We all know the shtick by now. Millennials are entitled. Millennials are glued to our smartphones. Adulting is hard, and Millennials don't want to do it. But, c'mon. Not only do Millennials in general get less credit than they deserve, but society is remiss in lumping all of us together. There are certain things older Millennials remember that young Millennials don't. We weren't all born in the '90s, you know — lots of us have grown-up cars and pay taxes and suck at Snapchat. We belong to the specific subset of our generation, and we're at a vastly different stage in life than the younger members of our general cohort.
As someone who was born in 1983, I am far too familiar with the cultural purgatory that is being an older Millennial. Sure, there are certain traits I share with my younger Millennial brethren, but there are also many ways my life aligns more closely with Gen X'ers. Older Millennials like myself have either already entered our 30s or are rapidly approaching them. Most of us have careers as opposed to jobs, and some of us have already started our families. We loved the hell out of AIM back in the day, but we aren't nearly as tapped into today's social messenging apps as many younger Millennials are. We're stuck somewhere in the middle and, for a long time, little was made of the distinction.
Until now. If you were born between 1982 and 1989, you're a fellow older Millennial. Need proof? If you remember any of the following things that young Millennials likely wouldn't, welcome to my bracket, buddy.
1. Playing Oregon Trail in the Computer Lab
Between fording the Kansas River and that damn dysentery, I never stood a chance at a normal life on the frontier.
2. Being the Victim of a Covert Three-Way Call
Remember when three-way calling was a thing? Remember when being trapped into saying something bad about a friend secretly on the line was a thing? Not cool.
3. Tuning into Shows When They Aired ... Every Week
DVR, shmee-V-R. We didn't have the option of recording and watching at our leisure, so tuning in was imperative.
4. Chronicling Your Life Via LiveJournal
Nowadays everyone and their brother has a legit blog, but older Millennials used sites like LiveJournal and Xanga to let the world know our innermost thoughts. Or, you know, what we had for lunch.
5. Seeing Titanic in the Theaters
More than once, mind you. Don't hate — you don't know me.
6. Breezing Through Airport Security
While we can all probably agree we're very grateful for the hardworking TSA people keeping us safe, we remember breezing through security (without having to take our shoes off!), and boarding the plane within a half hour's time.
7. Joining Facebook When It Required a College Email Address
Ah, yes. The days when Facebook was exclusive to college students. It's weird to think this was ever a thing, no?
8. Loading Up Your Napster Queue and Impatiently Waiting
Because A) copyright infringement didn't sound off any internal alarms back then (even though it definitely should have) and B) you were so gosh dang impatient, you constantly had no less than 10 songs trying to download at once.
9. Tuning into TRL After School
Kids today have Carson Daly on The Voice. Older Millennials had Carson Daly on TRL. We win.
10. Wanting a Princess Diana Beanie Baby SO Badly
The fact that there was basically rioting over the Princess Di special edition bear prob seems pretty cray to ... well, everyone. Including us. Hindsight is 20/20, my friends.
11. The Sub Club
The acrid taste of glue on the back of tiny stamps was totally worth the free sub you got if you racked up enough of these Sub Club stickers.
12. Dating the Old-Fashioned Way
There was no swiping right. We had to call up our crushes, ask them out, and then have our parents drop us off somewhere neutral and pseudo-safe, like the mall. Or Pizza Hut.
13. Wearing Jeans with Legs Wide Enough to Hide a Small Child
Younger Millennials may remember wearing flared jeans, but older Millennials took flare to a whole 'nother level.
14. Signing Up for a Blockbuster Membership Card
Not only did we have Blockbuster video stores, we frequented them! Having a Blockbuster Membership card made you feel so badass, too.
15. Having Dorm Room Viewing Parties for Friends or Sex and the City
I distinctly remember getting cafeteria takeout and watching these shows in my teensy dorm room at the University of Hawaii with friends from class. Good times.
16. The OJ Simpson Trial
For older Millennials, the OJ Simpson trial isn't just something referenced by the Kardashians or made into a movie with Cuba Gooding Jr. We were glued to our TVs from the moment that white Bronco made a run for it.
17. Rockin' a Discman
The portable music precursor to the iPod, the Discman put all our favorite tunes right at our fingertips. Of course, you had to also carry around a CD case, but you can't win 'em all.
18. Dreaming of Being a Contestant on Guts or Legend of the Hidden Temple
Is there even such a thing as an older Millennial who wasn't certain they would one day achieve glory on these game shows? Blue Barracudas FTW!
19. Still Using AIM in College
If it makes you feel old to admit this, well ... sh*t. We are old.
20. When Jessica Simpson was a Pop Star
Back before Jessica Simpson sold shoes and handbags, she started her career as a singer. Confession: Older Millennials like myself actually remember the words to her songs.
21. Bill Nye, Bruh
In truth, I feel sorry for any generation that didn't have the sheer joy of learning about the world from Bill Nye the Science Guy.
22. Feeling #Blessed to Have TGIF
If you weren't chillin' at home on a Friday night watching this iconic block of TV, what was your life even?
23. Actually Burning Mix CDs
Or, if you're at the top of the old Millennial food chain, this may have entailed making mix tapes. As in, cassettes. As in, we're old AF.
24. Reading The Berenstain Bears Books
Learning the value of hard work and family through a clan of anthropomorphic bears? Yes, please!
25. The Bill Clinton Scandal
'Twas a thing, and we older Millennials were actually old enough to understand why that blue dress was such a big deal.
26. Having "Floppy Disks" on Back-To-School Shopping Lists
It was the worst if your home computer didn't have a built-in floppy disk reader. A few short years later, it was the worst if it did.
27. Spending Way Too Much Time in Yahoo Chatrooms
We probably spent our formative years chatting with wackadoos parked at their desk in their underwear and sporting tin foil on their heads 24/7.
Images: 20th Century Fox/Paramount Pictures; Fotolia; Giphy (24)