable enough yet bohemian-cool. Hipsters are almost always seen wearing vintage-style clothing, frugally bought from thrift stores and always know how to rock a scarf and make simple tight jeans look chic. Check out fellow NSCSer Jess’s blog for more on hipster style.

Do you think you epitomize the hipster life? Enter CollegeMagazine’s Kembrel Hipster Contest today!

Dawn Angelicca Barcelona is a sophomore at Rutgers University. She is majoring in English and Human Resource Management. Among many things, she is a poet, dancer, green tea lover, and productive insomniac. She was a former Rutgers Admissions Student Blogger and currently works for Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Follow her on Twitter: @DawnAngelicca.