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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

 Edited by: Lavanya Goswami

“This generation…”

Collective groans erupt from everywhere. You probably groaned too (at least inwardly.) If you’re someone over the age of fifteen you’ve definitely heard this phrase thrown about. And if you’re a young adult, even more so. “This generation…” , “This generation is doomed”, “The people of your generation…” and many more which express the same sentiment. “You guys are incompetent immature dimwits and when we were your age, we were a lot more put together.”

That’s the crux of it. Our generation needs help; it’s chaotic, rebellious and messy, and we were doomed from the start.

Here’s the thing though: People have always been this way and I don’t mean that in a sense if the past few decades. No, I really do mean that people, I promise you, have always been this way.

Excavations from long-buried ancient roman structures in Pompei were found to have hieroglyphs and even graffiti, that were essentially shit posts.One reads—(Bar of Athictus; right of the door): “I screwed the barmaid” (oh how the eloquence staggers) another reads—(in the basilica): “Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than when they ever have before.” Nothing too different from our more contemporary vandalism, is it? Yet another reads: “We two dear men, friends forever, were here.  If you want to know our names, they are Gaius and Aulus.”

The age-old tradition of declaring with pride, “I was here!”—From Gaius and Aulus to Manish and Ravi, has anything really changed? We’ve always wanted to leave our ‘insignia’ in places that we occupied even for a moment. It’s the most basic instinct there is—to leave a mark, to demand the world to remember you. From ancient bars in Pompei to modern high school bathroom walls: We haven’t changed one bit.

The Beatles were just another band until the times immortalized them. Who knows? Maybe One Direction or BTS will be celebrated and decorated as the few greatest bands of their generation with an army of teenage girls as fans. And why not, what’s wrong with that? I think teenage girls run the world, and they deserve to.

Here’s the thing—the world has never been conservative or stringent — there has always been profanity, and nudity and promiscuity. It’s just a matter of who’s telling the story, right? And very often, the story is being told by old white men in academia who happen to frown upon these things. History isn’t much different than the present… apart from all the new technological and scientific revolutions of course, but people?

People, inherently, have always been the same. We like to jest, we like to have fun, we like to indulge in pleasure, and work hard and enjoy our fleeting lives. Why would we be different? The same DNAruns in our strands that used to run in those born a thousand years ahead of us; We are made of the same protein, the same skin, the same things that made them. Maybe our heads have gotten smaller, our brains smarter and our fingers shorter but baseline: we’re still as human as we were then. We’re still made of empathy and sorrow and happiness. And shit. Hence, the shit posting.

The Romans did it, the Greeks did it, hell, even our so-called gods and deities did it. I think it would be a much better experience for some of these nitpicking frowners and naysayers if they just lived and let live. Things eventually get retold in a way that makes them seem a lot more prestigious than they were. Of course, history isn’t going to report these ancient shit posts or all the barbaric nonsensical things that common people — regular people did. They tell the story of the greats, but the greats are few and far in between. Most people were just like you and me.

And if you’re one of them, if you feel out of place and are constantly lamenting this generation, I’d like you to hear me out for a bit—you don’t really want to be born in another generation, nor do you belong there. To be honest, this is probably the best of times. We have feminism, political freedom, democracy, the right to education, technology and science is at its peak and yes things aren’t perfect but when were they ever?

People…have always been the same, it’s just the times that are different. Maybe things are tougher and simpler at the same time, maybe we have cars now, maybe there are more skyscrapers than there ever were before, but trust me, there has been at least one other person in this world exactly like you who’s lived through it.

So don’t let anyone dim your light. Isn’t this just a rite of passage at this point—to be berated for being newer, younger, different—just embrace it. And celebrate it. You’re doomed and so was everyone before you, and yet they persisted, and lived and loved, and so will you.

Shreya Suhani, writer, poet and recent addition to Her Ashoka. Enjoys coffee, poems, women and cynicism, although what can you expect of a prospective Phil major.
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