Lena Dunham is pretty much everywhere these days, and sometimes it can feel like her sole purpose in life is to make you feel like you haven’t done anything with yours. But we’re here to remind you that there are plenty of young, successful, smart and talented women to be jealous of. While you may not have 2 feature length films and an award-winning HBO show under your belt, there are also lots of other things you haven’t done. Here are a few women who will frustrate and possibly inspire you.
Shelby Fero: 19 years-old
Shelby Fero can’t legally drink in the United States of America yet but that hasn’t stopped her from achieving more than a lot of people twice her age have. She’s known as a Twitter wunderkind, with more than 83,000 followers currently, but she’s so much more than the occasional 140-character-or-less gem. She started writing for Cracked as a junior in high school, which led to her rapidly growing Twitter audience.
She wrote her college entry essay about comedian Mike Birbiglia, who has since referred to her as his “favorite person on twitter.” While she’s not too busy contributing to Cracked or Hello Giggles, writing for the show Punk’d, or doing stand-up, she performs with USC’s improv team, because she is still an undergrad student. Read an interview with Shelby Fero here.
Megan Amram: 24 years-old
It may be hard to believe that Megan Amram graduated college less than 3 years ago, considering all she’s done. While an undergrad at Harvard, she wrote the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Show two years in a row and started her now notorious Twitter and Tumblr accounts shortly after graduating.
A tour of her brain would be endlessly fascinating, as she churns out fabulously absurdist tweets like “Edison stole the idea for the lightbulb from the lightbulb that appeared above his head when he got the idea for the phonograph.” And “A rabbi, a priest, and a minister walk into a bar. Their lack of faith due to God forsaking mankind has driven them to alcoholism.” Her comedy writing, like this Tumblr post that is an elaborate New York Times wedding announcement correction, verges on poetry, which is no coincidence because she also writes poetry.
More than just an internet star, Megan Amram has written for the Academy Awards, the Disney Channel show A.N.T Farm and she’s currently employed as a writer for the beloved and acclaimed show Parks and Recreation. Read an interview with Amram here.
Tavi Gevinson: 16 years-old
Remember how when you were in high school you had trouble balancing your social life with school, your booming journalism career, late night talkshow appearances, and TED talk lectures on feminism? No, you were too busy hoping no one would that notice your socks weren’t matching. That’s because you’re not Tavi Gevinson. Blogging since age 11, the now 16-year-old Gevinson is creating an empire at warp speed.
Though she began with Style Rookie, a blog devoted to fashion, she started Rookie, an online magazine for teens, by teens and celebrity contributors like Lena Dunham and Jon Hamm, in 2011 and uses it to address a number of issues. She is now a front-row staple at fashion shows and has fully embraced her position as a role model for women young and old. Read an interview with her here.
Juliette Brindak: 23 years-old
How many of the ideas you came up with at 10-years-old are now worth more than $15 million? That’s right, none. Entrepreneur Juliette Brindak, now 23, started a social networking site for tweens when she was 16, having come up with the idea 6 years earlier. She operated the site, Miss O and Friends, while she was a full time student in high school and then also in college.
Brindak’s main goal with her social media site is to boost the confidence and self esteem of young girls, so don’t fill your head with self-deprecating thoughts when you realize how unaccomplished you are in comparison. Read more about Juliette Brindak here.
Adora Svitak: 15 years-old
Adora Svitak may be from a different planet. On her home planet, it may be completely normal for a 15-year-old to be a published author several times over and a respected advocate for literacy and education, but here on Earth, Svitak is an anomaly. Considered a prodigy by all and called a “tiny literary giant” by Diane Sawyer, Adora Svitak first got recognition for her writing at the age of 6. She read her first chapter book at 3 and a half and has been experimenting with the written word since the age of 4.
Now, she guest blogs for the Huffington Post where her eloquence and absurd intelligence level are evident. She started the online literary magazine Write with Adora, which she describes as “the collected works of youth literati.” At 15, it’s unlikely that you casually tossed around words like “literati,” but that’s what makes you not Adora Svitak. Read more about Svitak at her website.