Oracle After Hours: The 2020s will be the decade of graduating from college and starting a family. So live while you’re young.

Tommy Marquardt, asst. sports editor

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Last weekend, I was doing nothing. In fact, this has turned into an all too familiar of activity for me. I can’t quite explain why I like doing nothing so much. Maybe it’s a subconscious way to ignore responsibility or maybe YouTube’s recommendation system is accurate to a fault to the point where I can’t quit it. Anyway, I was lying on my couch doing nothing this day when a video titled “2000’s Childhood Nostalgia & Decade Recap” showed up in my YouTube recommendations.

Now I don’t click on just any video that YouTube tells me to watch, but this one had a Phineas and Ferb thumbnail, and, as a big Phineas and Ferb fan, I had to watch. It seemed to have come from TikTok, or at least someone that uses TikTok, and featured sad piano music played behind finales from old Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows (think shows like Phineas and Ferb, Good Luck Charlie and iCarly) and some mentions of pop culture trends like Club Penguin and Silly Bands. Pretty sappy stuff, I know. 

The video clocked in at just under three minutes, but was just enough time for me to come to a realization that has somehow eluded me for the first two and a half years I’ve been at South: my childhood is ending. And yours is too. Of course, this isn’t inherently bad. Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks wrote that “time makes you bolder/Even children get older/And I’m gettin’ older too.” But before you turn to the last couple weeks of the 2010s, consider the ramifications of letting the real world come too fast.

The decade ending was nothing more than an interesting quirk about the upcoming New Year’s until I really thought about what the end of the 2010s meant. This puts an end to the decade that characterized the childhood of today’s high schoolers. It’s an end to the decade of the Cubs winning the World Series, of One Direction, of the dab. Remember Harambe? “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz? Pokémon Go? That’s all behind us now. Now, it’s getting to be our turn to be the adults.

This isn’t supposed to make you panic. I’m not sure if any of you got nostalgic for any of that, but I certainly did. Remember coming home from elementary school and turning on your favorite show on Disney, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? At least for me, life was so much easier then. We were allowed to just be kids without the pressures of homework, colleges or extracurriculars.

Thinking about my life now compared to what it was like even five years ago, let alone 10, makes me feel old. I am a day away from turning 17. I am not old. Yet I still look wistfully at my life of a couple years ago to a time when the most stressed I got was during intense backyard wiffle ball games. However, I bet at the end of the 2020s, 27-year-old me (which is a wild thought) will be thinking the same thing about my 17-year-old self.

One of Bruce Springsteen’s favorite lyrics was “someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny,” referring to the rigor of adolescence. It’s the time of our lives that we’ll look back upon in 2050 with nostalgia for a time when life was “funny” before the responsibilities of adult living took over.

 Your youth isn’t over when you grow old as long as you allow your mind to stay young, but we are nearing the last moments of childhood. Before you jump into the great wide open of adulthood, take some advice from a One Direction song that was released a long seven years ago in 2012: “live while [you’re] young.”