Another year of college means another step away from childhood and another step towards the big scary real world. Where did the time go? Why do we suddenly have important responsibilities? How much have things in the world changed? This brings me to the following things I’ve noticed that really make me feel, well, old!
1. My two-year-old nephew watches TV and plays games on an iPad
iPads and the less cool tablets that non-Mac companies have produced are the coolest new products to hit the stores. Imagine, we thought, it’s a computer and an iPod and we can carry it in our bags and its not as heavy as a laptop and its touch screen and so new and cool and WOW. Well, there are generations out there that are already adept at using this new device, when at the same age, the coolest devices in our hands were TV remote controls.
2. Everyone has pretty much burned their Juicy couture sweat suits
In middle school we would have slaughtered small kittens to get our hands on a velour Juicy sweat suit, or better yet, one made of terrycloth (it’s the stuff they use for towels! But for clothes! Who thought this was a good idea?). Not only is this fad a thing of the long, gone past, but it is probably impossible to even find a remnant of this style in thrift stores or second hand shops.
3. Ugg makes sandals
In the mid 2000s we, along with the rest of America, learned that Australia is good for more than the end of the “continents” song we learned in Kindergarten with the introduction of Uggs into the American fashion market. Snow boots that look like bear paws and are so cozy and warm that if you wear them indoors your feet overheat? WIN. However, the brand that used to craft a small selection of sand-colored snow boots now makes purses, slippers, and even sandals that have insulating fur.
4. When we were born, Britney Spears did not have any children, divorces, or drug problems
At least we weren’t old enough to witness Britney in her Mouseketeer days, but we’ve lived with her through about everything else. We have watched her morph from teen pop sensation, to sad, bald, crazy mamma, back to sexy pop star. Kids these days see her life as a natural occurrence rather than as the constant tabloid drama we knew it to be.
5. We knew the Parent Trap version of Lindsay Lohan
Children these days envision Lindsay Lohan as a coked out, blonde, freckle-less, singer/songwriter who ventures in and out of rehab. We envision her as we first met her: redheaded, adorable, and co-starring with herself in the most adorable RomCom of all time. Don’t argue. Nothing is more adorbz than Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid being tricked by their twin daughters and falling in love.
6. We witnessed the premiere of Spongebob Squarepants
Yeah, it came out in 1999. I was seven and tried to think I was too cool to watch it but I succumbed, as did everyone else, to the loveable sponge and his starfish friend. And now they’ve been on the air for thirteen years.
7. Zoog Disney anyone?
Disney channel used to have cool shows like Boy Meets World and Growing Pains instead of Hannah Montana and whatever show made Selena Gomez famous. It also used to have reality TV shows about summer camp (wtf?). They also used to have these adorable little robots that floated around the screen and talked to you about computer games on zoogdisney.com and which show was going to come on next. Sadly in 2002, Disney did away with the zoogs and our childhood.
8. Elle Woods entered Harvard Law School 11 years ago
Yup, the character who inspired half of us to go to Barnard made her Hollywood debut that long ago. And we still worship her.
9. When we were young, gas cost less than $2.00 a gallon
In 2000 CNN covered a story in which a lady complained about paying $31 to fill up her Volvo. First of all, get a real car. Second, can it, lady, you’ll be lucky to fill that thing for less than $50 today.
10. Light jeans were in, went out, and came back in to style
There were a few years when outfits from Beverly Hills 90210 looked silly, but they kind of look pretty normal again now.
11. We witnessed the evolution of cell phones
When we were born, almost nobody really owned a functional cell phone. My dad was pretty much as mobile as one could be because he had a car phone (fancy, huh?). Now, all children above the age of seven own a smart phone equipped with games and tracking systems.
12. Blair Waldorf wasn’t in college when she looked more fabulous than we do now
When Gossip Girl premiered on the CW, I watched in awe and admiration of the characters who looked so sophisticated and put together. The truth is that girls who are now the age Blair Waldorf was in the first season of GG are pretty much fetuses compared to us.
13. The cast of the OC was never as old as we are now
Although Gossip Girl made it to the college years, there was only a brief period where Seth Cohen sort of pretended to be a freshman. The Ryan and Seth we gushed over in the good seasons of the OC that came out when we were in the sixth and seventh grades (yes, that’s when it came out) are actually too young for us to legally hook up with now.
Everyone read them. And newspapers. And other pieces of paper with words on it. Now it’s like, who reads books anymore? I just downloaded all the information in the world onto my kindle/iPad/computer-generated brain.
15.The coolest pop stars are younger than us
The Biebs and his girlfriend (who was on the cover of Cosmo!) are about ready to graduate high school while we are already well into our college years. When we were younger it was totally acceptable to worship lame pop stars and actors because one day we could, like, be them, or be better than them, whatevs. Now, sadly, we will never accomplish what these younguns already have and have to feel old and washed up at the ripe age of 21.
Hope this didn’t depress you too much. Besides, sometimes growing older is better. After all, aren’t you glad you don’t still run around in Juicy sweatpants and Uggs?