Do you remember the days of Minecraft when boats didn’t have oars? Remember the days when people went to the End solely to fight the Ender Dragon? I was a massive fan of Minecraft back in 2013, I watched Minecraft videos every day the moment I got home from school, I read the wiki religiously and of course, I downloaded a pirated version.
I stopped watching around 2015 and I never thought about it again until one day I opened up a video talking about the panda update. Then I fell into a terrifying spiral of research about the new mobs that had been added since 2015. Dolphins, parrots, polar bears, striders, shulkers, illagers…TURTLES? BABY TURTLES?? New biomes! New naturally generated structures! A material better than diamond, the triumphant champion since the dawn of Minecraft! Needless to say, I was horrified. Could it be that my previous genius was now irrelevant and outdated? Could it be that I was now a ‘noob’?
I felt old. Like some old lady who didn’t understand how technology worked, like my prime had passed and now I was some relic of the past.
Then I realised I was only 14.
There are other things that make me feel old as well. I have friends my age who’ve already gotten white hairs, my back sometimes hurts, I don’t actually understand how to use Instagram stories.
It appears that feeling old when you are at an age typically considered “still young” is quite a common phenomenon, often triggered when someone learns that this thing they enjoyed during their youth happened a decade or so ago. I have seen countless Buzzfeed articles talking about old TV shows and how the actors look currently, recreations of discontinued confectionery products and videos showing early editions of Minecraft claiming they would make the viewer feel nostalgic. These things make me feel absolutely ancient, but the time gap from then to now is certainly not as large as I would think. My father, for example, can tell me stories from over half a century ago.
I talked to a friend during CCA who showed me a video from the Youtube channel CollegeHumor called ‘If You’re Only 20-Something, Stop Saying You’re Old’, what it made fun of is self-explanatory. I thought the point it was trying to make was a good one, when you’re young and complain about being old, you just look silly. Another CCA member then remarked that dismissing claims about feeling old was just like disregarding mental illnesses. I’m definitely not an expert about mental health, but I do agree that feeling old was not wholly a laughing matter.
An article from the BBC, ‘The age you feel means more than your actual birthdate’, talked about people from all ages not identifying with their age. A person feeling younger than they actually were was shown to have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. A person feeling older than they were might have been because they felt physically or mentally unfit. In general, certain age groups tend to want to be older or younger due to factors like work or health circumstances. The article concluded that in the medical field, people should take not just physical age but mental age into account as well when they diagnose patients, due to its impact on health.
For now, I suppose all I can do is fixate less on how old I feel and focus more on
relearning Minecraft my studies and the happy youthful moments in life.