JUSSAYIN’ – Twenty Troubles

A.C. "Mac" MacKenzie, Opinions Editor

Honestly, how frequently do you come across reminders of your childhood and think to yourself “Geez, I’m old”? I don’t mean to convey that I have Danny ‘Murtaugh’ Glover moments on the regular, but an undeniable sensation of nostalgia and yearning for the past overtook me this summer.

This more than likely came about because of my job as a summer camp counselor and watching my campers indulge in all of the same outdoor fun that I had been a part of 15 years prior triggered some longing for the past, but I think there’s more to it than that. This summer also marked a fairly unprecedented milestone for me, as some time in the last 12 months has marked for many of my peers in the class of 2013, I entered my twenties.

Yet, it feels as if it were only months ago that my young, 6- or 7-year-old self was asking my at-the-time 20-year-old cousins that if they were so big, why then were they not married, or homeowners, or a part of the workforce? At that age, college seemed like such a distant thing, and now half of that experience is literally behind me. Perhaps that is why these nostalgic feelings manifested themselves of late.

Nonetheless, I’ve always been a pretty forward-thinking person, far more preoccupied with what tomorrow holds than with my previous prides and pratfalls (this of course meant that the option of “learning from my mistakes” has long been off the table). Honestly though, why am I so fixated on my past? It’s not like the late-1990s were anything special, I’d certainly rather be playing “Gears of War 3” than collecting Beanie Babies. Sure, some things have been fairly consistent since then: an overwhelming trend of remakes in cinemas, the popularity of “Harry Potter” and “SpongeBob SquarePants,” or the repetition in pop music (then, everyone was trying to sound like the Spice Girls; now, they’re all trying to bring Pitbull on to identical club tracks — I’m not even sure which one’s worse.)

But for the most part, the “two-thousand teens,” or whatever we’re calling them (“aughteens,”) are a far more interesting and easy place to live, and as much as we may complain about the world that today’s young children are growing up in,  they too will have incredibly fond memories about 2011 many years down the line. These kids are growing up with Justin Bieber, “Adventure Time” and Zhu Zhu Pets, and who are we to say that the trends that we grew up with — the Backstreet Boys, “Rugrats” and Furby — were any better? In fact, Zhu Zhu Pets are definitely better. That’s a toy that one can use to distract a child or a canine for hours at a time. Furbies kind of just rear their ugly, beaked faces in your basement or closet every few years with their unblinking stare and their murderous vendetta against you — eerie!

Maybe I’m just indulging in my sepia-tinted childhood memories to prolong the inevitable fact that pretty soon I’ll be out in the “real world” where it will no longer be kosher to speak only in internet memes or to order boneless wings at 4 a.m. Sooner or later, I’ll be missing college . . . Jussayin’.