Summer As A Kid In The '90s Vs. Summer As An Adult

Paramount Pictures

The summer months are finally here, and I can't help but get excited at the prospect of laying by the pool slathered in SPF 150 and doing absolutely nothing. Times have changed a bit — when I think about what summer as a kid in the '90s was like versus summer as an adult, I notice that the two look nothing alike. Our interests change, maybe we become a little more cautious, and summer largely becomes a time for rest — not play. My mind is less on hopscotch and sidewalk chalk and more on getting through another one of Jennifer Lancaster's hilarious memoirs and catching up on the latest episodes of Suits.

Then I start wondering about today's youth; and something tells me they aren't playing with Sky Dancers and eating Mickey's Parade Ice Pops like we used to in the summers of the '90s. While kids today have it made with their own smartphones and iPads, I wouldn't trade in for a second my childhood years playing until the streetlights came on and splashing in the pool under the summer sun.

Summer as an adult is all kinds of amazing; but it looks nothing like how we spent summer in the '90s.


Your Sleep Schedule

Summer as a kid in the '90s: You never set an alarm and slept in until 11 every day.

Summer as an adult: You set an alarm because you're an adult and adults don't get vacations; and even if you don't set an alarm, you wake up at 5:00 a.m. anyway because your body forgot how to sleep in, and life is just really hard sometimes.


TV Programming Of Choice

Summer as a kid in the '90s: Your go-to channels in the summer were PBS, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and MTV. Who cares that you were watching reruns that you'd already seen 5,492 times?

Summer as an adult: Cable is a rip-off. Netflix is where it's at. Plus, you get to pause whatever you're watching whenever you have to go pee.


Eating A Balanced And Nutritious Meal

Summer as a kid in the '90s: Most of your summer meals constituted of frozen waffles, Lunchables, and Sunny D.

Summer as an adult: Breakfast is a cup of coffee and an energy bar you pilfered from the bottom of your bag.


Your Attire

Summer as a kid in the '90s: Jelly shoes and crop tops were all the rage. You'd stack on a few slap bracelets and hemp necklaces, and you were good to go.

Summer as an adult: It might be summer, but that doesn't mean your usual office dress code doesn't apply. No suntanning on the office roof deck for you.


Splash Time In The Pool

Summer as a kid in the '90s: You'd stay in the water until your fingers pruned. Your cheeks and shoulders turned rosy with sunburn, you played hours of Marco Polo with the neighborhood kids, and there was always a contest to see who could do the coolest tricks off the diving board. You were fearless.

Summer as an adult: Have you people never heard of skin cancer? If you wanted to destroy your epidermis, you'd sit in a microwave. Sunscreen isn't enough, so you also wear sunglasses, a floppy hat, and a parka. You also stay inside and never see the light of day.


Nighttime Festivities

Summer as a kid in the '90s: Hardly one weekend passed without a slumber party, pizza, Freddie Prinze, Jr. marathons (*sigh* so dreamy), and prank calls. You'd stay up until two in the morning playing Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board and gossiping about your crushes in school.

Summer as an adult: If it's past 9 p.m. and you're still awake, something must be wrong. Give me my melatonin, a glass of wine, and something good to read.


Trips And Vacations

Summer as a kid in the '90s: Every summer, you begged your parents to send you to summer camp and promised you wouldn't get anything pierced while you were away. Really, you just wanted to roast marshmallows by the fire.

Summer as an adult: You found a killer Groupon offer for a trip to Thailand and the Airbnbs are pretty cheap. No one's going to be able to text you? Awww, too bad.


Your Summer Hair Makeover

Summer as a kid in the '90s: This usually meant going through a whole bottle of Sun-In in less than a walk and praying you'd wake up blond.

Summer as an adult: Your summer cut is the same every year: You chop off five inches so your neck will hopefully sweat less.


Refreshing Beverage Of Choice

Summer as a kid in the '90s: Capri Sun was a must-have, even though it always squirt in your face when you'd try to get the straw through.

Summer as an adult: If it's fruit-infused with just a hint of vodka, we should be good to go.


Celebrity Summer Crushes

Summer as a kid in the '90s: JTT.

Summer as an adult: ...JTT.