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Pick your persona 

Tips on how to shape your new rep

High school reputations are worse than a bad rash. No matter what you do, you can't shake it -- until you go to college, that is. Whether you were the most popular girl at school or so ordinary it hurt, the slate is wiped clean your freshman year.

Making a major metamorphosis -- from geek to chic or religious to rebellious -- takes calculated planning, appearances at the proper events and an excellent makeover. Around the Atlanta area, there are hot spots for whatever niche you're trying to infiltrate.

Mantra: "Leather-bound." You enjoy the finer things in life and won't settle for faux-anything, "GP" (general public) drinks (you prefer a Merlot), or hanging out with just anybody.

Look: First stop, get your eyes examined. Even if your vision doesn't need corrective help, pick up a pair of fashionable yet smart tortoise-shell frames. Sensible is your fashion of choice -- avoid anything "edgy," "cute" or "now." Classic suits, plaid scarves and collared shirts from Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor and Polo Ralph Lauren are your best bets. Shoes are exclusively Saks Fifth Avenue, and your fine leather cell phone holder is from Coach.

Places to be seen: Locate the campus law library and never arrive without a copy of Albert Camus' The Stranger, your trusty Palm Pilot and the latest copy of The New Yorker. Spend your weekends lounging at Churchill Grounds jazz club followed by Cafe Intermezzo to sip cappuccino. Notable mentions: Check out Borders Books for frequent book signings.

Ride: Nothing American will do -- and you'd rather pay the cost of cabs than ride to the mall in mom's old Chevy. Preferred automobile: Mercedes -- a fine vehicle, leather interior and classic styling.

Mantra: "Whatever." In high school, you were a super-nerd valedictorian, and teachers were lining up to write glowing college recommendations for you. Now you want to tone down your smarts and join the untouchable world of trendy/cool. While achieving cool is ultimately being comfortable in your own skin, a few helpful hints might help.

Look: Two words: Junkman's Daughter. There you can find a plethora of hip items -- hemp jewelry, drug paraphernalia, fishnet stockings, hair dye. Try and model the staff's overly aloof attitude and walk out with a bad tattoo. Junkman's Daughter epitomizes the phrase "one-stop shopping." Consider it your trendy, overpriced Wal-Mart.

Reading: Throw Moby Dick to the dogs and check out Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Go to parties and reference the book, raving to friends how its anti-consumerism message has seriously affected your philosophy. Be sure not to say this, however, in Junkman's Daughter.

Places to be Seen: Little Five Points is your home away from home, and the staff at Criminal Records and Aurora Coffee (both conveniently located next door to Junkman's Daughter) know your name. Aurora will prove to be especially useful for indie-film festival news and excellent eavesdropping. While the constant toting of headphones went out in the early '90s, feel comfortable with that Discman, provided it's booming The Dead Kennedys, Bob Marley and/or classic Madonna.

Obsession: Understanding the film Memento, which you frequently claim has rocked your world, and relating to your mother, who just doesn't seem to understand you anymore. Your journal is your new best friend and proves to be more colorful then a "Sex in the City" episode.

Mantra: "Cool!" Regardless of what clique you were in during your high school years, becoming All-American is the easiest transformation of all. The All-American daydreams about long road trips, Tom Petty, a beautiful sunset and college football. You are laid back, calm and always up for a trip to the beach. You are uncontroversial, keeping your political opinions to yourself, questioning why anyone would rather debate the president then argue over the best fast-food restaurant.

Look: Red, white and blue. You love our America (what's not to love?) and cheerfully sport Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew. You have six pairs of sunglasses, one to match every outfit, and you frequently streak your hair different shades of blond. A baseball hat is your accessory of choice, and shoes are either Steve Madden or the latest thing from Foot Locker.

Places to be Seen: ESPN Sports Zone, the Buckhead Club row or Starbucks, always with a wide smile. Nike Town is the coolest museum around, and you frequent the gym and the local movie theater.

Things You Worry About: Unwanted food in your teeth, an excess of gel in your hair and the winner of last night's game. Also, counting down the days till the next American Pie flick will be released.

Clubs to Join: Skip the feminist march and head straight to the student union. You epitomize school spirit (as displayed in your T-shirt, bottle-opener and class binder) and want nothing more than to join the spirit squad or fraternity council.

The Mysterious Loner
Mantra: "Leave Me Alone." Your yearbook photo caption calls you "A Good Friend" and you are sick and tired of being Mr. Nice Guy. At college, you want to become a brooding loner, dark and intense.

Look: You love your Smiths T-shirt and wear it regardless of whatever odor might linger. Leave your beloved frayed jean-jacket for your sister and get yourself a 19th-century cloak. Scuffed black Doc Martins are the only shoes you'll ever need -- good for the rain, a night out or stomping through the woods. Ignore your mother's constant nagging and take pride in that matted hair.

Your Cause: Spend your time brooding over CNN, overpopulation and Amnesty International. Motivate your peers to vote, and never stop believing that you truly can make a difference.

Leave Behind at Home: Your Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan flicks. You no longer want to be associated with the words pink, pretty or upbeat. Green Day albums are a big no and you'd now rather be caught dead than with a Glamour or Maxim magazine.

Places to be Seen: The Masquerade Club offers the coolest brand of goth-rock around, or play it safe with virtual reality games behind your high-speed computer.

In Four Years: Peace Corps, teaching children English in Pakistan.

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