Are You Under The Influence? | Grace Sullivan

This article has been inspired by what can only be described as a result of too much thinking about our environment. Now, I don’t mean the eco-friendly food chain lark, but rather things that influence us. I read somewhere that not only is it your genetic make up, but also your surroundings, that make you you. I found this absolutely fascinating – I’m hoping you do too, even if only the slightest bit. If you think about it, the language you speak is an accident of birth. This influence can range from big things like an obsession with older men (could be a sign of daddy issues) to even the most trivial thing like a love of garlic (could stem from the fact that your ma smothers everything in the stuff). So what has influenced us most as a generation?

 

Fashion

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As much as you may love to think you’re the most original style icon to have graced the quad, chances are you’re not. Look at it like this, every thing you wear has more than likely been worn at some stage in history before. Fan of the high tops? So was The Fresh Prince of Bel Air about twenty years ago. Rocking the parka jacket? I’m not sure if you know all the words to Wonderwall, but I’d bet my last fur-collared jacket that you do. We’ve been so conditioned by things that have gone before us that nothing seems original. ‘The onesie’, you cry? Well, B1 and B2 were running up and down that stairs long before you were the banana in pyjamas of College Road.

 

Film

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It is often said that we’ve become too americanised, and film is of course one of the main catalysts for said change.

‘This one time, in band camp…’ Ah yes, American Pie, the birth of the ‘MILF’ and perhaps the original blockbuster to change us forever. Never has the humble apple pie or flute been looked at/eaten/used in the same way (I’m going to draw a line under that point there before the reference gets, well, pushed too far).

Then came the Tina Fey effect. This woman is more powerful than the swine flu! Due her writing, we all know that ‘she doesn’t even go here’ and we question whether butter actually is a carb or not. Mean Girls has changed every single girl and boy of our generation, for better or worse is somewhat debatable.

It’s no doubt this movie has had a big impact on us as all – I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say, ‘ohhhh Kevin Gee!’

 

Events

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In the past decade there have been lots of ups and downs when it comes to events that stick out in history. There were highs and lows, which we all expect in life. However, one thing I feel that has made a huge impact on us as a generation is the ‘Celtic Tiger’/‘Enda the World’ saga which remains the topic of every conversation. We have gone from prosperity to austerity in what seems like a matter of months. We are the generation that went from talking about our favourite sushi order to the SUSI ordeal. We’ve gone from wearing Aldo to wandering around Aldi. There can be no denying that we’re suffering from whiplash due to the change from posh dining to penny dinners. No matter how big or small the effect on you, we’ve all seen a change. What does this mean? One hopes our experience will lead to a brighter, less indebted future, whereby things are saved for and owned by the bank. No matter how big or small the impact the recession has had on you, we all have been affected.

 

Yes, some of the above references are futile and silly, but there really can be no denying that many things have had an influence on us all. I guess it’s true that it’s not all science and genetics at the end of the day. Whether you agree that we’re under the influence of our environment or not is quite irrelevant. However, I hope you’ll agree with me when I yell to the cabbie ‘yo homes smell ya later’.