Ins and outs

Watch out for these emerging trends. Graphic by Elizabeth Hein.  

New year, new us. 2024 is the year we start to be better — or maybe worse. As such, the Collegian staff would like to share some of our personal ins and outs of the new year, and we hope that some of them will resonate with you. 


IN: Sparkling water 

I’ll admit — when I was but a wee lad, I detested sparkling water and its lack of taste. However, as an adult, I have grown to adore that proverbial sweet nectar we call LaCroix. The carbonation and mere suggestion of flavor make it more interesting than still water, placing sparkling water into the “fun drink” category for me — while usually managing to be sugar-, caffeine- and calorie-free. And unlike soda, coffee or anything of that sort, sparkling water can be just as hydrating as regular water. If you find sparkling water to be too bland for you, then you can get out of my sparkling water household and grow the heck up. 

OUT: Weaponizing therapy-speak 

Gaslighting, narcissist, toxic … Does anybody actually know what any of these words mean anymore? While the rise of so-called “therapy-speak” in social media has been great in amplifying the conversation surrounding mental health and healthy relationships, it’s had the unfortunate consequence of degrading legitimate terms into empty buzzwords. Too often, I see people use these concepts to villainize the people in their lives and pathologize the perfectly normal bumps in real-life, human relationships. They shut off any chance for discourse or personal accountability, and ultimately, they diminish the seriousness of the situations where these terms are genuinely appropriate. 


IN: Lying 

I love to lie. I don’t have anything to hide nor any good reason to mislead someone. I just like to have fun. College life can be ever so dull, so let’s spice things up a little bit. Craft a narrative to make your life sound more interesting to people you don’t know. Lie about what you ate for dinner last night. Give someone wrong directions. The sky is the limit for your lie. 

OUT: Monolingualism 

In the year 2024, if you only know one language, I’m embarrassed for you. 

Don’t get me wrong: you don’t have to have perfect fluency, but basic competency in a language other than English is sexy. For the capitalists among you, learning a second language increases your employability. With nothing but a liberal arts degree from Butler University, you will need all the help you can get. 


IN: Obnoxiously clear communication 

I have a deep need to know exactly what is going on. Be it my neurodivergence, nosiness or some other factor entirely, I’ve spent over 20 years desperately chasing ever-fluid social cues and implied meanings. And, let me tell you, I am officially done. I get that no one wants to face rejection, embarrassment is at every turn, and it’s easier to just pretend that you know what’s happening. However, this year is the year of saying exactly what you mean and dealing with the consequences. You know, as if you were a grown-up and not a petulant child. 

OUT: Calling everything a theory 

Orange peel theory. Hair theory. Shopping cart theory. If you haven’t heard any of these terms and already find them ridiculous, my email is listed above. Otherwise, listen up: this needs to end. Why social media has co-opted a once respectable word to create even more meaningless content is beyond my comprehension, but I will not stand for it. The only uses I can see for these so-called “theories” are glorifying your own unexceptional behavior and starting fights with your partner. Either way, keep me out of it. 


IN: Being a hater 

Most people would say that being a hater is a waste of energy. However, I would — not-so-respectfully — disagree. If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I will be a hater no matter what. Sometimes I really just do not have the energy to think about something nice to say, and sue me, but it’s just much easier to hate. You do not always have to vocalize your hater thoughts. Sometimes the satisfaction can come from the internal knowledge of your hater-ism running rampant. Hating can also have many benefits, too. I couldn’t tell you how many bonds I have created just because we share that same hater gene — hating brings us together as a community. 

OUT: Full-volume videos in public  

In a society plagued by TikTok, Instagram Reels and Facebook videos, why must you force every single person around you to listen to the video only you find funny? I recognize that I am chronically online — and that does not stop when I’m in public — but I also have common decency and enough social awareness to realize that not every single person wants to hear the same song replay five times because I am rewatching a TikTok edit. Nobody wants to hear other people’s phones at max volume — it’s just plain rude and distasteful, to be quite frank. Next time you’re out and about and you decide to hop on TikTok or Instagram Reels to have a good laugh and some entertainment while waiting in the Starbucks line, be aware of your surroundings and don’t force other people to listen to the AI voice telling a Reddit story about divorce


IN: Organic opportunity 

When I say I am living organically this year, I don’t mean I’m only shopping at Whole Foods. 

I’m sure you have heard the mantra “I don’t chase, I attract.” Well, that’s the attitude I’m applying to my year. Instead of breaking my back trying to make things happen, I’m letting the universe present opportunities to me and pouring my efforts into those. That’s not to say that I am not giving a sh*t or passively waiting, but this year I plan to go with the flow, seeing what the universe has in store for me. 

OUT: TikTok tarot readings 

The absolute last thing that I want to see on my FYP is another creator telling me to use a sound to ensure that my family doesn’t die in a freak accident, to claim the B.S. love prediction or to make sure I don’t have bad luck for the next eight years of my life. 

It’s really hard to not live a delusional life when Mandy from Wisconsin is telling me that the dude in my sociology class is in love with me and can’t stop thinking about me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tarot deck and reading, but not on TikTok. I don’t need to use a d*mned TikTok sound to claim my energy. I’m settling into my own organic energy in 2024. 


IN: Reading more nonfiction books 

It’s time to expand our personal literary canons to include nonfiction. Everyone always sets a goal at the beginning of the year to read more, but people rarely ever choose to include nonfiction books in their TBR list. This year, we need to all read more literature that is not fiction. 

There’s so much going on in the world, and we ought to take at least a baby step toward understanding the major issues around us. This year, make an effort to read more nonfiction and educate yourself about something you previously may not have known much about. 2024 is the year of learning more and raising awareness. 

OUT: Walking slow 

Walking slow is so 2023. I need everyone to begin to make an effort to walk faster. We do not need to be running; we just need to pick up the pace a bit more. If you’re a slow walker, that’s okay. This is a safe space. With that being said, I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if you could at least try to walk faster. 

If you are tall, you don’t have any excuses. I need all tall people to stop walking so nonchalantly; add some “chalance” to that walk. Speed it up and use those long, long legs for something that benefits society. This is the year of minimizing foot traffic and walking faster. 


IN: “Saviors” by Green Day 

I know p*ss all about trends, and I do not have enough delusions to think I can predict them for this year, but they said I could pick anything. This past Friday, Jan. 19 the album “Saviors” was released. It is the 14th studio album by the punk rock band Green Day, who have been cited by myself as being “the greatest band of all time.”  The album is the perfect culmination of their past works, containing songs similar to their early work for fans who hate change, more experimental songs for fans who love change and songs that teeter the line for fans who are too indecisive about change. As long as you aren’t a billionaire resistance movement, this album is for you. 

OUT: Two-party system 

The Iowa caucus wrapped up, and let’s be honest, they aren’t sending their best. That’s not to say the current corpse in charge is cutting it. Even the people who pretended to like him did so under the guise of him being the lesser of two evils. The only reason Trump even got the Republican nomination in 2016 was because he was the best of the bad bunch, a phenomenon that is not even specific to Trump because it was the same thing that caused the Clinton nomination and every nomination for the past couple of elections. I don’t even like the other people running in the third parties — they are just the new lesser evils — but what if in 2024 things did not need to suck and we could vote for someone with competency? Just because a moron is wearing your color doesn’t make them any less of a moron. 


IN: Minding your business 

Listen, I get it. We go to a pretty small school, it’s the information age, yada yada. That’s all well and good, but when did it become our collective problem that things are happening to other people? I don’t mean important issues, where actual human suffering is involved, but pointless, petty drama. Things happen to all of us. I got enough going on, and little do you know it, you do too. That’s why even as other people’s interesting and weird drama unfolds around us, I will be simply turning up Jerry Rivera to max volume to drown it out. Mind your business. 

OUT: Short-form media Since the onset of the glorious godparent of all modern short-form media, Vine, I have watched enough short-form media to put a neolithic man into catatonic shock. Vine at the very least did not have these modern algorithms, which instantly make an addict out of anyone. You mean to tell me an app gets to know me and then tries to sell me things using special tactics? Sounds like a used car salesman, and normally, I don’t trust those — except for my Uncle John. Shoutout to Johnny’s Motorcars. But, I have decided to leave TikTok and Instagram in 2023. So Zhang Yiming and that android Zuckerberg can kiss my *ss.


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