May 26, 2008 by Jen
Hello, and welcome to the first online NAA meeting – Nostalgia Addicts Anonymous.
I, like many other college graduates, am experiencing the first pangs of that deadly disease, nostalgia, which transforms memories of moderate enjoyment into paeans of pure joy.
Nostalgia is a little bit like quicksand – it sucks you in almost before you realize you are sinking.
It’s a dangerous disease. I find myself spending increasing amounts of time on Facebook, gazing at pictures of friends, trips, and campus life. I am snared by the recollection of deep conversations at 3 a.m. that left me groggy and unfocused the next day. I am transfixed by thoughts of class discussions for classes I whined daily about having to attend. It’s a dangerous and deadly disease.
Thank goodness for my memories of the campus dining experience: “keepin’ it real; keepin’ it regular.”
I’m starting to settle into the routine of my summer job: 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer or a book. Until I get a better schedule of regular exercise, my sleeping habits currently consist of going to bed about midnight and eventually falling asleep around 5 a.m. Not the best scenario.
My dreams too are full of memories. I wonder if my inability to sleep is partially due to the sense that I am missing out on something that I cannot find – the friends, the constant activity and energy I have left behind.
So I am taking a deliberate if reluctant stand along with other graduates against nostalgia.
As my sister told me recently, being a graduate is a little bit like being a freshman again. Getting involved is inevitably awkward. Trying to define yourself is next to impossible. But it is not neverending. The line between is blurred, but one day you wake up and realize you have a new niche: somewhere you belong, somewhere that is home.
In the meantime, the summer is hurrying by as slowly as it can. Fall means graduate school applications and visits, as well as (more) standardized test taking. It also means time to find a new occupation for the year. Right now, the need for income, insurance, and independence is leading me to enter the job market.
Onward and upward. The best cure for nostalgia is opening the doors to increased opportunity for rejection, right?
Right. Surely it can only get better from here.