11 Ways We Knew It Was Spring In The '90s
Spring is in the air, and with that refreshing, warm breeze come jean jackets, crop tops, and jelly sandals. Multiple decades may separate us from the '90s, but when the weather gets warmer, it doesn't seem like a whole lot has changed. Many of the ways we knew it was spring in the '90s still ring true today — for better or for worse. Sure, we may have traded in our Lisa Frank folders for iPads, and no longer think that cruising in a Jeep with the top down is the pinnacle of coolness, but we are certainly not safe from the coming onslaught of '90s seasonal nostalgia.
It isn't the worst thing in the world to look back on those youthful days spent in the "electronic age." Once the winter frost melted away, spring in the '90s was actually the best. Warm weather and longer days meant you could spend hours playing with your friends outside, and recess would no longer be burdened by heavy down coats, hats, and Moon Boots. The coming of spring meant summer vacation was just around the corner, and while you would certainly miss your teachers and your class' pet hamster, you couldn't wait to enjoy the lazy days of summer (unless your parents already signed you up for camp, that is).
Besides the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil, here are a few ways we knew that spring had sprung in the '90s:
1. A Pair Of Super Cool Shades Were Essential
Whether you sported wrap-around Oakleys, Ray Ban Wayfarers, or a fun pair of candy-colored plastic frames, sunglasses were a must-have for the spring season. When the clouds of March departed, eye health became suddenly important to your parents, and a baseball cap just wouldn't cut it. Of course, you didn't mind popping on a pair of dark frames all that much 'cause you looked pretty darn cool in them — especially if you were grunge like your fictional hero Daria.
2. Daylight Saving Time Meant You Had To Get Up For School An Hour Earlier Than Usual
You knew spring was on the horizon when mid-March clocks would cruelly spring forward an entire hour, robbing you of an hour of play on Sunday and generally making the following Monday a total nightmare. Daylight Saving Time meant you would have to readjust your sleeping schedule by going to bed an hour earlier each night so that you wouldn't be exhausted when you woke up. It was inconvenient and annoying and usually resulted in you snoozing into your bowl of Lucky Charms, but at least it meant that you would have more hours of daylight to play in after school!
3. Spring Break Meant... Another Family Roadtrip
Once it was officially spring, you would be released from school for a brief break as a reward for making it through the cold winter months. It was a time to enjoy the (usually) nice weather, but as a child of the '90s, all you wanted to do with your time off was play video games and watch your VHS collection. If you had to travel to visit extended family for Easter or Passover, at least you could play Pokemon Red on your GameBoy for the duration of the car ride while snacking on Dunkaroos and 3D Doritos (so it wasn't a complete waste of time).
4. You Finally Got To Wear Your Favorite Blossom Hat
When spring finally arrived, you could pack away your boring knit caps and match the colorful headwear of your favorite TV heroine. The second the weather turned warm it was time to don a floppy statement hats topped with flowers as bright as a cup of Trix Yogurt just like the spunky teen we all idolized. Looking back today, these millinery choices seem odd, but when paired with oversized t-shirts, overalls, and a tattoo chocker necklace, they were the epitome of cool.
5. You Had To Sign Up For Track, Volleyball, Or Softball
Signup sheets for the spring elementary and middle school sports would appear in the hall just as the grass returned to a healthy shade of green. Middle school sports were incredibly important, dictating your after-school schedule and even the social hierarchy of your class — plus, the uniforms were usually awesome. If you could perfect your killer serve in time for volleyball season, the world was your oyster; and even if you weren't the embodiment of Sporty Spice, at least you wouldn't have to be cooped up indoors anymore!
6. You Watched MTV's Spring Break With Envy
Spring meant that MTV would be back in Daytona Beach, San Diego, or Lake Havasu filming a bunch of cool young people have fun in bathing suits. Sitting in front of the TV after school, you would fantasize about being old enough to spend your vacation far away from your annoying family, partying by a pool in a tropical climate while listening to live music. Even if a bikini contest wasn't your thing, how could you not be jealous of those teens hanging out with the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake?
7. You Were Tempted By Easter Candy In All The Stores
As soon as Valentine's Day ended, all the Conversation Hearts and Hershey's Kisses that filled the aisles of your local grocery store would be replaced by Peeps and chocolate rabbits. The pastel colors of the candy screamed spring (even in February) — and you certainly didn't have to celebrate Easter to crave a Cadbury Creme Egg.
8. Your Summer Clothes Came Out Of Storage
'90s kids knew it was spring because the temperatures would start to rise and fall dramatically in the span of the week, prompting your parents to take all the warm weather clothes out of storage. One day you would be boiling in a light jean jacket; then you'd be freezing in a neon snow suit the next. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
9. Sneezing And Itchy Eyes
All those beautiful flowers blooming and pollen in the air spelled out one thing: Allergies. When spring arrived, you knew to stuff a packet of tissues into your Jansport. Nobody likes wiping their nose with their sleeve during math class.
10. You Were Glued To The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
In the '90s spring meant award show season, and while the Oscars were OK, all you really cared about was who was going home with that awesome blimp-shaped trophy. You would mark your calendar every late March or early April, because there was no way you were going to miss your favorite celebrity getting slimed!
11. Your Doc Martins Would Be Covered In Mud
April showers meant your fresh pair of Steve Madden Slip Ons or Sketchers sneakers would be ruined the very first day you wore them to school. Best to wait out the uncertain weather and stay inside cruising around on '90s-era dial-up.