Nostalgia

1990. It’s almost 20 years ago. Thinking back, it makes me feel very old.

I was 9 then, in fifth grade. A bunch of us were put in a new class since er.. for whatever reason I can’t remember. Having studied with a class since kindergarten, being put into a new class with a new bunch of students and a brand new teacher who looked scary, was kind of traumatic to 9 year old me. So I did what I thought was best for me, I cried and threw a tantrum and asked to be put back in the class I was in. I must have been very convincing that the school agreed with me. Surprised and happy I went with the teacher, only to find myself in an entirely different class and not the old one. This time I didn’t cry but rebelled and was taken to the headmistress. Asked why I did that (after getting duly punished though), I gave her the reason. I didn’t like the teacher. It ended with me being put in the new class and the teacher who I was scared of turned out to be better than most others. Ah, the good old times. Thinking about it now puts a smile to my face as I realise how stupid I was.

This event came to my mind at the end of a sequence of others, as I finished talking about undergraduate admissions with my friend over dinner. We were discussing about the time when we finished high school and were about to venture into a world where the final preparations for an entry into a bigger world were to be done, the University. The conversation digressed from the admission procedures and the selection criteria to the best colleges and universities and ended up with us reminiscing about the life we had when we were kids, with parents doing what is best for us.

No, actually they did what they thought was good for us. Which was not always a good thing according to us, the kids. We wanted something, we got something else. Like it or not, you had no choice but to take it. I believe it was the same for everyone, but to a different extent. I think that extent, the limit they set on what we can get during those formative years defines a substantial part of our personality for the rest of our lives. Those who get everything they want during those years, end up taking everything for granted. Those who don’t, think ten times before they want to get something for themselves, even though they know well it is fully within their power to get it and there’s no one to stop them. I’ll leave further analysis to the professionals.

Coming back to nostalgia, it’s amusing how it brings back so much stuff and makes it jump from one memory to another just so randomly. The thoughts and events that are brought back are usually bad, those that were hurting, those that caused anger or sadness.In the end, nostalgia makes you think about those past stuff and you either laugh at it or make a decision not to pass it on to the future. Nostalgia perhaps is called so because it brings back those memories. Painful it may be, but sometimes it can make the person feel alive.