Apr 29, 2014 7:50AM

Born In 94: Hazel Cills Shot by Olivia Bee

From Oyster #104 — The Exposed Issue.
Hazel Cills writes for Rolling Stone and Rookie (and us!) and can't remember the 90s. We profiled her as part of our Born In 94 series in Oyster 104: The Exposed Issue.
Birthday: 17 May 1994
Birthstone: Emerald
Star sign: Taurus
Ruling planet: Venus
Element: Earth
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: Does the year 1994 seem significant to you in any way, beyond it being your birth year?
Hazel Cills: Did Kurt Cobain die in 1994? That's significant, because I feel like a lot of people my age romanticise him. I don't know what happened in the 90s — I guess the internet?
Do you remember when you first started using the internet?
Recently The Guardian posted a big thing about how the blog, as a format, is turning 20, and I'm turning 20 this year. I've been alive as long as blogging's been alive! I started blogging when I was 12.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I always really loved magazines, even when I was a kid. When I got to high school I was really aggressive about my school paper, really Tracy Flick [from the movie Election] about it. I did anything possible to be friends with the editors; I went to every meeting. If someone wanted a story done but no one had signed up for it, I would sign up for it. It's funny, because in third grade I made this newspaper on Kid Pix, this computer art program, and it was like The Onion for babies. I specifically remember writing fake weather reviews, like, 'The Weather Today: Pizza is Falling Out of the Sky'.
You're turning 20 this year. What are you going to do to celebrate?
I don't have any plans right now, but I do have a dream party for when I turn 23: I wanna have the tenth anniversary of my Bat Mitzvah. It's a very big deal where I grew up in New Jersey to have a huge Bat Mitzvah. You make all these speeches and then you read from the Torah, and then you have a really big party. I was reading out of a huge book that's centuries old, then getting out on the dance floor and dancing to 'SexyBack'.
So, what do you hope to figure out in your 20s?
That's a big question! In high school I felt like I hadn't found my crew... and that's why I think I turned to the internet. As I go through college, and especially through Rookie, I have found people who get me. I don't think I'm that crazy or complex to understand, but I'm only now starting to not feel like an outsider.
Photography: Olivia Bee
Text: Julianne Escobedo Shepherd