Have you ever had one of those moments where your age suddenly became glaringly apparent? Like the day you graduated from high school, or when you moved in to your college dorm room, and suddenly you felt … old.
But nothing hits home more than finding out that the star you grew up watching on television is going to be a mother, or realizing that the book (and movie) series that defined your childhood has ended. People are more attached to popular culture than they realize. Each generation has their own set of trends in music, movies, fashion and other memories that they hold close to their hearts.
When word broke that 23 year-old television actress, Hilary Duff was pregnant; it was our age group that got a wake-up call. Duff was the reigning teen queen from 2001 to 2004, as the star of the Disney Channel’s hit show, Lizzie McGuire. In 2010, on his talk show Lopez Tonight, comedian George Lopez said that, “Lizzie McGuire built the Disney Channel,” and the truth is that for most young girls born in the 90s’, that statement makes perfect sense.
For years fans grew up right alongside Duff and became very attached to her onscreen personas. When she announced her pregnancy via her website in August 2011, fans took to Twitter with cries of their childhood was officially over and “time to grow up.”
Not to mention Duff’s announcement came not too long after the release of the final movie in the popular Harry Potter series. The movie franchise, which also began in 2001, had an even larger impact on defining the childhood of the 90s’ generation, and its ending broke the hearts of millions of dedicated supporters.
So what other cultural icons have defined our generation? And what moments in popular culture have made you feel as though you are getting older?
I asked some University of Maryland students just that and here is what they told me:
“One of the first things that made me feel old was all the young singers coming out, like I’m older than all of them. Actually, Miley Cyrus.” – Samantha Noronha, senior, biology and psychology major
“Bieber. He’s a little tween.” – Rachel, senior, psychology major
“The fact that Justin Bieber owns a Ferrari.” – Lesley Zhang, sophomore, finance and information systems major
“How a lot of people don’t know what the 90s’ are…they were born in the 2000s’.” – Leslie Cox, sophomore, accounting and finance major
“The fact that now there’s 17,000 American Girl Dolls…” “There used to be like three.” – Rachel Kershner, sophomore, marketing and supply chain major
“Hot 995 is doing those old school hits and N’SYNC is playing.” – Nathan Admassu, post baccalaureate, pre-med student
“Rugrats All Grown Up made me feel old.” – Rachel Soobitsky, freshman, environmental science major
“Being older than my car.” – Rachel Rubin, freshman, engineering major
“Owning Disney movies on VHS.” – Annika McGinnis, freshman, journalism major
“How a lot of movies nowadays are remakes of classic movies.” – Joel Del Rosario, junior, kinesiology and graphic design major
“Finding the sexual humor in Disney movies.” – Rebecca Rouse, junior, Spanish and public health major
“When I go back and read books and the characters originally seemed so old and now they seem so young.” – Abigail Barenblitt, junior, environmental science and policy major
“Tiffany Thornton’s engaged and she’s still on Disney Channel.” – Lesley Zhang, sophomore, finance and information systems major
“I work as a camp counselor and none of the kids that I’m a counselor for have heard of The Rugrats or Hey Arnold.” – Jeremy Gurvits, freshman, communications major
“The tenth anniversary of Aaliyah’s death because I remember where I was when she passed away.” – MaBinti Yillah, senior, English major
London Tipton, from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, is pregnant with Trace Cyrus’s baby.” – Naomi Tesfai, junior, broadcast journalism major
“Boy bands….they have like reunion tours.” – Leslie Cox, sophomore, accounting and finance major
“Seeing Blink 182’s commercial (for Fuse TV).” “I didn’t think they were still a band.” – MaBinti Yillah, senior, English major
“Furbies. I just remember that was such a phenomenon when I was younger, but now that wouldn’t even be heard of.” – Cristin Carey, junior, kinesiology major
“When they put the old Nickelodeon shows that were on Teen Nick like on Nick Rewind.” – Julia Connell, freshman, government and politics major
“My sister’s a science teacher for third grade, and I was looking in her science books and Pluto’s not in it!” – Genevieve Horchler, freshman, undecided major
“Remember when you used to have to use batteries for everything?” – Paul Levy, junior, public health major
“I remember when I would have to wait 15 minutes to connect to the internet, but now if I have to wait 15 seconds, I’m, angry.” – Cristin Carey, junior, kinesiology major
“Now 5. There’s like all 40 now.” – Cristin Carey and Paul Levy, juniors, kinesiology and public health majors
“Pokémon has five generations now.” – Michael Dunlow, sophomore, engineering major
“Shia LaBeouf! I watched him on Even Stevens and now he’s like a famous superstar.” – Drew Schaeffer, sophomore, business major
“The Cookie Monster doesn’t eat cookies anymore.” – Julia Stevens, freshman, psychology major
“Whatever happened to VCRs?” – Corey Lowman, freshman, math major
“When Toy Story 3 ended. Andy went to college!” -Jonathan Yuen, junior, criminology and psychology major
“There’s no video rental stores anymore.” – Almendrita Vergara, freshman, English major
“Pokemon has more than 100 Pokemon.” “They ran out of Pokemon colors for the versions. Now they’re just in black and white.” – Corey Lowman, freshman, math major
“I used to be like switching CDs on my CD player and now I’m pressing skip on my iPod.” – Bobby Kessler, sophomore, economics major
“Beyonce having a baby.” – Jillian Greenbaum, sophomore, undecided major
“I feel like kids nowadays are like, ‘What the hell is Barney?’” – Juinell Williams, freshman, psychology major
Be sure to share your own memories and moments with me on Twitter @Jocelyn_Rubin and be sure to tweet and follow @HerCampusUMD as well!