Have you ever heard a parent describe their little child as an old soul? I hear it quite often and though I understand what they are saying, I did not always relate to it. I have a sister who fits this category and I’m married to an old soul. Both of them are mature beyond their years and do not seem to have any patience or desire for current trends. I have not quite figured out what the opposite of an old soul is, but it may bring to mind ”kidults” who never move out of their parents homes, or cougars on the prowl for fresh meat. I don’t think that it necessarily has anything to do with maturity level. I think what this difference boils down to is an affinity one has to old things or new things. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive, but most times, we are drawn to one over the other. I like to consider myself ”an oldschool girl in a cosmo world.” I love fashion and trends that are current, so I probably come across as more of a newby than an old soul, but my values and sensibilities are from the old school. I do not think they have to be mutually exclusive. The best partnerships are formed when you can successfully integrate diverging mindsets. This meeting of the minds brings about balance and perspective that may not have been gained from a single mindset.
Nu skoolers love current fashion trends and are usually the first ones to be wearing them. Their closets would not necessarily be filled with wardrobe essentials, like cardigans or khakis but you will likely see bursts of color and lots of assymetrical pieces. Oldschoolers would probably be mortified to wear the current neon trend, whereas nuskoolers are likely rummaging through their old bedroom at their folks place for those bright orange suspenders they wore when they were 9 years old. Oldschoolers may not shop the trends, but they know quality when they see it. They buy pieces that may not be what’s hot now, but these pieces never go out of style. You have to ask yourself which is more important to you, quality or wow-value. It’s a toss-up for me. I am going to cop-out here and say that I am a middle-schooler when it comes to fashion.
i’ll tell you right now that I’m oldschool when it comes to music.You should be able to write your own music, perform (at least one instrument) and sing live. Those are my standards because that was how it used to be back in the day. I’m a musical elitist and I’m not afraid to admit it (that is a whole other subject though). As a musician, I understand that technology can be a great tool. It saves time and often gives your music that bit of polish that modern ears are used to. Think back though, to those musicians from the Motown era. They played everything live off the floor in studio sessions. Their vocal harmonies were tight and their live performances sounded just like their recordings. This is not to say that we don’t have this calibre of musician in 2012, but generally, music has become more about cultivating an image and selling units. Studio vocals are often autotuned so when you hear the artist singing live, it doesn’t even sound like the same person. Norah Jones is such an inspiration to me. She’s a young woman, with an oldschool mindset when it comes to her craft. She’s mastered her instrument and has never sold out for the fame. There is not even a doubt here that I am all about oldschool music.
This is where old school and nu skool converge for me. I believe that common sense does not change over time. We progress and move forward but the guiding principles of humanity, kindness, fairness, integrity etc stay the same over time. As Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” We need to learn from the mistakes of the past and ensure we don’t make them again, but we need to take the good things with us as well. In a society where everything comes almost instantly, it’s good to throwback to a time, when people worked hard and earned what they got. We want the overnight fame without having to set ourselves apart. Some call it old-fashioned or traditional, but these types of values are more likely to lead to success. I would never want to digress to a time of slavery, segregation and ignorance, but we have to acknowledge the good along with the bad.
So which team are you on, Team Old School or Nu Skool Crew? If you’re like me, you’re still trying to figure that out, but enjoying the best of both in the meantime.