18 After-School Rituals That Kids Born After 1995 Will Never Understand


1. Saying good bye to your friends and knowing that you probably wouldn’t be talking to any of them until tomorrow, because nobody had cell phones and it was kind of definitely great. Other than some light AIM chatting, you were free to spend the evening decompressing.

2. Racing into your pantry to get first-pick of the delicious snacks waiting for you: Gushers, Fun Dip, Fruit Rollups, Oreos, Danimals, etc. That incredible list would go on and on.

3. And choosing a drink to go with it – Capri Sun, Hi-C, Surge, Yoo-hoo, or anything else that could eventually lead to Diabetes.

4. Staring at the TV Guide channel for five minutes while you ate your snack, trying to figure out what you wanted to watch – because On Demand, Netflix, and the magical “guide” button on remote controls did not yet exist.

5. And then screaming in misery when your little sibling distracted you, causing you to miss the line ups for the next few hours on Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and ABC Family.

6. Eventually giving up on the TV Guide channel and just watching TRL instead. Because maybe, just maybe, they would show 30 seconds of the “Say My Name” music video today.

7. Racing to get all your homework done so that you could do whatever you wanted all evening, even if that just meant sitting in front of the tv for hours – watching Boy Meets World and then Sister, Sister and then Even Stevens and then Lizzie McGuire and then That’s So Raven. 

8. And, when your realized you forgot a couple worksheets at school, getting out the phone book and calling all of your friends to see if any of them could fax it to you.

9. Not knowing the answers to some of your homework questions, and actually having to look them up in your textbook, because Google was still a young, naive baby.

10. And sometimes getting desperate enough to Ask Jeeves. Even though Jeeves was a total jabroni.

11. Having company in the form of Clippy from Microsoft Word while you wrote a 5 paragraph essay on your “favorite summer memory.”

12. And then getting super annoyed because Clippy would never shut the fuck up.

13. Giving up on your homework and deciding to play a computer game instead, because they were kind of educational. After all, you learned more from Oregon Trail than you ever did in history. And you also wouldn’t be the intellectual that you are today without Math Blasters, Jump Start Typing, or Storybook Weaver.

14. And when that didn’t do the trick for you: opening Microsoft Paint and drawing stupid, pointless things with your mouse while you waited for your favorite show to come on tv.

15. Or playing the SIMS and killing everyone off and thinking you were groundbreaking and hilarious.

16. And when you started to feel pent up and restless, you’d hop on your bike and race over to your neighbor’s house. Because they had the greatest, most coveted possession of every prepubescent: a trampoline.

17. And if you needed to burn off some steam but you didn’t feel like hanging out with neighborhood friends: turning on your boom box and jamming out to the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, or N’SYNC. And having to switch cd’s each time you wanted to hear a different band, because THAT’S HOW LIFE WORKED BACK THEN. A “NOW” cd was the closest thing there was to an iPod.

18. And, finally, after a long day of avoiding homework and trying to burn off all your pent-up energy from school: settling down on the couch to watch the Disney Channel Original Movie of that evening. And every single time, praying that it would be Smart House or Brink! After all, you needed something good to talk about while you AIM-chatted on the side with your crush. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Kim Quindlen

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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