The ’90s Kid

“A person born between January 1, 1982 and December 31, 1991 who lived more than half of their childhood (years aged 3-12) in the glorious decade of the 1990s. Some people born slightly before or after that range might consider themselves 90s kids too as long as they can remember part of their childhood in the 90s. This demographic would have enjoyed the golden age of Nickelodeon shows, the Disney Renaissance, Goosebumps books, Tamagotchi, Beanie Babies, and Sega Genesis/SNES and later PlayStation/N64. Kids born in the late 90s are under the mistaken impression that they’re 90s kids because they were simply born in the decade even though they have no real memory of living in it.” –Hooded Stranger, Urban Dictionary contributor

via Urban Dictionary

Story Highlights:

  • What it means to be a ’90s kid
  • Why the community formed
  • The question: Are you a ’90s kid?

Ever wonder if you’re truly a ‘90s kid? Or if your child is considered a ‘90s kid? The concrete definition states that one must be born prior to about 1991 to be considered a ‘90s kid. But, what about the kids in college now? They were born around 1995, are they ‘90s kids?

Before it can be figured out, the belief system behind the “‘90s kid” culture must be identified. What makes a ‘90s kid special?

The popular basis for being a ‘90s kid centers around television, music, and toys.

Did you watch:

  • “Kenan and Kel”
  • “Rocket Power”
  • “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
  • “Pokémon?”

Were you a master of:

  • Bop-It
  • Tamagotchi?

Do you remember every lyric from:

  • ‘N Sync
  • Aaron Carter
  • Britney Spears,
  • the “Now That’s What I Call Music” album?

If so, you’re probably a ‘90s kid. If not, you’re a wannabe. At least that’s the mindset of the ‘90s kid culture.

Definitions out there

The Urban Dictionary has several definitions of a “‘90s kid.” Some are obviously written by a member of the generation, others by people who find the entire notion overrated.

“Someone stuck in the 90s, a few of them not being from the 90s but into 90s shows and culture. Most 90s kids did grow up in the 90s but don’t realize half the stuff they ‘remember’ is stuff kids from the 2000s also remember. They’re stuck in a decade and won’t let go of it.” – GreyNeon, Urban Dictionary contributor

“A self-administered term which implies that the person thinks [their] age group is superior to children of the other decades. Also implies that children of the following decades were not exposed to things such as 90s cartoons and video cassettes.” –Kislev, Urban Dictionary contributor

Kids at the cusp

Ali Odabashian, 18, doesn't consider herself or her age group to be "'90s kids."

Ali Odabashian, 18, doesn’t consider herself or her age group to be completely part of the “’90s kids” community.

“Personally,” said environmental engineering first-year Ali Odabashian, 18, “I think a lot of kids think they’re ‘90s kids, but they actually aren’t. I think our generation…we were on the tail end. But, we did get the end of the ‘90s era.”

Needless to say, the “’90s kid,” whether you meet one person’s standards or not, is stuck in a period of great nostalgia.

As mentioned in a previous post, it is plausible that this generation sees the time before 9-11 as a period of innocence, before the recession and the boost in technology and life had an ease that only comes with childhood.

Just because half of one’s childhood ran into the early 2000s, those of us born around 1995, doesn’t mean this generation didn’t grow up with the same aspects of life that depict a “true ‘90s kid.”

Since the nature of the term encompasses the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows and music and gadgets of the time, it is frivolous to say just because a child was four or five when the ‘90s ended, doesn’t mean this child isn’t inherently a “‘90s kid,” because these same shows and songs and gadgets carried into the early 2000s.

Signifying change

Times didn’t begin to drastically change until “Blue’s Clues’s” Steve was replaced by Joe (2002), until Mickey Mouse became computer-animated and had a clubhouse (2006), until the popular music was no longer by the Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Clarkson (circa 2004).

“I’m proud to be a ’90s kid,” said Psychology first-year Natalie Higgins, 18, “because I feel like there’s less of us, that there’s this new generation that’s playing on iPads already, and that freaks me out. I’m proud of having started with a flip phone that had Tetris!

Natalie Higgins, 18, knows why her age group deserves to be considered "'90s kids."

Natalie Higgins, 18, explains why she believes her age group deserves to be considered “’90s kids.”

The culture

“I like the idea that we all grew up watching the same TV shows, listening to a lot of the same music. You know, any ‘90s kid, you can go up to and be like, ‘Dude, ‘N Sync?’ and they’ll be like, ‘ ‘N Sync! Yeah bro,’ or ‘That’s So Raven,’ it’s the future I can see. That’s the kind of stuff I think about when I think ‘‘’90s kid.’

“I associate it the most with TV shows and music because that’s what we were doing when we were that young, we were watching the good Nickelodeon and dancing around to Britney Spears…you know seeing Lindsay Lohan before her bad days like in ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen’ and ‘Herbie’ and ‘Freaky Friday.’ We all think the same, like, ‘There weren’t iPhones until high school!’ and ‘What’s with the Disney shows nowadays? Where’s “Kim Possible!?”’ Our little decade…we’re all sort of comrades.”

The community

If anything propels nostalgia, it is the comradery that a generation feels in a unified effort to reminisce. Those born circa 1995 to the very early 2000s, then, share very similar comradery with the traditional “‘90s kid” despite their birth year.

Perhaps the ‘90s kid notion is overrated or a trap of nostalgia and a sometimes unhealthy yearn for the past, but this community can heal as well, as explained in the last post.

So, do you share memories with people deemed “true” ‘90s kids?

Do you remember the right shows and bands and gadgets?

If someone told you that you were about to get slimed, would you have any idea what was about to happen? Better yet, would you be excited?

Are you, in fact, a ‘90s kid?

The 50 Best Moments in a ’90s Kid’s life

You Know You’re a ’90s Kid If…

25 Ways to Tell You’re a Kid of the ’90s

A ’90s Kid Sound Bite

Get a quick view of nostalgia through these students’ sound bites.

Carlos Montes, electrical engineering 1st-year: Give your definition of nostalgia.


“Nostaliga is that feeling you get when something you smell or something you taste, something you see reminds you of back home.” -Montes

Janna Masulis, environmental management and protection 1st-year: How do you think technology has changed our generation and what we are nostalgic for?


“I think, with new technology, it’s easy to relive our past moments. But, at the same time, you’re reliving it…but not quite. So it makes your nostalgia worse.” -Masulis

Jaden Laidig, Computer Engineering 1st-year: Is nostalgia healthy or unhealthy?


“I think nostalgia is a good thing because it makes you…remember the good times of the past and become, then, in a good mood. And when you’re in a good mood, you become a better person.” -Laidig

Nostalgia: What is it good for?

Story Highlights:

  • Self-discontinuity: why you may  be addicted to your past
  • “The pain of returning”- nostalgia as a sickness
  • “Counteracting loneliness and anxiety”- nostalgia as a medicine

Take a walk down the road of nostalgia, but don’t get lost.

Guilty pleasures

Being nostalgic isn’t something we are taught to do, nor is it something that we should dedicate a lot of our time to. But it is a cultural norm and, like most guilty pleasures, has its benefits.

In our lives, each of us will come across a time when we feel disconnected from our past. This is when you will look to your fondest memories, or your worst, and relive them. Luckily, the good memories tend to stick with us more than the bad.

But is this cycle detrimental? Beneficial? Both?

Self-discontinuity is the feeling that one’s life is disconnected somehow, of being without roots. Nostalgia sets in to remind us that we have a place and a purpose and that our past has made us who we are today.

Nostalgia as a sickness

This feeling can be overused, however. Most have heard the saying that living in the past will keep you from moving forward in the present.

Nostalgia was once considered a sickness, the word derives from the Greek “nostos” (return) and “algos” (pain). -Stephen Robb, BBC News

The term was first coined by a 17th century medical student observing Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. Some military doctors believed the “sickness” was confined to the Swiss, caused by their elevation and constant background noise of cowbells, according to an article by Stephen Robb in BBC News.

Nostalgia as a cure

Of course, comprehension of the phenomenon of nostalgia has improved since this first hypothesis. It is now considered a sort of medicine for the psyche.

Reliving moments from your past brings a special kind of comfort in those things familiar to you:

  • people and faces
  • images and places
  • time periods and lost moments

According to Robb, “Nostalgia is usually involuntary and triggered by negative feelings – most commonly loneliness – against which it acts as a sort of natural anti-depressant by countering those feelings.

“Nostalgia is a way for us to tap into the past experiences that we have that are quite meaningful – to remind us that our lives are worthwhile, that we are people of value, that we have good relationships, that we are happy and that life has some sense of purpose or meaning.”


Are you using nostalgia to find comfort in the past or live in it?

World-traveled sociologist Harold Kerbo, who has taught at Cal Poly since 1977, is not sure if nostalgia has a purpose, but considers its effects.

“It’s something that you’d experienced for a long period of time or when you were young and impressionable, something you got used to. And when it goes away, you miss it, even if a lot of it was bad,” said Kerbo.

Animal science first-year Rose Rivera Bahamonde said, “Nostalgia can be comforting and fun. But, now, you have what you have and you can’t make something that’s not there.”

Living with it or living within it

“The past is always going to repeat itself, come full circle, but that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to live within it,” said psychology first-year Natalie Higgins. “If you keep comparing things to your past, you’re never going to be happy. You appreciate it and you learn from it but you accept change and that’s healthy. Healthy is having that appreciation for your past because everything makes up who you are, even the negative stuff, but you get in the unhealthy zone when you’re constantly comparing the present to the past. It’s kind of like dating. You are never going to come across someone you’ve dated again and you’ll never be happy if you compare every relationship to the past one.”

Check out this video to find out how nostalgia counteracts loneliness and anxiety and how “by looking wistfully back on the past, it actually makes you more optimistic about the future. It gives you a sense that there’s continuity in your life, it’s a reminder that there are people in your life that are important to you, that you’ve got this social support, and it gives your life more meaning.” -New York Times columnist John Tierney.

What makes a generation?

Which generation are you?

Comment with any additions! (Celebrities? Games? Events? Food? Brands?)

The Greatest Generation born 1900-1920

World War I and World War II, Great Depression, bread lines

The Silent Generation born 1920-1945

World War II veterans, Victory gardens, Rosie the Riveter, parents of early baby boomers

Baby Boomers born 1945-1964

Radical 1960s, counterculture, civil rights, women’s equality, rock & roll, Woodstock, the Beatles, Elvis, Vietnam, man on the moon, JFK

Generation Jones 1954-1965

Term coined by Johnathon Pontell for group in between baby boomers and Generation Xers, early computer pioneers, Jiffy Pop, “Forrest Gump”

Generation X 1965-1978

Current population: 41 million

Fall of Berlin Wall, children of baby boomers, self-reliant, “lost” generation, “latchkey kids,” daycare and divorce exposure, lowest voting rate, 29 percent of population obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher, cautious conservatives with financial matters, cell phones

Generation Y 1978-1995

Current population: 71 million

Millennials, Technology Revolution, Transformers, smart phones, Apple products, Iraq War, 9-11 attack, gay rights, close to parents, immune to most traditional marketing/sales pitches (exposed since early childhood), racially and ethnically diverse, merged families, less brand loyalty, single-parent or dual-income families, realism, social networking, “earn to spend” when dealing with financial matters

Generation Z 1995-undetermined

Current population: 23 million, growing rapidly

Hurricane Katrina, Jonas Brothers, grew up on internet, individualistic, higher levels of technology exposure, highly sophisticated media and computer environment

[via Wikipedia]

Story Highlights

  • How we are shaped by the world around us
  • Why we are different from our parents and will be different from our children
  • On the verge of Y and Z: premature nostalgia

Every generation hits an age when everything becomes nostalgic. Some hit this milestone earlier, some later. But that line will be crossed. If every generation goes through the same process, what are the similarities? Is this nostalgia based merely off of one’s own experiences, or based off times in history that a generation faced together?

We can only determine this if we know what shapes generations to begin with. What makes a generation?

According to Jerry Ascierto of Multifamily Executive: Demographics, generations are shaped by major events and tendencies.

“Often, dividing lines are tied to major global events, such as the end of World War II in the case of the Baby Boomers. And, sometimes, a generation’s identity, rightly or wrongly, is pinned to a more amorphous sociological trend, such as the existential angst that characterized the Grunge Rockers of Generation X.”

The young and impressionable

Harold Kerbo, Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly since 1977, was a Fulbright professor in Japan, Thailand, and Austria, and a visiting professor in Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Thailand and Japan. From June 2006 to August 2007, he was the recipient of an Abe Fellowship to conduct fieldwork on poverty and poverty programs in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He has published several books and articles on social stratification, comparative societies, economic development and world poverty.

Dr. Harold Kerbo has been a professor of sociology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 1977.

Dr. Harold Kerbo has been a professor of sociology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 1977.

“For most age cohorts,” Kerbo said, “most have had some kind of big events in their generation that have shaped their thinking, what they’ve come to like. And I say ‘most’ because the ‘80s and ‘90s are referred to as Generation X because nothing really happened. For my generation, of course it was the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement.”

Societal conditions, like family life and economy health, also affect a generation’s overall way of life that stick with them in their later years.

“When we graduated from university, you worried about going to Vietnam War. But, you know, we also had a whole lot of advantages for our generation because the American economy was just booming, you weren’t so worried about your future, and those are the kinds of things that shape you,” Kerbo said.

A generation is not only molded from nostalgic things, but from unpleasant things as well. And, according to Kerbo, we are shaped by both good and bad, but we tend to remember the good more.

“When you were young and impressionable, these things, the music, the movies, all these events, had an impact on your life and you always remember these kinds of things. You try not to focus on the bad stuff, it’s detrimental psychologically.”

When I was in college

Some generations face such major events together and are collectively shaped by it even if their respective generations are separate. These people tend to think more alike because of those important historical events and the music and what was popular at that time.

“Two of the biggest events that shaped a generation, and it actually overlapped quite a bit, was the Great Depression and WWII,” said Kerbo. “Everybody was affected in one way or another. And so the thinking of that generation is different from the next and the next and so forth.

“The War in Iraq and Afghanistan is not going to have the same kind of mental shaping because we had fewer people in those wars and it was a volunteer army. When I was in college, we pretty much knew, when you graduate from university, you’re probably going to get drafted. That shaped our views of war in general and the government.”

Growing up

In contrast with the rest of the world, becoming a teenager in America tends to mean wanting to be independent of one’s parents more, even rebelling. This left America open more of the generational changes, according to Kerbo.

“In other countries, especially Asia,” said Kerbo, “becoming a young adult doesn’t mean trying to become independent from your parents like it does here. So you’re parents in Asia, for example, are going to have more of an impact on your thinking than it would here in this country.”

Environmental Engineering first-year Kellie Cochran said, “I think a huge part of it is the generation that raised you and what their values are. And then of course there’s the popular culture, like what people are alive and doing during our time.”

Ken Yasui, Computer Engineering first-year, on the other hand doesn’t fully believe a specific era can be generalized without taking away from the individuality of that generation.

“Unique events shape and define how people distinguish the past and present,” Yasui said, “which in turn help form a basis of how individuals perceive what makes a generation today. Specifically, in respect to our generation, social media has become completely integrated into modern society. So it’s become a defining aspect of Generation Z as they grow up.”

On the verge of Y and Z

To be 18 today is to be the youngest of Generation Y and the oldest of Generation Z, approximately. We are part of the “Millennials.”

We are nostalgic too early, and for many reasons. It could be due to the fact that we see the time before 9-11 as a period of innocence, a time before the recession when we were younger and therefore more comfortable.

“Nostalgia comforts people and the Millennials are probably craving comfort right now,” said David Browne is his New York Times article in 2009.

“Let the boomers have their 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Let Generation X commemorate the 15 years since Kurt Cobain shot himself. For Generation Y—those born roughly between 1980 and 2003—it’s the pop culture of the late ‘90s and early 2000s that makes them wistful…”

“Even though nostalgia hits every generation, it seems awfully early for 28-year-olds to be looking back.” –Browne

Times gone by

Then, there is also the possibility that we are experiencing premature nostalgia because we were thrown into the middle of a technological revolution, where we see ten-year-olds on iPads and are immediately nostalgic for when kids played outside until dark. This leads to nostalgia for everything, even if it has only been a decade.

“The political and economic climate of the late ‘90s had been as soothing as a Backstreet Boys ballad: no wars, unemployment as low as four percent, a $120 billion federal surplus. Neil Howe, an author of several books on what he calls the Millennials (another term for Gen Y), draws a parallel between this nostalgic wave and the one boomers embraced with the film ‘American Graffiti’ in 1973. That movie depicted the recent past, the early ‘60s, which seemed to have vanished forever,” Browne said. “While boomers or Generation Xers might have no idea what the phrase ‘classic Nickelodeon’ implies, to anyone in his or her 20s, it means fondly remembered cable tween shows like ‘All That.’”

gif for post 2

“Oh, how times have changed.”

Check out these additional links:

Generation X, Y and Z in SLO

Story Highlights

  • San Luis Obispo: the happiest city in America
  • Cal Poly psychology professor Don Ryujin’s view on nostalgia
  • The changes of Higuera’s Farmers’ Market
  • Long-time residents: the Monellos since 1981

The popular belief is that most people are nostalgic for their past, that is, in a longing sort of way. This is opposed to a reminiscent feeling of joy when one thinks about events that have been lived and cannot be lived again.

The happiest city on earth

San Luis Obispo, the happiest city on earth as named by author and researcher Dan Buettner and confirmed by others like Oprah and USA Today, is unique in that, although the city has grown and changed over time, its residents and frequent visitors do not necessarily hold a longing nostalgia for “the way it used to be.”

Dr. Don Ryujin, Cal Poly psychology professor of 24 years, elaborates on his view of nostalgia.

“To me, nostalgia is a memory with an emotion. Its purpose is to focus on something important to the individual,” Ryujin said. “Personally, I am not nostalgic for much; my life now is much better than it ever was. Less racism, more financial security, and a wonderful family.”

A gap between you and me

But what about generation gaps? Apart from the notorious zombie apocalypse of teens with their noses in their phones and the fact that SLO’s long-time residents mingle with college students, there are aspects of life that are different from an older generation as a whole.

What causes a generation gap:

  • Attitude
  • Comprehension
  • Political divisions
  • Technological abilities
  • General lifestyle

“I believe us early baby-boomers miss a time when we felt that people could make a difference for the better in this world. Now, I think people don’t act because they don’t feel that their actions matter,” Ryujin said.

In terms of changes on campus at Cal Poly, “the faculty are more concerned about research than before. The students are brighter. There’s more women on campus, both faculty and students, but ethnic diversity remains limited,” Ryujin said. “When I retire, I’ll be nostalgic for the classroom and students.”

The Thursday night usual

One part of the heart of San Luis Obispo every generation has seen and loves is the famous Farmers’ Market. Since 1984, this main street attraction has brought out every resident and every age of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas.

San Luis Obispo residents stroll down Higuera street on a typical Thursay night's Farmers' Market.

San Luis Obispo residents stroll down Higuera Street on a typical Thursday night’s Farmers’ Market.

This past January (2014), Fodor’s Travel in the Huffington Post listed Higuera Street as one of the best main streets in America. Vendors shared their stories and feelings about how the Farmers’ Market has changed (or has not).

Manfred from Gary’s Dates, a vendor on Higuera’s Thursday night markets since its start 30 years ago, noticed that he is not nostalgic for the past in a sad or longing sense.

“The Farmers’ Market is growing all the time. There’s more of everybody, more tourists, more students. But everybody’s always been real chirpy, always chirpy. People are very happy, that’s what makes it the best Farmer’s Market,” he said.

Manfred (right) and Gary (left) of Gary's dates talk with customers about their business that has been with the Higuera Farmers' Market start in 1984.

Manfred (right) and Gary (left) of Gary’s Dates talk with customers about their business that has been with the Higuera Farmers’ Market since its start in 1984.

A local olive farm owner who was vending for the first time on Higuera, but has been a long-time vendor at the farmers’ markets in Baywood, Avila, and Paso Robles, was Nick Gladdis of Casa Pau Han Olive Farm (Hawaiian for “end of work, no more work”).

“I miss the ‘60s!” Gladdis said, before moving on to the question at hand. “Farmers’ markets are far more vibrant than they used to be. People just want to get out on a Thursday night. But it seems that the character of visitors hasn’t changed.”

Nick Gladdis explains the secret behind he and his wife's unique olive oils.

Nick Gladdis explains the secret behind he and his wife’s unique olive oils to Higuera regulars.

So far, Cal Poly residents and Farmers’ Market residents do not have too much to be longing for, but what about long-time San Luis Obispo county residents?

Cows and houses

Ronald and Jan Monello have lived in Templeton since 1981. They held a dinner theater in the wine cellar at the Madonna Inn, and they’ve watched the town grow to a city.

“We’ve lived here for so long, but every time we drive along on the freeway, we always feel the same thing. We look around and we’ve done everything,” said Jan. “I do remember about Hearst Castle, though. Mr. Hearst used to have huge Hollywood parties all the time. Tons of stars showed up, that was in the late 1930s.”

“Templeton and Paso have changed a lot. Our home used to look over a piece of land with grass and cattle and that became rows and rows of houses, but it really stayed basically the same. It stays pretty quaint.”

As for the widely-recognized Madonna Inn, that has not changed at all.

“It’s exactly the same. In fact our speakers from our first dinner theater are still up in the wine cellar,” said the Monellos.

What it means

“By definition, I think nostalgia is for happy things,” said Ryujin, “and things that are important to the person. They are comforting, but there’s a sense of loss.”

A sense of loss there may be in any nostalgic feeling. But in San Luis Obispo, nostalgia leans towards a humble recollection of past times and the joy they remind us of.

Although any community will have a generation gap and some sense of nostalgia, and despite the mixture of long-time residents and Cal Poly move-ins, San Luis Obispo remains host to the best main street in the happiest place in America.

A sneak peek at generational nostalgia: a slideshow

What it’s like to be in a technologically transitional generation, what past generations are nostalgic about, and the hyper-speed nostalgia of the young adult generation today: because we are in a technological revolution, the current generation has a nostalgia for the past that has come about much faster than an adult’s nostalgia should. We look at 10-year-olds on iPads and ask why they’re not outside the way a parent would ask a child. But at the same time, we are being seen in the same light by members of older generations when we use the same technology. Here, we explore the generation gap and the nostalgia of different generations and each one’s unique traits.


gen·er·a·tion gap


 the years separating one generation from the generation that precedes or follows it, especially when regarded as representing the difference in outlook and the lack of understanding between them



a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations
“I was overcome with acute nostalgia for my days in college”
synonyms: reminiscence, remembrance, recollection

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“I’m nostalgic about Disney movies, all the classic princess ones. I feel like clothes and fashion will be really nostalgic for our generation, too, and cars. In a good 50 years time, its gonna be like the Ford-T thing, people will take Teslas to car shows and we’re gonna say, ‘dang, that’s my generation right there,'” said art and design first-year, Ubi Kim, in between greeting friends around the North Mountain dorms.


“It’s rare to have a traditional sit-down dinner. I enjoy sitting down at the family table and eating dinner without the TV or any electronics. I think many of us don’t take the time or effort to eat a good meal and chat with others. It’s sad how we are always on the move or always on out electronics. Where’s the interaction in society nowadays?” Christian Schuh, a second-year recreation, parks and tourism major, shares his nostalgia for a tradition that he feels has been lost, although his family still carries it on.

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 Freshman environmental management and protection major Madeline Smit, on her way back to Palomar to catch up on studying, shared, “I really miss watching ‘The Crocodile Hunter,’ and going to this daycare after school every day. I got to play Nintendo 64 and play with caterpillars. And the best part was that if you get hurt, you get an Otter Pop to make you feel better. It was just fun to hang out with a bunch of kids at once without being under the pressure of school, which we’ve all been under for as long as we can remember.”

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“Do you remember Lite Brites?” James Caudill, a computer engineering first-year, reminisced. “You could make dinosaurs or whatever. Silly things like that is what makes a generation. The thing about this generation is that there are far more trends. Like every single thing that happens is a trend. So there’s a lot more to be nostalgic about just because of that alone. There’s just so much happening. We are lost because of our transitional phase technologically, but it also might be in addition to the fact that we haven’t really had anything big happen to us. I think we need a big event to happen to us to be truly nostalgic of history.”


Modern languages and literature first-year Gabe Hatcher was caught, you guessed it, star gazing outside his dorm and shared, simply, “Pokémon. I miss Pokémon. But I also miss the time when ‘YOLO’ didn’t exist, when people didn’t feel the need to show everyone else what they’re doing. You already know about people’s lives, there’s no point in having a real conversation with someone anymore. I miss when you could just sit somewhere doing nothing and be content and not be looking for something else to do. Now it’s always, ‘What do you guys wanna do?’ instead of just hanging out.”

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“From the point of view of being a parent and seeing what my kids’ experiences are, I think that  if I were nostalgic for something, it would be for the difference in family life when I was kid versus family life now,” said Multi-Culture Society and the Mass Media professor Patricia Piburn, remembering her family gatherings when she was younger. “So we still sit down and have dinner together, me and my children, but not every day of the week, not as much as we used to now that they’re older. And I guess that probably happens, but houses are different now so the way people congregate, the way families congregate now are different. I would say I am nostalgic for that because it really forced relationships. It forced  kids to get along with each other, to compromise and to just  share.”

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“In my generation,” Public Speaking professor Susan Brock reminisced before meeting with a student, “one thing that connected us were stories that came up, viral stories, by word of mouth. You’d hear about it or read about it in the paper and people would say, ‘Oh yeah I read that!’ Now, newspapers are kind of going belly-up, but I always trusted them more. It seemed to me that you knew the sources for more reliable stories. I’m nostalgic for that.”

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