Things You Experienced If You Were Born Between 1998-2003

Italy. Casorezzo. European football championship final Italy-England. Italian fans - July 11. 2021. (Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
  1. The Moment You Decided You Were Going To Do Both Drugs and Alcohol: You’re sitting there, maybe it’s your high school gym, perhaps it’s your middle school gym with the basketball rims that have been around since Eminem dropped The Slim Shady LP, and in walks the island of misfit toys. A group of three to four people in their mid-thirties begin clapping, strutting around, and pushing propaganda detailing the harms of using drugs. So you’re sitting there in this assembly, watching them sing a remix to Replay by Iyaz about the dangers of Special-K, and you thought to yourself if these are the people who DON’T use drugs or alcohol? I’m definitely going to do both drugs and alcohol. 
  2. The Triangular Nudes Trade: You’re in seventh, maybe eighth grade. When you entered middle-school, you and your friends began trading baseball cards at the lunch table. A Ryan Zimmerman for a Paul Pierce, a Greg Maddux for a Prince Fielder, a Mike Trout for a Justin Verlander, ect. But at this point in your life, you’re trading nudes. I’m not endorsing this behavior; it’s not a good thing, but it happened. There is a Trans-Atlantic slave trade of nudes at every boy’s middle-school lunch table.
  3. Folding Your Nike Elite Socks: This is the original version of cancel culture. If you did not fold your Nike Elite socks, you might as well have been an Armenian in Azerbaijan. You were subject to an intense level of shame and humiliation that was foreign to you at the time. The one time I got caught with my Elites up, I faked a stomach ache and went home immediately. 
  4. Designing Nike ID Shoes In Computer Class: You were in the lab when you walked into Computer Class. You walked into the studio. Dr. Dre didn’t have shit on you; Virgil (RIP) didn’t have shit on you; you were on a different creative level. If someone had taken a chance on me and invested in the cleats and Hyperdunks I would concoct in seventh-grade computer class, we would have both been billionaires.
  5. Getting Caught By Your Parents For The First Time: For years, you had been getting away with smoking weed and drinking. You could nail the three-minute conversation about how the party was and head upstairs quicker than Antonio Brown stirring up trouble in a locker room. But one time, you took it too far. You got blacked out. Full Rachel Dolezal. Your parents told you to go upstairs, and you didn’t even care at that moment. You woke up the next morning with the worst anxiety of your life and a we need to talk text from your Mom. 

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