10 Things That Made You The Most Popular Kid In Class In The '90s
We all know the '90s was a great time to be alive, and even more so if you happened to be in possession of some of the things that made you the most popular kid in class in the '90s. Being that kid, even for a day, made you want to pull a circa Titanic Leo DiCaprio and scream, "I'm the king of the world!" Alas, fads are fleeting and tastes are fickle, and what made you super cool in class one day didn't always secure your status at the top of the social totem pole for long. Having said that, there were certain seemingly universal things that could catapult you to classroom royalty.
The popularity was often temporal, true. That didn't make it any less enviable, though. Because while everyone was likely the popular kid at some point or another during their '90s academic era, there always seemed to be those kids who were way cooler and way more popular. They were always one step ahead of you, and you always felt two steps behind. Still, whatevs! It gave you a chance to study their strategy and learn from it — if not then, then at least now 'cause, real talk, there were many, many days I was the kid trailing a few feet behind in my beat-up blue Chucks.
So, in honor of those glorious days I did find myself at the top of the social ladder and in tribute to the Jedi knight peers to my young padowan, let's look back on some of the things that made you the most popular '90s kid in class.
1. Having a Cool Kid Lunch
While there was certainly no shortage of amazing options in the food and beverage world for '90s kids, not everyone was lucky enough to bring the good stuff to the cafeteria every day. There were always those cool kids, though, whose lunchtime chronicles included something new and super trendy every.single.day — whether it be the latest Lunchables, Bugles, Gushers, Handi-Snacks or Capri Sun.
2. Toting the Right Backpack
Why did it even matter what backpack we carted around our books in? Who knows but it did, and everyone who was anyone wanted to sling a Jansport, Eastpak or — where I grew up — an L.L. Bean monogrammed backpack. I had an aqua Jansport, and it made me feel like part of the "in crowd" (whatever that means).
3. Bringing Cupcakes on Your Birthday
Or any delicious treat, for that matter. If you brought goodies from home on your birthday, you were a golden god. One of my good friends growing up always had his mom make ooey-gooey Rice Krispies treats to celebrate his big day. She would wrap squares in purple cellophane and bring them for everyone in the class, and we loved him for it.
4. Smelling Like CK One
While some parental units just weren't having it, cool kids' 'rents let them wear perfume as early as middle school. And, naturally, everyone thought those fragrant kids were the coolest because they smelled like they bathed in CK One — the ubiquitious scent of the '90s.
5. Coming Back From Holiday with a Tan
For starters, if your parents ever pulled you out of school for a vacation, you were automatically considered undeniably cool. But if you came back from that vacation sporting a tan, your social status skyrocketed to bona fide classroom icon.
6. Getting Picked First in Gym Class
Obviously nobody wanted to get picked last in gym class, and everyone wanted to get picked first. Unfortunately, the laws of nature deem that there can literally only be one. If you were the first person tapped to join a team in gym class, it possibly meant you were strong or extremely good at sports ... but it always meant you were one of the cool kids.
7. Daring to Wear a Crop Top
I have a picture of my cousin Ashley and I during the '90s when I am wearing a hypercolor tee and she is wearing a crop top an denim cut-offs. Yes, I looked tragically unhip standing next to her. Thanks to Kelly Kapowski, crop tops were totally a thing in the '90s, but not everyone had the guts to pull them off. If you were one of those girls who wore them in wild abandon, it's a safe bet you'd were probably a classroom A-lister.
8. Being a Really Good Rollerblader
Why don't people Rollerblade anymore? When we were growing up, we spent hours practicing our mad skills in my grandparents driveway. We had birthday parties at roller rinks, where we'd laugh when someone busted out an archaic pair of roller skates. If your friends knew you were an inline-skating prodigy, it gave you beaucoups cool cred.
9. Sporting Friendship Jewelry
If someone gave you a broken-hearted BFF necklace or — even better — made you a friendship bracelet with their bare hands, you were obviously pretty cool by their standards at the very least. If you were that kid who happened to have tons, well, you were obviously cool by a lot of someone's standards.
10. Having a Parent with Job Perks
Confession: I absolutely capitalized on the fact that "the family business" came with some pretty great perks. Because my grandparents were two of the original Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisees, that meant every class function or special event was an Original recipe, buttermilk biscuit, creamy cole slaw smorgasbord for my class — and having legit pictures of Colonel Sanders didn't hurt either. This worked on all ends of the spectrum, though. My best friend's dad was a trucker, and the time he let us all honk the horn of his big rig earned my bestie cool points for the rest of the semester.
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