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Q&A: “goldysjockstrap,” the people’s memelord, talks retirement

The enigmatic GJS has hung up her meme curation indefinitely. A&E asked her to share her thoughts on leaving, forming relationships online and the next generation of meme page admins.
Image by Instagram
A search for goldysjockstrap on Instagram will give you “No Results Found.”

In an ever-evolving internet age, rife with microtrends and ultra-niche references, the hunger for painstakingly specific memes has never been greater, perhaps that’s why audiences noticed when “@goldysjockstrap” (GJS) vanished.

University of Minnesota, like every other college campus, is home to many student-run wonders, like the Instagram accounts “@comopassouts” and “@umnvirgins.” Many more rose and fell through the time of GJS, who had garnered roughly 5,700 followers — nearly the same amount of students in 2021’s entire freshman class. Now GJS’ deactivation has left a particular vacuum (a need for saucy campus hot takes, overheard conversations and oddly specific memes) in her wake. A&E sat down with the campus’ vox populi to ask about what happened.

How’ve you been? Any life changes since last time?

“I don’t think I’ve changed too much. I’m trying to double major in finance and human resources. But besides that, still in Carlson [School of Management]. No graduation plans have changed or anything like that. I’m going into my sophomore year now.”

Obviously, you’ve closed down the account. Why’d you stop?

“I just wasn’t enjoying it as much as I had in the past. And I felt like I was hitting like a lot of content blocks. I just didn’t have any ideas. Towards the end, I was caring too much about what other people thought; it wasn’t as fun and now it’s just really not on my mind that much anymore. I have all my relationships — like friendships that I made throughout the year, my relationship with my boyfriend — those were all the connections that I made somehow, in some way, through that account. So I’m really grateful for all that it’s given to me, but for some reason I just feel really relieved at this point that I’m not dealing with it anymore.”

How’s that going? How are you feeling now that you’ve done that?

“Honestly, I kind of knew I wanted to cut it off, so I was expecting it. If not at the end of second semester, then at the end of summer. I did really enjoy it when it was at its peak, meeting all those people, and I’m so grateful; I got a bunch of opportunities through it. And now that it’s done, it’s kind of a weight off my shoulders. Everyone was talking about me, but it was sort of like I had some sort of voice at the university and now it’s kind of nice to just be like, kind of voiceless. No one really has expectations of me.”

You mentioned forming a lot of important relationships through the account. Did you expect that to happen when you started out?

“Not at all! It’s kind of funny. I never would have met those people had it not been for that account, or maybe I would have but not in that way and we wouldn’t have connected so fast. There were also so many parasocial relationships formed that were strictly online but still had an impact on me because I put so much of my life and my experience here at the U on there, so it was really easy for people to relate to that because there’s no initial awkwardness. There’s always something to say. [I wanted to build] a space to connect and relate to one another about what was going on and our mess, like we had no orientation or anything like that. I just never expected it to be this big.”

I just love that idea of the pandemic happening and not being able to form relationships like in a “normal” way and finding a new path. In your last Q&A, you mentioned that your account served as a sort of peek behind the curtain into real campus life for interested applicants/high school students. Do any other accounts come to mind that perform something similar for the U?

“After I made my account, there was an influx of meme accounts, but I don’t know if any of them are still active and there weren’t any that I was super fond of, or that I followed and I was like, ‘Oh, I really enjoy this content.’ So really the only thing at this point — and I hate to say it because I never followed it and I don’t think it’s a great representation of campus — but the one thing that I would think of is the Barstool account. They don’t show much except for the bar scene and sometimes parties and stuff. It’s not a representation of what’s actually going on on campus. So I don’t know, I hope that some freshman will make a good account, but for the time being I do not know of any other good student lens accounts.”

I saw that a week or so ago you made a return to comment on a dorm ranking bracket, then you deactivated again. Any chance that another campus-wide controversy will bring on another string of late night posts in the future?

“That’s a good question. There were so many posts I could have made like this last week. Two weeks ago when we had that explosion on campus. This summer, I’m working for the University as an orientation leader, so I’m here 24/7 with students so I was right next to it. There’s always so much stuff circulating; everyone is getting those [Safe-U] alerts. I think if something big were to happen maybe somewhere down the line — not anytime soon — maybe I would come back and that could be like my comeback. But I definitely feel like if I want to make a post again, like a statement or anything, I want it to be when I’m coming back for good. It has to be something very big or consistent, interesting things going on. There has to be some serious drama going on around campus or something and then I come back.”

What now? Any parting thoughts?

“I’m excited for the new school year. I’m working with all of the new students this year, over the summer, which has been really fun. So it’s kind of interesting to see the same kind of dynamics form. There were a lot of characters on my account, or that I knew personally that I met through the account, and I kind of see glimpses of that throughout the freshman class. So I’m really excited for them. I’ve had some pretty funny kids in my group. So maybe there’s hope for the future of U of M meme pages.”


This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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