Do you remember what you did for your sixteenth birthday? What was the name of your first pet? How well can you recall the lyrics of the song 'Friday' by Rebecca Black? Or how about something a little more difficult: what day of the week was New Years Eve in 2001? These examples show us that while our memories can often work surprisingly well for some tasks, such as recalling song lyrics, it can be challenging to remember other facts.
Our memories overall are very accurate. Everyday you remember which toothbrush is yours, how to get to your classes, and which cupboard your mac&cheese is in. There are also times when your memory fails you. Try to remember events from before the age of two, such as your first steps or first words. The mystery of why we cannot recall our earliest years is called infantile amnesia. Many scientists believe that this can be attributed to the hippocampus, which does not fully develop until after the age of two or three.
It is not only at our youngest age that our memory fails us, but also at our oldest age. Dementia and other memory-deteriorating diseases are growing more prevalent in the elderly every day. Recent studies have shown that people who include high levels of mental activities in their lives are likely to have stronger memory capabilities at older ages (Sumowski, 2007). This study was done on those with MS, but has been shown to hold true for Alzheimers patients as well. So study well and continue to exercise your brain as you age, so that you can tell your great grandchildren about your college days.