Campus Column: Seasons of nostalgia


Nicolette Noce, Campus Editor

To me, nostalgia is a feeling of sentimental affection and bittersweet longing for how life once was. My nostalgic feelings are most often tied to memories of fleeting moments, feelings and events of the past. Periods or places that ignite nostalgic feelings can often be associated with happy, warm and fond sensations, but these feelings are usually accompanied by a grain of sadness and wistfulness. 

The word was coined by Swiss Physician Johannes Hofer and was considered to be a medical condition that described someone who was suffering from feelings of homesickness. Nostalgia was treated as a disorder. By the end of the 19th century, the meaning shifted to the understanding we have of nostalgia today. 

It is not surprising to me that nostalgia was once described as a feeling of homesickness.The memories that bring us nostalgic feelings are typically the impressions and thoughts that mean a lot to us. They are often the memories we associate with home, whatever that might mean. 

I’d describe myself as a very nostalgic person. Through every season, nostalgia accompanies me. I do not necessarily long to go back in time and I am not unhappy in the present. But it is simply that the emotions and feelings I associate with nostalgic memories can never be created again as perfectly as I remember them to be. Never again can you reconstruct the flawlessness of a day or the innocent delight of living in the moment. It is funny because children seldom feel nostalgic and adults often do. I’d venture to guess this is because children live in each moment while adults think too much, which can make them miss the reality happening around them. 

Halloween makes me nostalgic because of the chill of the air, the sight of glorious colors and falling leaves that remind me of pumpkin patches, jack-o’-lantern carving, princess costumes and trick-or-treating. With those memories comes the idea that another year will soon be upon us and the cycle of change continues. 

To me, nostalgia is a longful wish to freeze time, only for a second. I long to be submerged back into fleeting moments that did not seem like much at the time but are of incomparable value now. But, as time ticks on, more memories will fall into the realm of nostalgia, and one day, I’ll probably look longingly at the year 2020. 

Maybe nostalgia is a reminder to be receptive to the nowness of the present and to understand that these moments are fleeting. Soon, we might hold these memories gently in our hands, where we hold all significant segments of life. So, embrace the seasons that bring you nostalgic memories, because if you cannot embrace the seasons of the year, how can you embrace the seasons of your life?