Have you ever wondered what would happen if the present day version of yourself were to meet a version of you from the past? A new study from Columbia University attempts to answer that very question. What did they find? The results are… perhaps not unsurprising, but astonishing all the same.
OK, so it’s not actually a study; it’s a video called "Younger Selves" from all-female comedy troupe Mister Sister, AKA Kady Ruth Ashcraft, Wynne Lewis, Caitlin Foye, and Alise Morales. Mister Sister strives to produce top quality improv and sketch comedy that focuses as much on creating well-rounded characters as it does on the situations themselves, and this video fits the bill nicely.
The premise involves four young women being selected to meet their younger selves as part of a scientific study. The standard rules of time travel apply — you can’t warn them about anything that’s yet to come for them or else the space-time continuum might implode, and so on and so forth. So what happens when these ladies meet their seven-year-old selves?
The younger selves… are not impressed. Mostly they’re preoccupied with why none of their future selves have boyfriends, or why they didn’t become a veterinarian, or what on earth they were thinking when they chopped off all their hair. But for all its absurdity, “Younger Selves” really drives home the plight of the Millennial — and quite possibly of every adult ever. The older I get, the more convinced I become that no one ever really figures out what it means to be an adult; beyond the basic responsibilities of paying your rent on time and trying to settle your student debt before it eats you alive, I’m pretty sure we’re all just pretending to be grownups. Fake it til you make it, you know?
Sometimes I think that if you’d told seven-year-old Lucia that one day, it would be possible to make a living writing words on a crazy, intangible, information stream called the Internet, she would laugh her everloving head off at you. But I also think that maybe she’d think it was kind of cool. I mean, look! You’ve found a way to make your love of random trivia into a career! Who’d have thunk it?
Of course, let’s not overlook the most amazing thing of all: Time travel to some degree actually might be possible. As this article by Paul Davies, author of “How to Build a Time Machine,” noted in 2013, we’ve already done it; we’ve just only been able to accomplish it in teeny tiny amounts. Tell that to your younger self. (S)he’ll be thrilled!