In the past few weeks of lockdowns and endless scrolling on TikTok, I’ve discovered a phenomenon of a shared feeling of nostalgia that I couldn’t quite put into words until I sat down in my old bedroom, still decorated with my old high school tapestry and photos from junior prom, and realized that I, alongside millions of other college students returning home, have reverted to our old high school self.
I knew it was getting bad when I found myself going through an old iPod, still filled with old Lorde songs from her Pure Heroine album that now resonates even more now that I’m in my 20s and trying to feel young again. (I still listen to “Ribs” and feel like my soul has ascended my body each time). I started going through old diaries, old yearbooks and cringing at poor outfit choices from my freshman year of high school and slowly saw myself also falling back into old habits.
This feeling of inadvertently time-traveling was a shared feeling; one that was shared with my friends, siblings, and many other throughout social media who realized that as we all moved back home to hunker down, we brought back less of our new selves and instead, rediscovered our old selves.
Looking back now, 2013 truly was a “cultural reset” for my generation and introduced the beginnings of “bedroom pop” music, viral trends and boybands, and the new wave in which Gen Z, and those stuck in the middle of being too young for Millennials but too old for Gen Z (like myself), realized that human connection meant that being vulnerable and raw about your emotions was okay.
In 2013, my best friend and I decided to pierce our own ears in my old bathroom in an act of independence that quite honestly, was really just the result of pure boredom. So, naturally, that was the first thing I did in my first weeks of quarantine as I journeyed on to see just how much I had changed in the near half decade that has passed since I’ve lived at home. (Don’t do this at home kids).
In 2013, I spent much of my free time watching TV and eating with friends and while that much hasn’t changed, I’ve entered that phase almost all young-adults have done during quarantine and began baking and joining the “Banana Bread Renaissance.”
In 2013, it felt like life was totally out of my control, and this pandemic has resurfaced old feelings of being confused, overwhelmed, and downright dread for unknown in the time to come. That feeling of wanting independence and having a say for myself and my life has never been so strong as right now, especially in a moment in history where we can’t even go outside.
But, if there’s one thing I learned in 2014 that will stick and resonate with me, no matter my age, my fashion and music choices, or my never-ending stupid spur of the moment decisions (again, don’t pierce your own ears – I just decided to be dumb…twice) is that whatever is happening right now, will only be bad right now.
It’s a life lesson that takes a long time to learn, but a lesson that freshman in high school, 14 year-old-me had to learn and remember because whatever life throws at you in the will be confusing, and you’ll wonder why at 21 you’re back at home being told to do chore’s when you’re living out a suitcase, but everything you experience is something to learn as well.
So I’ll keep listening to Lorde, some old One Direction, bake more banana bread and probably be tempted to do something drastic with my hair again – but I know one thing for sure:
we will all be okay.