Time capsule from 2021

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If you were to make a time capsule, a box with cherished objects which one buries deep underground for someone to find a hundred years from now, what would you put in the box? That's the question posed by our campus columnist Lili Szarvas this fortnight.

Me and my friends have been trying to come up with things for Utrecht students to do during the lockdown and one of our recent bucket list items was 'creating a time capsule'. You know the drill: find a box, put a collection of cherished items in it, go to a hidden spot, dig a hole, and bury the box deep underground.

So, what were our personal, cherished items? Coins from our home countries, a pair of blue LMFAO sunglasses that were owned by every single teenager in the 2010s, a tiny bottle of Flügel (of course we emptied it first), some cards, a leopard print scrunchie, and a photo of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears. Most importantly, a dad joke.

Of course since this bucket list project has a set deadline, we didn't actually put much thought into picking these precious items, therefore I keep speculating... What would I actually want someone to find in who knows how many years from now? What do I want my early years to be remembered by? Should I place items like my transcript with the GPA average, the made-up words I’ve created while wrecking my brain for a couple more paragraphs to finish my essay, or some of the bracelets I collected while backpacking across Europe? Or should I put a face mask in there, some hand sanitizer, a couple rolls of toilet paper, and the stories that went unlived because of Covid-19, which I've written down in my journal?

Whenever I'm writing an entry for this column, a haunting thought starts flickering through my brain: 'it will stay there'. First of all, although I know I'm definitely not Christiane Amanpour in terms of anything other than our mesmerizing smiles, still, what gets published stays here - at least for a while. Secondly, technology allows us to store anything and everything for who knows how many decades... I mean, we are still binging TV shows from the 60s and looking for evidence that the Moon landing's footage is fake. As technology's advancement is being further and further heightened, it makes me wonder: how do we pick what to reserve for the future? If one would create a time capsule and bury it deep underground only for someone to find it a hundred years from now, what would you leave in said timeless box?

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