How To: Nostalgia

I miss the old subheads

Sam Johnson

More stories from Sam Johnson

The Tator
December 13, 2022

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Before our oasis arrives, I have some tips to ensure your summer is as enjoyable as possible.

With “Arthur” coming to an end after 25 seasons, many of my friends graduating this semester and the new Kanye documentary’s release, I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic lately.

This week, I’m going to talk about nostalgia, the weirdest emotion.

Donald Draper from Mad Men taught me that nostalgia is Greek for “the pain from an old wound.”

That’s a really corny sentiment, but nostalgia is all about corny sentiments, so I’d say it tracks.

There are plenty of ways to feel nostalgic. 

Go through old yearbooks, scrapbooks or photo albums. Listen to those songs you loved growing up. Watch a Pixar movie — especially “Toy Story 3.” There are countless Facebook pages dedicated to sending tidal waves of sentimentality washing over you every single day.

There’s one method that outweighs them all; alcohol. Especially when consumed in your hometown with family or friends, alcohol is a nearly foolproof way to start longing for days past.

Now I’m not saying slamming tequila shots and hitting the clubs is going to make you introspective. Nobody feels nostalgic or has deep thoughts while listening to “Hotel Room Service” by Pitbull.

But wine at someone’s house or strong mixed drinks at a quiet dive bar? No way you don’t become at least a little sappy.

For whatever reason, nostalgia is in high demand. It’s a bittersweet feeling that people can’t get enough of.

I think there are two groups of people that deserve to be nostalgic; senior citizens and young adults. It may seem like a biased statement, given that I’m included in one of those categories, but hear me out.

Senior citizens are a no-brainer. They’ve been around for a while, so there’s a lot for them to miss, retirement leaves them with plenty of spare time to think and their nostalgia often comes paired with interesting stories.

Young adults also get a pass for me. We’re just too new to being adults. Of course we miss our childhoods, they just ended. 

Plus, being a kid was sick. You had zero responsibility, FAFSA sounded like a word Dr. Suess made up and ‘responsibility’ meant eating vegetables, making your bed and not coloring on walls.

Young adults, let’s say ages 19-30, are allowed to mourn the loss of their childhood. Younger than that, get over it.

What can a 16-year-old possibly feel nostalgic about? Fortnite and when TikTok was called That stuff just happened. 

Maybe high school is hard, but at least it’s free.

It’s possible I’m being too hard on them, but I’m too busy reminiscing about going to Blockbuster with my family to care.

If you’re over the age of 30, you need to get over it. I just find it really hard to have sympathy for a person in their 30s getting misty-eyed over VHS tapes and the Nintendo 64. You’re in the prime of your life, stop pretending you’re a fossil.

There’s always going to be something to miss, but there’s also always going to be something to look forward to. Yeah, maybe the carefree, magical joy of my childhood is gone and never coming back, but guess what does come back; The Shamrock Shake.

Johnson can be reached at [email protected].