Skip To Content
  • Viral badge
  • Bullseye badge

34 Unforgettable Back-To-School Things All ’90s Teenage Girls Did

Slip on your old pair of chunky sneakers and take a walk down memory lane.

by , ,

1. Immediately grabbing a JanSport when picking out a new backpack...

Via etsy.com

Which of course you quickly customized with a Sharpie or Wite-Out pen.

2. ...unless you went for a clear option — which meant you had to obsessively pre-select all the items you would put in it.

http://www.bromansales.com/clear-plastic-vinyl-security-backpack
https://www.etsy.com/listing/89996364/amazing-90s-clear-smiley-face-mini-pvc

And of course, aside from having to constantly worry about everything looking good inside it, you also had to worry about it turning yellow quickly.

3. Picking out the perfect day planner.

https://www.etsy.com/dk-en/listing/159998242/90s-lisa-frank-organizer
https://www.etsy.com/dk-en/listing/159998242/90s-lisa-frank-organizer

Of course all this really did was serve as your address book and hold all the wallet-size group photos your friends had taken at the portrait studio in the mall.

4. Getting several of these bad boys in order to decorate your locker, book covers, or folders with:

Via etsy.com

Hell, you even decorated your room with them!

5. When it came to folders and binders, you were all about Five-Star...

Via ebay.com

It helped you organize the shit out of your school life.

6. ...or the clear slip-front binder, 'cause it REALLY let you make it your own.

Via packzen.com

Slip in a few magazine cutouts and some personal photos into the clear outer pockets, add some decorative marker accents, and voilà: IT WAS TOTALLY YOU!

7. Attempting to re-create the back-to-school style, hair, and makeup tips that looked cool in Seventeen, YM, and Teen.

http://saleintothe90s.tumblr.com
http://magazines.famousfix.com/tpx_2765221/ym-magazine-united-states-march-1998/
http://saleintothe90s.tumblr.com/post/96425205499/141-going-back-to-school-with-seventeen-magazine

They never were as easy to duplicate as they claimed — totally the Pinterest of its time.

8. Going to the drugstore to carefully pick out your new mocha lipstick and lip liner...

Via hellogiggles.com

So. Many. Mocha. Colors.

9. ...as well as stocking up on the new Revlon Street Wear nail polishes and eyeshadows.

http://mycitygossip.com/remember-revlon-street-wear/
http://mycitygossip.com/remember-revlon-street-wear/

No one needed to know that it wasn't Urban Decay.

10. Of course you also HAD to pick up one or two flip glosses...

Via hairsprayandhighheels.net

It tasted so good that you'd have to constantly reapply it after licking most of it off.

11. ...and some Binaca — to keep your breath fresh around your crush(es).

Via gmwusa.com

Which of course you sprayed 'til you coughed and/or burned the inside of your mouth.

12. Begging your parents to get you a TI-83 graphing calculator.

Via csc.villanova.edu

This was a true lifesaver!!! Plus, you got to play games on it.

13. Or trying to get your parents to concede that you NEEDED a beeper.

Via the-90s-kid-memories-blog.tumblr.com

"Mom, like, now you can reach me whenever you need me. I promise to call you back as soon as you page me!"

14. Carefully selecting which teen heartthrob cutouts and cool magazine ads you were going to decorate the inside of your locker with.

http://lobbizen.blogspot.com/2015/05/amarcord-90s-riviste-per-ragazzi-teen.html
http://blog.joins.com/media/folderListSlide.asp?uid=lkw3106&folder=15&list_id=12160577&page=1
http://number-a.com/blog/2011/04/21/nostalgia-ck-one/

Then having to put them all together in a properly arranged collage.

15. Taking a thumbtack and scratching out the face of a former friend, and then hanging the photo in your locker as well.

Thinkstock
Ron Galella / Getty Images

It sent a ~subtle~ message. Plus, you looked good in the photo — why would you throw it out?

16. Stocking up on oh-so-pretty Gelly Roll pens...

Via childrenofthenineties.blogspot.com

You ended up losing almost all of them during the first week back.

17. ...~edgy~ pencils...

Via gurl.com

"Pencils your parents won't swipe!"

18. ...and colorful pencil grips.

Via ranker.com

How else were you going to prevent your hand from getting sore and have nice penmanship?

19. Selecting some cute pencil toppers to accessorize your new pencils with.

Via hellogiggles.com

And then being worried that it was going to fall off.

20. And, of course, getting a cool pencil case to put them all in.

Via fadsterapp.tumblr.com

Which ultimately just stayed hidden in your locker.

21. Thinking you were going to be hot shit with your wild-colored hair mascara highlights:

http://www.millaj.com/new/0104.shtml
http://nineteenninetyschild.tumblr.com/page/6

Even though you knew all it really did was get flaky and make you look like you had blue dandruff.

22. Making sure your face was first-day-back ready by scrubbing the shit out of it with Sea Breeze...

Via walgreens.com

"No, the stinging and dried-out skin means it's working!"

23. ...wiping your makeup off with these...

24. ...and using goopy green facial masks.

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=79218&catid=182937&aid=338666&aparam=79218&kpid=79218&CAWELAID=120142990000022678&CAGPSPN=pla&kpid=79218
http://cake-pie.com/review-the-body-shop-tea-tree-face-mask/2154/

There are probably still some dried out fallen flakes of the Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask hiding in the corner of your parents' home.

25. Finding the perfect chunky shoes to go with your outfits...

https://www.etsy.com/listing/101003862/chunky-cream-canvas-90s-guess-t-strap
http://saleintothe90s.tumblr.com/post/96425205499/141-going-back-to-school-with-seventeen-magazine
http://www.rememes.com/listas/32-lamentables-tendencias-moda-noventas-jovenes-141451730125513795

The chunkier the better.

26. ...but also finding a way to wear this classic a few more times before it got cold.

Via themid.com

Who we kidding? You could always find something to wear these with; this shoe went with EVERYTHING!!!

27. Having to make the crucial choice about which rubber band color(s) you were going to get on your braces at the orthodontist appointment before your first day back.

Via rubberbandsforbraces.com

"I want blue... Wait, no, maybe purple?"

28. Making several important back-to-school clothing shopping trips to the mall with your friends, and then with your parents.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
http://offbeat.topix.com/slideshow/15457/slide12

And, of course, having at least one argument with your parents about something they refused to buy you.

29. Accessorizing with rings, necklaces, chokers, and earrings from Claire's.

Tim Boyle / Getty Images
http://saleintothe90s.tumblr.com/post/96425205499/141-going-back-to-school-with-seventeen-magazine

Could never have too many.

30. As well as some essential hair clips...

Via etsy.com

Butterfly hair clips were the jam!

31. ...and headbands.

Via insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com

These were always your default hair accessory.

32. Picking out what your new signature scent should be.

http://fuckyeahnostalgicbeauty.tumblr.com/post/107636262988/the-body-shop-dewberry-perfume-oil
http://www.pbfingers.com/2013/04/10/first-perfume/
http://hellogiggles.com/90s-beauty-products-2/

"OK, Sun-Ripened Raspberry is going to be my daily day scent, and Gap Dream is my night and weekend scent."

33. The thrill of CALLING the Delia's number to place your order when your parents agreed to get you stuff.

http://iheartthenineties.tumblr.com/
http://iheartthenineties.tumblr.com/
http://iheartthenineties.tumblr.com/

And, if you did get something, praying that it would arrive before school started. Or worse yet: the gutting disappointment when something was backordered.

34. And finally, the stress of having to figure out what your first-day-back outfit would be.

Paramount Pictures

Unlike Cher, you didn't have her closet or her computer to help you out.

Nostalgia Trip

Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

Newsletter signup form