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Schuppel’s Scoop: the lost spirit of childhood and our world

Alyssa Dziak
Claire Schuppel writes about the loss of the authentic childhood experience in our world today (pictured: Schuppel, left, and her cousin Alyssa Dziak).

I barely have my foot in the door of my adult years, but I’m often left comparing my upbringing to those born before and (especially) after me. You’ll always hear “kids these days” uttered from the mouths of those that don’t get how difficult life is becoming for young people, but what I believe is the worst of this is that kids nowadays aren’t able to savor the beauty of their youth anymore. 

This idea was inspired by a YouTube video I saw recently which discussed the chokehold Justice, the tween girls clothing store, had on young girls in the 2000s, as well as their modern development. I have a lot of older cousins, so one of the joys of youth was coming home to a giant bag of hand-me-downs, the best of which were from Justice or Gap. While the brands still exist, I can’t think of the modern day equivalent to going to Great Northern Mall and being wonderstruck the racks of neon pink and green capris with matching peace sign layered tank tops.

The downfall of Justice stores is certainly a smaller scale loss of my generation, but it’s impossible to write a piece in this vein without mentioning actual societal issues that the generations below us are doomed to face. 

I was born in Jan. 2002, following some of the most important historical events of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: Columbine, the start of the Afghanistan War and 9/11, to name a few. It wasn’t an easy period, but I cannot imagine having to grow up in tumultuous times like the ones we live in now. There’s no need to go down the list of everything happening (we have a World News section for all to peruse!), but society hasn’t had a moment to breathe in a millennium. 

All of this is to say that I worry for kids. Though it has become a cliché to say this, the entire world is unlocked for a child when technology is haphazardly given to them. Can you imagine the fear and confusion that so many impressionable individuals might feel when they are not provided delicate, comprehensible information on traumatic events? The world is a weird, uncomfortable place to live in, so it’s on us to do what we can in establishing a better future. 

Doom scrolling through social media about the state of the world inhibits our ability to recognize what there’s left to look forward to. Think about everything yet to be discovered by younger generations: cures to terminal illness, scientific breakthroughs, developments in sustainability, the list is endless. We need to encourage curiosity and imagination in children, using technology as a tool instead of the source of all entertainment or education. Let kids be kids – the exploration of children is going to lead to a world of excitement in years to come.

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About the Contributor
Claire Schuppel
Claire Schuppel, Arts and Life Editor
Claire Schuppel is a senior from Lakewood, Ohio. She is a Psychology major with a concentration in Child and Family Studies and a Statistics and Analytics minor. She serves as the vice president of Psi Chi, the international psychology honors society and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu. She is a movie fanatic, a lover of literature and an advocate for mental health awareness. In her free time, you can find her with a book in her hands or blasting classic rock from the 1970s. She one day hopes to obtain her PhD in Clinical Psychology and work with children and adolescents from all walks of life.

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