Remember when the biggest stress in life was choosing a game to play at recess? Those good old elementary school days of sharing sticker books with friends, playing ultimate box ball until the teachers yelled for us to come inside, and trading bracelets until we had one of every color, shape, and size. These were the simple times in life — when the SAT didn’t consume our minds and procrastination wasn’t our biggest enemy.
Looking back on my childhood, I thought about one past trend that really stood out to me. Rainbow Loom. This craze made elementary school so competitive. Didn’t have the newest color band? Buy it! Didn’t learn the new stitch before your friend? Learn it! Didn’t find the trendiest bracelet in the store? Make it!
While Rainbow Loom may have just been a passing fad, I wondered if this past trend, something I identified with my childhood, could make a comeback. So the real question became could the generation that brought this trend to life also revive it a decade later? Determined to fulfill my goal of bringing this trend back, I proudly accessorized my outfit with a Rainbow Loom bracelet every day for a week. Everyone that noticed said the same thing — “I want one too!”
Noticing this, I challenged four NVOT students to join me on this journey by also wearing a rainbow loom bracelet every day for a week. I asked them to see how it made them feel and to see the response they got from their friends by flaunting their Rainbow Loom. While my idea for this challenge started off small, the response I got was wild. As the week went on, more and more people started to notice, until I had over twenty students and teachers joining me.
The overall response was so exciting to see. Senior Ilana Yaker, one of the original people I challenged, wore the bracelet for the week and said, “it was funny wearing it all week because it made me think back to being a kid. I remembered making them and feeling so good about myself and all of those memories came back again.”
The students who joined the journey along the way also had a similar response. Sophomore Takumi Tomono said, “wearing it made me miss being a kid and it reminded me how much I used to love Rainbow Loom.”
Wearing the bracelet even meant something to the teachers that joined my challenge. Mrs. Erica Sposa recalled the old trend and said, “I was well beyond my childhood when the Rainbow Loom craze of 2010 hit, but I remember being at a family reunion, spending time with family as the younger kids made the bracelets. Wearing it on my wrist this whole week was bittersweet because I was reminded of those old times.”
Challenging students to wear the bracelets and take a blast to the past was nostalgic for me, but the response I got was what shocked me. It showed me how people do really long to get a piece of their childhood back. And, despite being in the midst of SAT prep, research papers, and college applications, high school students still crave their childhood— even if it means wearing something as simple as a bracelet made of rubber bands.