My Perspectives on Nostalgia

Lucas Bakken , JP Student Writer

All across the globe, people at one time or another will experience a wistful feeling or longing for the past. This feeling is called “Nostalgia,” a sentimental feeling when looking back on the past/about something that used to exist (TV show, Game, Friendship, etc.). Is it a coping mechanism? Why does it leave a feeling of dread sometimes? Well, nostalgia is a tool. It helps us reflect on our past and cope with change. Nostalgia is triggered by a variety of things mostly by something familiar interacting with out of our six senses, such as a smell, a taste, a song, or even a picture.

As kids, we all watched TV at one point. Kids get easily attached to a specific show, and for me, that was Nickelodeon’s animated TV show, Invader Zim. I wouldn’t watch every episode, but I would watch it when it was on. I found it interesting, it was a show that was a lot different than the stuff I used to watch. Then it disappeared, and as a kid with no access to the internet, I had no idea why (It got canceled). Fast forward a couple of years later, and I start reminiscing about the show I used to love. Then it got a Netflix special nearly 18 years after the premiere of the show. After watching it, I expected to finally get rid of the feeling, but it’s still there, lurking in the back of my mind.

People across the globe have gone on a sort of nostalgia trip due to access to older media. Things like streaming (Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, ect.) and backward compatibility has only fueled this nostalgia fire, and I’m all for it. I can now rewatch shows I used to like. Even though I still rewatch Over The Garden Wall to get into the autumn spirit, the ending still makes me almost cry every time. Going through this pile of old memories has taught me that nostalgia isn’t bad or a feeling I should avoid. I view nostalgia as a testament to my growth as a person, that I haven’t changed for the worse because these things I adore still exist to remind me that I am still present in reality and ready to continue collecting more memories.