Now that my friends and I are high tailing it out of this ol‘ college town this year, I’ve been noticing that we’re trying to cling onto our old antics. Our collective fear of growing up and entering that blasted “real world” is festering inside us at such an alarming rate; we’re desperately trying to stay young. And I’m not even talking about staying in college mode. Sadly, we’ve been trying to act like high schoolers again.
You may wonder what’s so different about being in high school. Turns out, a lot of things, like riding the bus to go to the Great Mall and then having your mom pick you up before dinner. Also, carrying around a bag of coins so I can use the … wait, I know this one. What’s it called again? Oh yeah, a “pay phone” (whatever that is, I don’t remember). And my favorite, carrying around a CD player that would pause every time it was tapped because it didn’t have the anti-shock feature, accompanied with your top five CDs of the moment.
So if you’re like me and the thought of finding work in this dire economy or filling out grad school applications is keeping you awake at night, here are some things you can do to remind yourself what it was like to be 16.
Loiter. In high school, I would just stand in front of a Wendy’s, or a tree, or a parking lot for hours just to pass the time. Sometimes I was with my friends, sometimes I was alone (those were the hardest days to get through) and sometimes I was still alone but stood adjacent to the popular kids who were actively ignoring me because they didn’t know who I was.
I’ve noticed that people don’t really loiter much anymore because a) they have something better, more active thing to do like study/work, or b) there are other things that still have the same productive value of loitering, but are more entertaining to do, like Puzzle Fighter or being high or whatever.
The only time there’s an influx of people standing around is at two in the morning on G and Fourth, at the Jack In the Box parking lot – and that’s only because they’re all buzzed and need food. Alas, what happened to the good old days when being sober and leaning against your dad’s car-on-loan at 3:30 p.m. (aka: After school) was entertainment enough?
Go where the kids go. Okay, that’s not supposed to be as pedophiliac as it sounds, but if you want to feel young, go where young people go – bad concerts.
I made that mistake about a year ago when I went to Taste of Chaos, which is sort of like Warped Tour but more lame. Still, the screamo and post-hardcore bands were ever present, and so were the pre-teens. I’d call them “teeny-boppers” because that’s what we were called in middle school, but now I hear even the word teeny-bopper is a bit teeny-bopperish, yeah?
Anyway, so these friggin‘ pre-teens were running amuck with their Industrial piercings, checkered neck scarf-wrap-thing, huge sunglasses with the blinds going through them (which renders your eyes useless) and razor-cut hair style. Also, it was tight pants, ballet flats and thin headwrap forehead band (so, are we seriously wearing those now because I for sure thought it would last a month, tops) galore.
Now, I’m not hating. These are what the kids are wearing now so, wear it up. When I was 13, I was all about the Baby-G watches, flared pants (ah yes, remember the days when those were in and the straight-legged were out? Now it’s the complete opposite and I’m forced to put my flared jeans in the attic until they become cool again), and Puka shell necklaces when they were considered “in.“
I suppose being at that concert just made me realize how old I was. Did people in college class of 2003, look at their respective high schoolers like this too? These kids with their first generation iPod fully loaded with this new band called “Evanescence,” running around with a tie and wife beater à la Avril Lavigne? (Answer: probably, yes).
Lastly, work out because you need a lot of energy to roll like a teen again. I remember feeling completely exhausted at the show because I was being pushed around like a rag doll up to the point where my body (still in a standing position) was lifted and supported by the people around me so well that my feet weren’t even touching the ground. Not only did I fear for the life of my glasses (note to self: Invest in contact lenses!), it was only like 7:30 p.m. “Gossip Girl” wouldn’t even be on yet and I’m ready to put those Crest Whitening Strips on and call it a day.
LYNN LA is getting too old for this shit, but is too scared to be an adult. If you are feeling the same impending doom as she is, leave a message after the firstname.lastname@example.org.