Nostalgia: The End of Another Year

I am already an introspective person. I spend a lot of time thinking. Sometimes I can get caught up in my own head.

It’s a good way to check in with myself. It wasn’t until I came home from school that I had people around me who told me that I always seem to be in a constant state of stress. Whether it be tied to academics, social life, work, or finding a balance between them all, it’s been easy to let myself become overwhelmed.

But aside from that point, I think being introspective leads to a sense of nostalgia whenever the end of another year comes around. It’s another milestone, another step, towards the end of my college career and a reminder that I’m darting towards some sort of unsure future for myself.

Nostalgia is defined as a wistful longing for some sort of past memory or moment associated with a sense of happiness. It can be tied to really anything in the past whether that be a person, a place, or a thing. But the key point is that it’s usually unattainble or irrevocable — because it’s in the past.

Sometimes it can be harmful when you break out of the scope of that nostalgia and get caught up on the moments, or things, that used to be tied to happiness. Maybe now those things evoke feelings of regret or sadness at the memory of their loss. It’s easy to get tangled in a web of ‘what-ifs’ with the past and conjure up all sorts of scenarios out of touch with what is already a reality.

I think I spend a lot of time looking back out of a fear of that uncertain future I mentioned earlier. And I don’t think this mindset, this pattern, is all that uncommon. I think a lot of people struggle with it to some degree.

The way you can turn this into a healthy reflection is tweaking how you frame the past. It’s good to look back on yourself and your decisions and your experiences because it allows you to learn and grow — from them and within yourself.

But that only comes as a result of knowing you’re growing up and out of the past, instead of letting it hold you back and lingering things you can’t change. You should instead focus on reminiscing with a sense of appreciation for those moments.

I know I’m writing about this subject on a large scale, and maybe in words that are a little dramatic. But if you can identify these feelings within yourself, it makes you that much more of a person for being able to build a sense of self-awareness and trying to change how you frame your mindset in regard to the past, and subsequently the present. You don’t want to miss out on what’s right in front of you, and that’s something I have to remind myself sometimes ◡̈