I am the proud owner of a Cookie Monster wallet, I fall asleep with my Eeyore stuffed animal every night, I have Disney princess coloring books and a box of 96 crayons to match.
You might say I am a tad bit nostalgic for my childhood. Perhaps that is true. But to be fair, so is everyone else who has gawked over my wide assortment of memorabilia that take them down memory lane. Just like I drool with jealousy over their Angry Beavers sweatshirts and Elmo hats.
I saw the same nostalgia take over Facebook last semester when the majority of my friends caught the craze of changing their profile pictures to their favorite childhood cartoons, such as Scooby Doo, Sailor Moon and Winnie the Pooh. The rumor this was started by pedophiles notwithstanding, it made me think about why all of these college students rejoice in the simple act of changing their profile picture on Facebook.
College students really do get more excited about old cartoon movie marathons than kids nowadays. Maybe this is because we can appreciate, with a touch of envy, what they have and long for our childhood innocence that has become corrupted by jobs, studying and overwork.
Back then we didn’t realize how laid-back life was, and now we wish for nothing more than to return to it. While our parents suffered from economic and emotional hardships, we remained ignorant, swallowed into the world of fictional characters. And if we were forcibly burdened with those adult hardships, we would seek refuge into the fictional world. Now, we still turn to those childhood dreams and fantasies to escape not our parents’ lives, but our own turmoil and frustration.
We hear nothing except how stressed out college students are, how this breakneck pace will drive us crazy and we just need to slow down. Yet, this is an unattainable goal. With our society moving toward mediocrity and recent studies showing we are not equipped to face the ‘real world,’ students that are driven and passionate about their future are forced to take on more and more tasks just to compete. Although the percentage of people settling for mediocrity is growing, so is the population. This means there are increasingly higher numbers of people determined to succeed. It’s social Darwinism at work. Only the strongest survive.
Yet part of the problem today may be that we have no time to sink back into an old couch and watch a half-hour long cartoon. Because we know Scooby Doo will get the bad guys, there is something almost comforting about watching those old shows. Well at least to me, if I had time to watch said cartoons. Alas there is no reprieve, in order to make the rat race, paper chase worthwhile. Our generation is pushed from task to task. Perhaps we are burdening ourselves too much. I have a friend that takes five classes, works two days a week in an elementary school, holds down two other jobs, volunteers and is actively involved in multiple clubs. Rubber ducks provide her some reprieve.
While the world has sped up and our lives along with it, the artificial world we once lived in still remains frozen in our past perfectly preserved and relentlessly holds our passion to return to those moments.