After a year of staying inside, wearing pajamas, and hoarding toilet paper, we’re all looking forward to returning to some normalcy. Millennials especially will have quite a bit of adjusting to do. Many of us have privately celebrated major life events like adopting a pet, getting pregnant, or buying a house. So in honor of the beginning of the end of the pandemic, here are 10 things Millennials are most looking forward to doing once COVID-19 is (mostly) behind us:
- Going to Restaurants. I know we can technically go to restaurants right now, but I’m looking forward to the old days of going out for dinner: the ones when you only judged your waiter for forgetting the extra fork you needed, not for his mask dipping beneath his nose; the nostalgic days when you never feared the depths unknown in the back of the house, wondering, “Did I just hear a sneeze? I think I heard a sneeze.”
- People Watching. Over the past year especially, Millennials have grown accustomed to staring at their phones all day, judging people on Instagram, and we’ve overdosed on screen time. I’m looking forward to sitting on a bench in a crowded park while I stare at and silently critique real people going about their day in real life. They don’t need to be doing anything special. I just want to look at another human who’s not on my phone.
- Shopping. Online shopping is easy— there’s no doubt about that. Over the past year, etailers have revamped their sites, increasing personalization tactics to give users the best shopping experience possible. As good as online shopping has gotten, I’m excited to go into real stores again and look at items on display. Unexpectedly, I’m also looking forward to returning items at stores rather than by mail. When I buy online, I need to return my undesirable items to a physical store, or they’ll sit in my closet for months on end, and I will never return them. I’ve been hoarding unused products for a year now.
- Go to a Concert. Most of 2020’s large events were cancelled last year, and while there’s something terrifying about an enormous group of sweaty, drunk people, I miss concerts. I want to scream next to a bunch of other people also screaming without thinking about saliva particles moving through the air, infecting us.
- Meet Friends at a Bar. Millennials may have graduated from our college drinking days, but we still like to get together at local bars. I’d even wait in a line to get in!
- See People’s Faces. What do people look like anymore? Do they still have mouths? I’ve gotten so accustomed to doing weird things with my mouth in public, like sucking food out of my teeth and sticking my tongue out to lick my chapped lips under my mask because no one can see me. I need to re-train myself to behave in public without wearing a mask.
- Take Public Transportation. I want to touch a greasy, grimy subway pole and squeeze next to one of those people who take up one and a half seats to stretch out nice and comfy on a crowded subway ride… just kidding. Let’s continue to maintain 6 feet apart on the train, please. But I do miss the ease of hopping on public transportation without hand sanitizing afterwards until I bleed.
- Go to a Movie. I want to go see a movie that I couldn’t have watched on Netflix and eat popcorn that I didn’t stick in the microwave. I’m so desperate, I would pay to see an Adam Sandler movie.
- Travel. Millennials like me can’t wait to travel and stay in a hotel. I’m certainly not naïve enough to think hotels are clean (don’t ever touch a remote. No one knows where those things have been), but I’m looking forward to not being scared of contracting a deadly virus in them. That brings me to my unusually strong desire to use public restrooms again. I haven’t taken a long car ride or a road trip because I don’t know where I’ll be able to find a usable bathroom.
- Reunite with My Family. More than anything, I want to spend time with the family members I haven’t seen in over a year.
—The Soph in Sophelle, 4/1/2021
Retail is transforming, how we consume is evolving, and “normal” will never be the same. For a Millennial’s outlook on retail in the age of COVID read The Soph’s take on all things retail.