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Growing Up

Veena Thomas

It's funny how things change over the years. Who ever thought that I would outgrow "Saved by the Bell?"

In seventh grade, I made sure to watch "Saved by Bell" at both times, five and five-thirty. I loved the adventures of all six characters (come on, you know who they are) and thought they were hilarious. Wow, high school kids have so much fun! Look at them! All those crazy antics like playing subliminal messages over the school intercom or wrecking the principal's car that was going to happen to me in high school!

Of course, as soon as I entered ninth grade, I knew that "Saved by the Bell" was a fantasy world. Unfortunately, this realization only came after I had watched every single high school episode in existence. (I had always thought that the middle school episodes with Miss Bliss were bad, and, as every devout fan knows, the college episodes were just a pathetic excuse to postpone the inevitable end of the series.) Yes, I watched the movies also: the one where they go to a tropical resort and the one with Jessie's father's wedding.

I saw a few of the college episodes, but I soon stopped. When the announcement came that "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" was cancelled, I felt slightly upset, but I reasoned that I didn't like the spinoff, and I could watch the reruns. I did, however, watch Kelly's and Zack's wedding in Las Vegas, which was a suitably sweet conclusion to a sugary series.

I vividly remember the day about a year ago when I flipped through the channels and came across the show. I had seen this episode many times before, but I settled in to watch it again. It only took me a few moments to realize that something was terribly wrong: The show wasn't funny anymore. Zack's jokes were stupid, Jessie couldn't be more irritating, and Screech was annoying. But I had always thought that the show was funny, and I had seen this episode before and thought it was funny, and the episode hadn't changed oh my gosh! I must have changed!

The incident flooded back this past weekend. My family came to have lunch with me. My sister brought some issues of Seventeen magazine for me to read. I had been a subscriber, but I had never changed my address in order to have it sent here. I had read the magazine, but had never taken it really seriously, much like "Saved by the Bell."

I remember the prom issues, with their pages of advertisements and dresses, and articles advising a girl how to start getting ready for the big day up to three months in advance. This always bothered me (Three months in advance? When would I find the time to study?), but I brushed it aside. I took one of those magazine quizzes that measured how psyched you were for the prom. One of the questions read, "In your pocketbook for the prom, you will carry the following items" I immediately panicked. Pocketbook? What pocketbook? Then I read over the answer choices. Sure enough, under choice e, it said "Pocketbook? I'm supposed to bring a pocketbook to the prom?" Needless to say, I did not score very high on that quiz.

So when I opened up the latest issue of Seventeen and saw pages of girls wearing fancy dresses, I flashed back to the happy memories of reading magazines and wondering about the prom. But then I looked at some of the articles. "Twelve haircuts that shook the world", "Good hair? No prob", and "Kissing tips: When to pucker, when to pull away." What was this, and why was I reading it? Did I really care whose haircuts shook the world? Could a haircut shake the world? And what exactly is a prob?

Maybe it's called Seventeen magazine because once past that age, it no longer makes sense. So, at the ripe old age of eighteen, I must make room for a younger, more hip crowd who understands the new lingo and maybe even "Saved by the Bell." In the words of Blink 182, "Well, I guess this is growing up."