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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Are we 2000-and-late?


A nostalgic look at the past decade

As college students, many of us are entering our twenties—the second decade of our lives. And in 2019, it seems as though the stark reality of politics and societal epidemics have transformed the way we look at the past, present and future.

When we turn on the television, we see headlines and images that leave us with far more questions than answers.

The sponsored ads on our phones are generated by cookies and algorithms that track our every move. Even at the dentist, the waiting room tables are scattered with magazines about famous people who are “just like us.”

Everywhere we go there is always noise that we struggle to make sense of, so we seek out things that provide us a reprieve from the noise.

Whether you’re in your twenties or fifties, you’ve probably caught yourself daydreaming about the good old days. That being said, nostalgia is sometimes the best medicine when trying to make sense of the chaos in our heads and the world at our feet.

It’s especially hard for people to ignore the difference in lifestyles between their generation and the next. This topic often leads to long complaints about how kids spend too much time on social media and are more concerned with their looks than their education.

Rather than focusing on what appears to be negative on a surface level, we need to take a step back and remember how popular culture played a significant role in our own adolescence during the 2000s.


The year is 2008, and you’re on your way to the “Twilight” premiere wearing your new Team Edward T-shirt. On your wrist rests a rubber Livestrong bracelet and your Silly Bandz collection. You make sure to bring your babysitting money to put in your Vera Bradley purse—it’s been a hard week of sixth grade, so treating yourself to a pack of peanut M&M’s and a blue raspberry ICEE is exactly what you need to take the edge off.

At school, conversations at the lunch table are a mix of whether or not the cafeteria food is poisoned and which of your friends thought the book was better than the movie you saw the weekend before.

Your mom packed you your favorite Lunchables and a Capri Sun, but you trade the Welch’s fruit snacks at the bottom of your L.L. Bean lunch box for Dunkaroos.

Social studies class is moved to the gymnasium where the police department holds a surprise assembly about the dark side of the internet. The entire demonstration is about stranger danger on MySpace and AIM, but every middle schooler knows that Facebook and ooVoo are the next best thing. Instead of paying attention, you pass the time playing MASH with your friends or drawing a graffiti “S” on the back of a composition notebook.

On the bus ride home, you and your best friend share a pair of headphones and listen to the new Jonas Brothers song on an iPod shuffle. You’re not allowed to use phones or MP3 players in school, so you flip open your Sidekick a hundred times for good measure.

Since these simplier times, our generation has experienced a tremendous amount of change.

Touch screens replaced buttons and antennas on phones. Kim Kardashian, who is now far more relevant than Paris Hilton, got married twice and had three kids.

Getting blocked is now a bigger insult than getting unfriended. Teenagers have moved on from soda flavored Lip Smackers to $30 lip kits. Music is streamed rather than downloaded from CDs or iTunes. Screen names have evolved into Instagram handles. Low rise denim has been traded in for high waisted mom jeans. Uber and Lyft have made hailing a taxi a thing of the past.

Between waking up and going to school, there wasn’t much kids worried about during the day in the 2000s.

You had to wait for the paper or the 6 o’clock news for updates about what was going on in the world rather than headlines that appear as notifications on your smartphone.

There are certain moments that I know I will never forget. I remember sitting in my sixth grade history class watching Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. I remember seeing pictures of my community being broadcasted during the Concert For Sandy Relief.

I remember what my parents told me when the stock market crashed. I remember the people I was with when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

The world still moved at the same pace it did 10 years ago, but we vividly remember what we want to because it seemed so distant from where we are today.

Sometimes I wonder if I would look at my formative years differently if I had the instant access and exposure to breaking news and pop culture events like I do now.

Understanding every cultural, political, social and environmental event around us is never an easy task when it feels so constant, but reflecting on how far we have come over the past 10 years can be a cathartic and introspective process. It’s important we all take some time to do so.

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