15 Things You Did Before Going Back To School In The '90s
You know what I did this summer? I worked. Not only does adulting suck, but it really sucks for '90s kids because we remember the glory days of summer. Back then, even summer's end was fun, thanks to all the things you did before going back to school in the '90s. 'Twas a magical time, and one which we all longingly look back upon as we shuffle through the daily grind while sweet summer draws to a close.
Just think back. Remember what summer was like in the '90s before we had, you know, responsibilities? Lazy, hazy days were spent at the local water park, watching Animaniacs, or maiming your ankles in a rousing round of Skip-It. And while none of us ever really wanted summer to end, even that part somehow elicits serious pangs of nostalgia. It was fun, right? As summer days slipped away, we '90s kids would just shift our priorities accordingly and fill the days with specific events and activities we might not have gotten to partake of much once school was officially back in session.
This year, as I prepare to send my own daughter back to school for the very first time, I find myself wishing I could zip back in time to re-live these classic end of summer activities.
1. Livin' It Up with Your Pals at the Public Pool
Your days playing Marco Polo and having cannon ball contests were dwindling, and you knew it. You had to up the ante by finally flirting with the hot older lifeguards, even if that meant flailing around a little in the deep end.
2. Rocking Clothes That Would Get You Kicked Out of Class
The return of school marked the return of dress code violations — and you know what that meant. You had to say goodbye to beloved '90s summer style staples like spaghetti strap tops, cut-off shorts with exposed pockets (plus iron-on patches, natch), and floral denim mini-skirts. *Sigh.*
3. Picking Your Dream Fall Wardrobe from dELiA*s
Happily, though, the mourning period over your contraband summer clothing was short-lived. You could always count on the dELiA*s catalog to cheer you up, even if picking out 147 items was a tad impractical. In your defense, your mom did tell you to circle everything you wanted.
4. Depleting Your Supply of Body Glitter and Blue Eye Shadow
Despite the fact you got away with it all summer, your mom would never let you hit homeroom coated in body glitter and blue eyeshadow (inexplicably, amirite?). That left '90s girls no choice but to shellac it on in copious amounts so it didn't go to waste.
5. Squeeze in One Last Summer Camp
Let's be real, though ... this was more for your parents than it was for you. Sure, you loved a good archery lesson as much as the next girl, but you always suspected the 'rents were using your time away at summer camp to eke out their last bit of freedom.
6. Douse Your Hair in Sun-In and Hit the Beach
What '90s girl didn't dream of walking down the hallway on the first day of school with the enviably sun-kissed streaks of a Baywatch babe? So you wound up with orange roots, whatevs.
7. Spend an Entire Day at the Mall
Sometimes you just needed to get out of the heat and into the local mall to cool off with an Orange Julius at the food court. Besides, going back to school obviously meant stocking up on chokers at Claire's and Sun-Ripened Raspberry lotion at Bath and Body Works.
8. Break Out Every Water Toy You Owned for Backyard Shenanigans
Once the school year was in full swing, you knew there would be scarce time for unfurling the Slip N' Slide and propelling your body down it with reckless abandon. Coupled with a bevy of Super Soakers, you and had yourself a kickass back-to-school send-off.
9. Throw the Be-All-End-All of Slumber Parties
If you were lucky, your parents would still let you have sleepovers during the school year. But, to be clear, a regular school year sleepover couldn't hold a candle to a summer slumber party — the latter of which was quite possibly co-ed and included a few founds of Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven (sorry, Mom.)
10. Beg Your Parental Units to Take You to the Water Park
Looking back, you feel a teensy bit guilty your parents were spending, like, 20 bucks a pop on you and your siblings for water park excursions. Then again, isn't that a small price to pay for the look on your kids' faces as they barreled down a dimly lit tunnel clinging to an inner tube? You are welcome, parents.
11. Load Up on Your Favorite Summer Snacks
Alas, the days of endless Capri Suns and Dunkaroos did not stretch into the school year — even if your parents gave you cash to buy lunch in the cafeteria, you couldn't purchase the delicious '90s treats you'd been enjoying all summer.
12. Stay Up Way Too Late Reading a Goosebumps Book
If you had access to a TV, this might also entail watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? Or, if you were really brave and didn't mind really breaking the rules, Tales from the Crypt.
13. Go Back-to-School Shopping
If ever there was a time-honored tradition for going back to school, it's back-to-school shopping. And although this tradition spans many decades, it was decidedly rad for '90s kids, 'cause we got to shop for things like Trapper Keepers and Milky Pens.
14. Bedazzle Your School Supplies
That Trapper Keeper and/or stack of Mead Five Star Notebooks weren't going to decorate themselves! So you broke out your Bedazzler or impressive collection of Lisa Frank stickers and got busy. Do work, girl.
15. Three-Way Call Your BFFs
Planning was required to ensure a perfect first day, after all. Where would your clique sit at lunch? Will you wear pink on Wednesdays? Such important decisions could not wait until the morning of.
Images: Paramount Pictures; Giphy (15)