How You Staved Off Boredome In The '90s

We're all prone to boredom every now and again, but boredom in the '90s was a special kind of boredom. While the '90s were not, of course, all rainbows and butterflies, it was a much simpler time for many of us: Our parents took care of the big, stressful things in life while we mostly worried about math tests, sports games, and how we were going to get to the mall to meet our friends. Everyone knows that the '90s were a pretty epic era, and with nostalgia in full swing, everything can take on a certain perfect, rose-colored hue — even those times when we had no idea what to do with ourselves.

As an adult, I don't actually have a lot of time left to be bored. It's a little sad to admit; I think as a kid being bored led me to be more creative and imaginative, so with boredom mostly absent from my life as a grownup, sometimes I wonder if I'm missing some of that untapped creativity. I mean, while I loved (and still love) the '90s, I realize that at the time I probably didn't love being bored — but looking back, I totally remember all the times I thought was going to literally die of boredom, only to (surprise!) discover a magnificent way of occupying myself about 10 minutes later. Are we missing out without that downtime as adults? Maybe.

But at least we still have our memories. Here are some of the things I clearly remember doing when I was a bored in the '90s — and if you, too, grew up in the '90s, I'm willing to bet you can relate to at least some of them

1. Chatting With SmarterChild

Everyone remembers chatting with Smarter Child, the internet's favorite chat bot. The more asinine and strange your conversations, the better.

2. Renting Movies From Blockbuster

Ah, renting a movie on VHS. Seems like the distant past, am I right? Still, I distincitly remember begging my mom to take me to Blockbuster to rent a movie on rainy weekend nights when there was nothing else to do.

3. Playing With Your Gameboy

If you were lucky enough to have one, that is. Otherwise, you'd be at the mercy of hoping your friends could come over and bring theirs, at which point you would all take turns playing games on a tiny little screen, shouting and jabbing your figures at each other the entire time.

4. Browsing Chat Rooms

Who didn't waste time in the internet's many, many chat rooms? If you were a '90s kid, you definitely spent hours reading the thoughts of total strangers and pretending you were someone you weren't.

5. Rewatching Your Favorite Episodes of Friends and Boy Meets World

Reruns? Taped off of TV? Take your pick.

6. Making Too Many AIM Accounts

You needed to update your username to reflect your current mood and favorite song lyrics, after all.

7. Organizing Your CD Collection

I don't think I know anyone who still has a CD collection in plain view (though we all probably have CDs stacked in a closet somewhere), but back in the '90s, this was a super common thing to do when you were bored: Sift through your CDs, organize them, and put the coolest ones on display in your bedroom. After all, what made a bigger impact on us than music?

8. Begging Your Parents To Take You To The Mall

When you were bored in the '90s and absolutely couldn't sit at home for a moment longer, you asked your parents to take you to the mall. Even if you couldn't buy much, there was nothing quite like window shopping and breathing in that decadently sweet smell of Cinnabon at the food court, right? Plus, going to the mall upped your chances of running into your crush.

9. Grooving To Your Favorite Girl Power Music Stars

It was a huge deal when our favorite female musicians hit the scene in the '90s: Britney, Christina, and Destiny's Child forever won a place in our sparkly, glittery tween hearts.

10. Pulling Elaborate Pranks On Your Family

It's a last-resort kind of measure, but pulling elaborate pranks on whoever happened to be around, Kevin McCallister-style, was certainly one way to stave off the boredom. Assuming that no one actually got hurt, it was all in good fun — and clearly gave you an outlet for your active imagination, am I right?

Images: NBC; Giphy (10)