1. Having your parents begrudgingly agree to allow you to have a pager.
And then learning pager code:
3579 : This is weird
1423: I want to die
143: I love you
187: I want to kill you
2. Rocking a JanSport backpack, which you, of course, one-strapped and would customize with a Sharpie or Wite-Out pen.
And maybe, if you had to, an Eastpak. MAYBE.
3. Using your TI-83 graphing calculator basically just to play Space Invaders with.
Of course, occasionally pulling it out to do a math problem.
4. And carrying around, but never using your electronic organizer or spell checker.
Frankly they just lived at the bottom of your JanSport.
5. Organizing all your assignments and notes in your Mead Five-Star notebooks…
6. …or the clear slip-front binder — that you’d customize with magazine cutouts and photos.
Even the plastic slip-front tore easily.
7. Going to the portrait studio at the mall and getting photos taken with your friends.
Then taking those wallet size photos and CAREFULLY handing them out only to people who were your friends or crush. And writing a personal message to them on the back of the photo.
8. Selecting the perfect day organizer, which really just served as your address book and a place to write your friends’ birthdays.
It was also overrun with wallet-size group photos your friends had taken at the portrait studio in the mall.
9. Thinking you were hot shit when wearing one of these shades…
10. …or one of these Adidas sandals, which you rocked with white crew socks.
Nothing said “stylish” like wearing socks and sandals together.
11. Having this as your ultimate accessory.
And having to remember to carry extra batteries with you — just in case.
12. Scrubbing the shit out of your face with these drugstore staples:
You can probably still feel the stingy drying tingle (burn) of Stridex or Oxy pads.
13. Constantly having to replace the lead in your mechanical pencils from clicking it too much.
And eventually resorting to using a regular number two pencil, since you had no extra lead to write with.
14. Clicking the hell out of one of these while being bored in class.
Which, let’s be honest, was all the time.
16. Begging your parents to give you your own private landline…
And totally promising to keep your grades up, NOT talk past 9:00 p.m., and NOT make long-distance calls.
17. …and being jealous of that ONE friend who had a cell phone.
“Mom, I really need one! It’s like much better than a beeper. You can reach me whenever you want and I will always answer your call.” — you circa 1998.
18. Having that one kid in class who, for some reason, decided to become a candy raver over summer vacation.
And their entire wardrobe consisted of JNCO jeans, Rainbow Brite T-shirts, and pacifier necklaces.
19. When it came to “teen TV” you knew The WB was the only channel worth watching…
20. …and Daria, your spiritual guide, of course.
Still one of the best TV series to ever capture teen angst so perfectly.
21. Probably getting one or more copies of this book for your birthday, Christmas, or Hanukkah.
Your grandma just wanted your soul to be fed!
22. Having Jock Jams play out of a boombox during your school’s sports team warm-up.
And if you were on the team, hoping you weren’t the kid picked to bring the boombox each time.
23. Having to pretend to be ~ironically~ into Spice Girls, NSYNC, and Backstreet Boys ‘cause their music was considered more for elementary and middle school kids.
“LOL, no. I only know those NSYNC songs because my little sister has the CD and she plays it all the time.” — you circa 1999.
24. Going to swing revival dance parties and dressing up like it was 1943.
And maybe even taking lessons at a dance studio if you really wanted to impress your friends.
25. These were the movies that defined your life:
These were also your first go-to rentals whenever you made it a Blockbuster night!
26. Hand writing your important reports in cursive, with either black or blue ink.
FYI kids, not everyone had a computer, so teachers had to allow handwritten reports.
27. And finally, setting up your very first email address — which you weirdly NEVER used.
“Yes, you can email me at ButterflyGirl83@aol.com. But, I don’t check my email everyday so it might take me a couple of days to get back to you.”