Now That’s Embarassing

A compilation of what Notre Dame thinks will make them cringe in the future.


From strange slang to embarrassing amounts of social media use, Notre Dame students and staff give their hot takes on what will become cringe in the future. | Photo by Focal Foto

Long before the age of TikTok, and following the era of Vine, there was once an app called Now if you remember this putrid platform as I do, the very mention of it induces a shudder, a grimace, and a whole bucket full of disgust.

Now that is something that makes me cringe. The strange phone-in-hand jerking, the overly animated faces, and the sped-up, incomprehensible lip-syncing were all part of my childhood tucked away in a section called “This never happened.”

As horrendous as I think it is now, I certainly did not think so in the past. In fact, I willingly participated in such nonsense, as many of us have. That is simply human nature. We are meant to partake in silly endeavors influenced by the pervasiveness of social media, and later on, groan in dismay at the fact that we did such a thing. 

Sometimes trends are simply inescapable. And there is no shame in taking part in them. Well, maybe … depends on what it was? Only joking. 

Notre Dame responded to the question: What do we do today that will make us cringe in the future?

(Note: Most people wanted their identities to be kept anonymous.)

The majority of respondents agreed that TikTok will become something that will make them cringe.

“Post on TikTok. Like making videos of yourself dancing and lip-syncing is high-key cringe,” said one sophomore. A freshman commented, “Tiktok. I’m already watching other people’s videos and getting second-hand embarrassment.”

One senior said, “Stupid TikTok dances because we look like we are having a glitch in the way we move.” “I think we’ll cringe at them because they’re barely “dances” and more hand and hip movements in a stationary position,” another senior agreed.

“Thirst traps on TikTok. Self-explanatory. Or just TikTok videos in general I guess. Snapping people too,” said a junior. 

Several respondents also chose to comment on fashion trends and the style choices this generation makes. 

Roman Garcia ‘24 said, “I think all of our current style trends will make us cringe. Baggy pants have already made a whole generation before us cringe (90s kids), so I expect it to make us cringe when we’re older. We usually cringe in response to seeing trends leave as we get older, so anything worn by celebrities that became famous among our generation is included. So sort of like grandpa fashion (Tyler the Creator), wearing pajamas casually, and Crocs. Just to be clear, I like all of these styles but I know I’ll look back in embarrassment.”

When asked what she did during high school that makes her cringe now, Spanish teacher Mrs. Alicia Coffey shared, “Wear[ing] some fashion styles that did not look good on my body type.” That’s definitely a mistake that we all committed at least once in our lives.

“Fashion micro trends. They’re just really short-lived and don’t stay ‘in’ very long with so much fast fashion,” a junior mentioned. “Fashion trends like flared jeans and crop tops. Things that are specific to a certain time era are bound to change quickly and go out of trend,” another junior said.

Mr. Joel Monroy, a Chemistry teacher, said, “The way you dress. Fashion always changes. I look back at what I wore in high school and cringe.” He cited spiky/gelled hair, overly baggy pants, and Tamagotchis as cringe-worthy trends. 

Some students said that slang and common phrases eventually cause embarrassment.

“I think that using some of the slang terms that we all use now may seem cringy to us in the future. I think this is so because we find new words that fascinate us and that we can make sound cool,” said one junior. 

“W Rizz,” said Joseph Knepper ‘25. “Saying slay and period after every sentence,” another junior said. 

Benjamin Padilla ‘24 said, “The slang that I use is definitely going to be gone by the time I’m older. Like I’m not going to say “cap” or “bruh” by the time I’m 40. But who knows, maybe it won’t be in the future, like everything is subjective and can change over time as societal norms and values evolve.”

Many chose to mention the use of social media–an integral part of society today. 

Mrs. Coffey said, “Post[ing] everything on social media.” Julia Melville 25’ said, “Posting personal thoughts for people on socials to see. Oversharing and giving out too much information about yourself.”

One junior said, “Social media and people doing things for content. Social media is such a big part of our culture currently, so it is normal to see obscure challenges on YouTube or people doing embarrassing things on TikTok. I don’t think social media or trending challenges will go away. We will look back at trends and find them entertaining, but also see how much of a waste of time they were.”

Gizelle Medina ‘23 said, “Trauma dumping and self-deprecating jokes and/or memes. I think we’ll cringe at how much information we really gave to strangers after posting online. I feel like in general, we don’t have a sense of boundaries or privacy if we feel compelled or comfortable to rant/vent/trauma dump online to strangers. That isn’t the space to get support… and I’m not trying to discount the resources or online connections the internet can offer, but there are places for us to deal with our unruly emotions and such that are better for us and healthier like therapy, close friends, and family.”

When asked the survey question, many students reflected on their childhood. 

Seeing trends we did as kids. Fortnite Dances,” said Zachary Stein ‘24. “Pictures that were taken in our camera roll from elementary school…children are weird and funny,” said another junior.

There were also some responses that could not be categorized.

An anonymous member of Notre Dame responded, “Tanning with baby oil. The skin cancer cells are just waiting to pounce!”

“I think the fact that our government isn’t focused on gun control or other pressing topics and wants to ban Tik Tok will make us cringe in the future. Instead of bettering the lives [in] our country, the officials are focused on an app that is apparently spreading data to China,” shared a concerned junior.

“‘Weye wuv you. UwU.’ This is a normal behavior in many young adults today. It is a pandemic and should not be tolerated. This excessive play at “cuteness” is in stark contrast to any sense of maturity we, as a society, expect from our peers,” explained another junior.

One member of the junior class said, “I think our behavior at concerts will make us cringe in the future. We lack respect for those around us and those performing. When you pay money to see someone live, you should respect them enough to behave well and not shout awful things or shove other people out of the way.”

“Some of the music we listened to,” said U.S. History teacher Mr. Woolery.

It seems that, in time, we tend to dislike nearly everything we do. It’s hard to find something truly perennial, something that withstands the tests of time or rather, society’s judgmental opinions. Nothing escapes the scathing grasp of our future disdain, so do what you want now. Hate it later.