MANNO: Let’s go back to the future

As they say, this semester’s been one for the record books. But not a good record, like fastest cup stacking or highest pizza toss. It’s one of those weird ones you’d rather not have known – the man with the longest fingernails, for example (Melvin Boothe, with a combined length of over 32 feet, because I know you were wondering). It’s been a big stressful ball of nothingness, something I’m looking forward to getting past.

It just reminds me of all my other semesters, the classes I’ve enjoyed, the free time I’ve had and the stress-free moments in between. What did I do wrong this time? What could I have done differently? Did I become less intelligent, like it feels?

But I guess as I’ve gotten a bit older, things have come into perspective, and I’ve trained myself to stop with the nostalgic garbage.

We are very prone to nostalgia, it seems. People are paying hundreds of dollars to see The Rolling Stones and whatnot.  I recently heard “Boy Meets World” is getting a spinoff (and I’ll only muster the courage to watch if William Daniels is back as Mr. Feeny).

This got me wondering: what’s the point in spending all that time looking back? If you think you’re getting something meaningful out of it, just think about what you can find if you look forward – talk to people whose stories you haven’t heard or watch a movie you haven’t seen.

Granted, some things I just can’t let go of: “Hey Arnold!” Goldfish, garage sales, Neil Young, VHS tapes. These are things I still enjoy now, and especially with movies and such, it’s always worth it to go back and re-evaluate it with your newfound outlook.

But there’s a difference between memory and nostalgia, something constructive versus distracting. I’m not going to look back on this semester with great reverence, but a lot of good stuff will stay stuck in my mind. I even have some books I can re-read later on.

Events are always shinier in retrospect, but don’t fall into the trap. Every semester’s been just as bad – glad I could reassure you. So get past it, and look for all the other cool things up ahead. Life is like a box of chocolates, not a box of packing peanuts. Don’t waste so much time rifling through your mind pondering over what once was (Tom Hanks is just great, isn’t he?). There’s a lot more to explore.