Kids Today Will Never Understand — Here's What Back-to-School Looked Like in the '90s

Everyone looks back on their childhood as a "simpler time," but for kids who went to school in the '90s, there's no truer sentiment. School lunches consisted of PB&Js and milk, free time involved reading rather than playing educational games on iPads, and math was, well . . . math (throwing shade your way, Common Core).

Although some things will never change, like kids freaking out over getting to go shopping for school supplies, so much about the '90s looked completely different. If you were a '90s kid, take a stroll down memory lane with us, won't you?

01
First Day of School Outfits Were a Little More Dorky
POPSUGAR Photography | Alessia Santoro

First Day of School Outfits Were a Little More Dorky

02
As Were Class Photos on Picture Day
POPSUGAR Photography | Alessia Santoro

As Were Class Photos on Picture Day

You stood on a rickety set of risers and there was zero editing for the final product.

03
You Had a Caboodle Full of Stuff to Get Ready With in the A.M.
Urban Outfitters

You Had a Caboodle Full of Stuff to Get Ready With in the A.M.

It was always filled to the brim and you could never get it closed (relive the good old days with this Urban Outfitters Caboodle ($10)).

04
Including These Butterfly Clips
Etsy

Including These Butterfly Clips

If you didn't have 20 in your hair at once, you were doing it wrong (grab 12 of these pastel ones on Etsy for $8).

05
And 8 Million of These Lip Smackers Balms
Flickr user John Brawley

And 8 Million of These Lip Smackers Balms

Of which you would trade the flavors you didn't want with your friends.

07
With a Yoo-Hoo to Wash Them Down
Flickr user Andy Narvaez

With a Yoo-Hoo to Wash Them Down

There was nothing more refreshing than this water-based chocolate drink, especially if it came in a juice box.

08
All in Your Plastic Lunch Box With Matching Thermos
Etsy

All in Your Plastic Lunch Box With Matching Thermos

What theme was yours? (Mine was Barbie, thanky ou very much, but you can still grab this vintage Dinosaurs one on Esty ($16).)

09
At Recess, You’d Make One of These Cootie Catchers to Tell Fortunes
Flickr user Ed and Eddie

At Recess, You’d Make One of These Cootie Catchers to Tell Fortunes

And promptly rig your friends' results.

11
All of Your School Supplies Would Be Lisa Frank
Flickr user Ace Armstrong

All of Your School Supplies Would Be Lisa Frank

So much color, so many Golden Retriever puppies.

12
And You Couldn’t Live Without a New Trapper Keeper
Etsy

And You Couldn’t Live Without a New Trapper Keeper

You know, for all of your important papers to get shoved into haphazardly (keep crunching those papers into this vintage Trapper Keeper on, sale for $20).

13
No Matter How Many Crayons You Had at Home, You Needed a Fresh Box For School
Flickr user Clyde Robinson

No Matter How Many Crayons You Had at Home, You Needed a Fresh Box For School

And if your mom let you get the 64-pack, it was like the holidays came early.

14
And a Pack of Mr. Sketch Scented Markers
Etsy

And a Pack of Mr. Sketch Scented Markers

That you'd sniff a little too hard and get all over the tip of your nose (keep on sniffing with this vintage set of scented markers for $14).

15
AND Some Stacking Pencils
Etsy

AND Some Stacking Pencils

Did anyone ever actually get through a full pencil tip, or did everyone just push them through, losing it in the abyss forever? (Buy 50 more to test out your theory on Etsy for $13).

16
You Kept Them All in a Space Maker
Etsy

You Kept Them All in a Space Maker

And its hinges would be broken by the third week of school (get this pink one from Etsy $16).

17
Many of Your Lessons Used an Overhead Projector
Flickr user Wesley Fryer

Many of Your Lessons Used an Overhead Projector

Which was never, ever in focus.

18
You's Watch a Movie on VHS That Applied to the Lesson
Flickr user Jason Eppink

You's Watch a Movie on VHS That Applied to the Lesson

In a combo TV/VCR that never actually worked, usually.

19
For Many Assignments, You Had to Write in Cursive
Flickr user Tim Fuller

For Many Assignments, You Had to Write in Cursive

And if you made a mistake, you had to start over.

20
When You Finished an Assignment Early, You'd Free Read One of These Books
Etsy

When You Finished an Assignment Early, You'd Free Read One of These Books

Or something from the Goosebumps series, The Boxcar Children, or another book series (get a copy of any of the ones shown for just $2 on Etsy.

22
You'd “Work" in a Computer Lab That Looked Like This During Library
Flickr user raneko

You'd “Work" in a Computer Lab That Looked Like This During Library

And by work, we mean typing up an assignment for another class.

23
You'd Save Your Typed Assignments to These Floppy Disks
Flickr user jm3

You'd Save Your Typed Assignments to These Floppy Disks

Which would constantly break so your work would be lost forever.

24
You'd Learn How to Type With Mavis Beacon
Flickr user Jason Scott

You'd Learn How to Type With Mavis Beacon

But everyone would cheat and look down at the keys anyway.

25
You'd Try to Spend the Whole Class Playing Your Friends in Oregon Trail
Etsy

You'd Try to Spend the Whole Class Playing Your Friends in Oregon Trail

And would promptly die of dysentery every damn time (rep the times with this glow-in-the-dark Oregon Trail pin ($12)).

26
Or Attempt to Play Minesweeper Solo
Flickr user Daniel Temkin

Or Attempt to Play Minesweeper Solo

But literally no one knew that there was supposedly an actual formula to follow when playing and would die hundreds of times in a row.

27
School Trips Weren’t All That Involved
POPSUGAR Photography | Alessia Santoro

School Trips Weren’t All That Involved

A hay ride and some apple picking was "science."

28
Class Birthdays Were at a Chuck-E-Cheese 9 Times Out of 10
POPSUGAR Photography | Alessia Santoro

Class Birthdays Were at a Chuck-E-Cheese 9 Times Out of 10

Long live the days of knowing you'd be invited to every kid's birthday party in your whole 30-kid class.