For those of us lucky enough to grow up in the Greatest Decade Of All Time, aka the '90s, we know that '90s students are the best students. High school in the '90s was a weird and wonderful time, where a whole generation raised on Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the movie, and then the show) and were in charge of decorating their own binders. And if you were there, you'll remember exactly how fabulously those binders were decorated. I spent a lot of time cutting out pictures of Basketball Diaries-era Leonardo DiCaprio from magazines and collaging them all together so that no actual binder was visible through them, without compromising the beauty of his angelic '90s face.
I don't know what school is like these days, but I assume kids aren't painstakingly cutting out pictures of total cuties from magazines and sticking them to their books anymore. With all those hover board things and iPhones and fleek words, being a teenager now doesn't really seem nearly as awesome as it did in the '90s. Somehow all the technology just makes it seem way more daunting than just plain old hormones and teen magazines did when I was a kid, and that's saying a lot, because high school is daunting enough on its own. Here's why being a kid in the '90s made you a better student:
1. You Weren't Distracted By Smart Phones
I mean, I had a Nokia phone my parents got me when I was 15 to call them when I wanted to be picked up from the movies, but the only game was snake and the most enjoyment you could get out of it was throwing it across the room and giggling gleefully about how it never broke. Now there's so much social media, and so much distraction, it's a wonder students get anything done at all.
2. Or The Internet, Really
In the '90s, we had the Internet, but it wasn't as Internet as it is now, if you know what I mean. Parents still really regulated Internet use (homework must be done first!) and not everyone had constant access via laptops and cell phones. There was ICQ and MSN chat, but no Twitter or Snapchat, so the distraction wasn't as all encompassing as it is now.
3. You Had Better Handwriting
Remember when you used to have to turn in lengthy essays that were HANDWRITTEN? Yeah. Those were the days. Who even knows how to write with a pen and paper now? (OK, that's a bit extreme, but I'm pretty sure school was more pen and paper oriented than it is now).
4. You Still Had Hope About College
Kids now seem pretty disenfranchised by the college system. Everyone is building a career online or creating some app or working at a startup, and careers aren't lifelong any more. Kids now are also seeing the massive debt the '90s generation is saddled with and thinking twice. That means getting into college isn't the singular goal that it used to be, if what you want to be is something other than science or law related. That probably means in the '90s we were all studying hard to get into uni and college, but now maybe kids don't have the same inspiration towards the same goal (although other goals might be just as important).
5. Book Learning Was Still A Thing
Learning now seems to be about quickly browsing a Wikipedia entry and then compulsively getting distracted by other things. In the '90s, we used to go to the library to do out reports and take out actual books. The physical act of learning was just so different then, and I think probably allowed us to hone our concentration better. That's not to say high school students these days aren't capable of concentrating — it's just that it's much harder now with everything "at your fingertips".
Images: 20th Century Fox Television; Giphy (6)