Things only Millennials loved about school (that nobody else remembers)

Born between 1982 and 2004, the generation dubbed as "millennials" range in age between 12 and 34, leaving seemingly an entire generational gap amongst them. But the one shared experience of millennials is that most of us not only remember the 90s, we're the last generation to have experienced landline phones, black and white computer screens, and when MTV played music videos.

While our generation grew up in a time of rapid innovations in technology, most of us fondly remember the simpler and 100 percent exclusive-to-the-time-period aspects of our school classroom. Here's our list of things you might remember:

The computer games: Number Munchers, the Carmen Sandiego series and Oregon Trail.

These 8-bit games made learning math, social studies, geography and wilderness skills fun and awesome. Now you can go back in time to see if your education has held up since nearly every MS-DOS game, including these, are available online here.


What other generation had a series of horror novellas written exclusively for children? Written by R.L. Stine between 1992 and 1997, most millennials will fondly remember choosing which of the 62 original Goosebumps books to read next by judging the level of awesomeness of the incredible cover art.

Lisa Frank stickers.

At the height of its popularity spanning the 80s and 90s, Lisa Frank Inc. made the most highly coveted stickers among school-aged boys and girls. The vibrantly colored illustrations often featured unicorns, rainbows, hearts and music notes used to decorate millions of lunch boxes and trapper keepers across the country.

Playground parachutes.

A lot of millennials will recall playing with a massive rainbow-colored parachute in elementary school. Every child was taught teamwork and coordination as they held the parachute stretched out, threw the whole thing over their heads and sat down: creating a massive teepee for everyone to enjoy.

Scented Markers.

Now scented markers have been sold since at least the 1960s, but the absolute absurdity of these coloring utensils seems so quintessentially 90s.

Old-school login sounds: Windows 95, the original iMac, and AOL.

The synthesized login sounds of both the early versions of Windows and iMac conveyed calm and relaxation while AOL's infamous screeching and stressed tones were a ritual torment. That torment being abruptly cut off with a contrastingly cheerful voice exclaiming "You've Got Mail."

Text messages meant writing notes.

Before SMS messaging, we wrote down the messages we wanted to send. Though if you didn't sit next to the intended recipient, that meant passing the note down the line and leaving our sometimes personal and intimate declarations of affection being compromised by some nosy peer.

Classroom Pets.

No, not that smelly ferret we all came to avoid in the 2nd grade classroom, but our hand-held electronic pets. Giga Pets and Tamagotchis took the world by storm in the mid to late 90s, which taught children the grim reality of pet owner negligence when their virtual pets died of starvation.

Those wall-mounted pencil sharpeners.

Perhaps the loudest way to interrupt a quiet classroom was grinding up your pencil into mulch with these mini wood chippers, which broke just as many pencils as it sharpened. Your childhood fears of accidentally sticking your finger through the spinning blades may soon be put to rest. With more schools adopting electronic devices in the classroom, and the rise of online schools and curriculum, pencils themselves may soon become obsolete all together.

The Science Guy.

Aired between 1993 and 1998, Bill Nye the Science Guy made college-level science courses seem elementary. Full of whacky visuals, sound effects and cringe-worthy science-themed songs parodying the hottest hits of the time, millennials can be proud of getting the most informative and fun introductions into science than any other generation.

The Magic School Bus.

This Saturday morning cartoon made its way into the classroom throughout the 90s, though its premise might be unnerving. Teacher Mrs. Frizzle is so obsessed with having her students learn something, she routinely commandeers a not-to-code school bus to take children on dangerous field trips without any parental permission slips.

Reading Rainbow.

The original 1983 to 2006 run of Reading Rainbow extends nearly the entire millennial generation, bringing us all -- child and adult -- together with a love of reading. Hosted by Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton, this show taught us the power of imagination was as important as it is limitless.

Learning to play the recorder.

No matter how good you were at the recorder, you were immediately drowned out by the entire class full of shrill noise. The instrument just never seems to sound good when there's 20-25 children all competing at once to hear their own version of "Hot Cross Buns."

And the one thing we all hated and already forgot: cursive.

"Someday, cursive will save your life," they said. The constant threats of life-altering consequences of not learning cursive were too stressful for a child to reasonably endure: "if you don't learn cursive, you won't pass in middle school, and subsequently won't go to high school and never go to college and never get a job, etc." Since most of us decided we didn't want to live in a garbage can like Oscar the Grouch, we sweat and bled to learn how to read and write this second language supposedly designed for writing faster. So while you're feeling nostalgic, try thinking of the last time you actually needed to write in cursive besides writing a check. And how often do you do that?
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