A Glance in the Great Rearview Mirror

I have had a doozy of a couple weeks. First, my oldest and closest friend (out of those who share no genes with me) got hitched. Then a great swarm of alumni descended upon the campus of my alma mater, and I followed along, like a lemming after the piper.

These things, when combined with my current career/future/grad school limbo, led me to immediately pine for the simpler days. I am awful when it comes to fighting back nostalgia. I have been known to cry upon hearing old school rap songs.

I have been struggling with this for many years. I ask my college friends if they long for Wednesday night 3 am bedtimes, dining hall food, and people watching on the quad, and they look at me like I have three heads. Why do I miss that life so much? Am I the only one? Am I, in fact, the most nostalgic person ever to walk the face of the earth?

Wikipedia says:

Nostalgia is more commonly referred to not as a medical condition or a field of study, but as a feeling that any normal person can have. Nostalgia can often be associated with a fond childhood memory, a certain game or a treasured personal object.

Studies show that many people believe that years or decades past people were better off than they are now, and that there had been a higher standard of living then, even if this is not always the case. This belief can be very characteristic of nostalgia, of the “good ol’ days.” Items in Pop Culture can often trigger a strong feeling of nostalgia. TV shows like Lost In Space and Moon Pies can bring back memories of the space age.

Nostalgia may not refer to a medical condition anymore, however it can still carry with it symptoms that are very much real and physical in nature. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to, tightening of chest and/or throat, pain in the pit of the stomach, and nostalgia has been known to lead to despair.

Hm, better off than [i am] now, higher standard of living. My diet does not consist of ramen, mac&cheese, and Genny Light. My stairwell does not smell of puke and cigarettes. And I do have a pain in the pit of my stomach, but it’s probably because it’s an hour past lunch time and I haven’t eaten yet.

_

As an aside, one of my favorite pasttimes these days is entering a random word in images.google.com and seeing what comes up. sometimes, for instance, i search for pictures of beardfish (for work, ostensibly) and this% comes up. Hilarious. Here is the first hit for “nostalgia.” Yep. That pretty much covers it.

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This is an article that was posted on Jun 8, 03:03 PM.

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Comment [2]

  1. brian Jun 8, 05:26 PM

    I ask my college friends if they long for… Why do I miss that life so much? Am I the only one?

    I’d have to agree, I must say that living in the dorms with your friends, infinite social and recreational activities (and intramural sports) and having a dining hall are probably about as good as it gets.

    This inspired a pent-up post my blog. Since we don’t have trackback links set up here, here’s a link to my post on how to achive some of these college-life benefits, applied to adult needs and situations. A pipe dream, I am sure.
  2. jake Jun 8, 06:28 PM

    Don’t worry, you’re not crazy. I feel nostalgic about school all the time. The “medical” part of it used to be tough. As Brian said, so much in proximity can be overwhelming when it dissipates.

    It took a while of being told, but I started therapy a few months ago specifically to battle stuff like this. Of course it’s not all bad and Being sentimental can have its perks. It helped me to appreciate how much fun and special the wedding was. :)

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