Adults Reveal What It Was Like To Go To School In The Early 2000s
High School was interesting in the early 2000's. The world was in a fully committed and passionate relationship with butterfly clips. JNCO jeans had us all tripping all over one another. We still had to call one another at our house phones (people still had house phones) and just hope the other person was home. Wanted pictures with your friends? Yeah you needed an actual camera for that and you'd have to actually pay someone to develop the pictures. Selfies weren't a thing.
One Reddit user asked: what was High School like in the early 2000's?
The answers gave us a serious nostalgia bomb - so of course we had to share with you!
AIM and MySpace
I didn't get a cell phone until college. We used AIM and myspace to communicate, and passed notes in class. I had a notebook just for passing notes in class, actually. Once it got found by administration and I was in trouble. I was addicted to Sims and almost failed a grade because I played hooky to play the game.
And I just lost The Game.
Early internet was a trip. OMG shoes, Badger Badger, Ebaumsworld etc... We gave birth to the new joke format that became memes and viral videos.
Printed Trash Talk
From the moment I got home from school, until bed, I was logged in to AIM. It was so exciting to put up an away message, do hw and other stuff, and then come back to like 10 messages from various people. Also, people were so catty...like someone would talk sh!t and then it would get printed and shown to all your friends. You'd have a falling out for a few weeks until someone apologized. High School was fun and angsty, wouldn't wanna go back but I have lots of fond memories.
Everyone bringing their CD case to a party and fighting to get to play yours.
Everyone looked like Guy Fieri.
TRL and Hollister
TRL on MTV after school. Had to see if Korn or Backstreet Boys won the top spot. If you wanted to be in the cool clique you have to have Hollister, AE or A&F wardrobes. Hollister has always frustrated me as a brand, because the play up the California surf-and-sun image, but the city of Hollister is in the middle of the state and all they have is cows, so...
No Internet For Projects
None of your teachers would let you use the internet for projects because "it's not reliable." So you'd use it anyway, and then find some page in the Encyclopedia Brittanica that was related, and you'd cite that.
It was totally dope. Rules were lax and wide bottomed pants were in style, fo' shizzle my nizzle. Butterfly clips, pastels pants made of plastic or pleather and cliques were alive and doing well.
Sidekick For Life
Only the rich kids had phones and even then if you didn't T9 then you were super lame! I wanted one of those full screen cells that had the keyboard underneath when you slid it up. Samsung maybe? AND the Motorola Razr. 20 year old me would have killed for that phone, but even more than that - Sidekick for life! I would still use that phone now if I could.
No Camera? No Problem.
Your pants could not ride low enough. Few cell phones, and even if someone managed to have one with a camera the quality was so s** it didn't matter.
Off The Chain/Off The Hook
Columbine was still fresh on everyone's minds so we all had to wear lanyards with our school ID and they started locking the doors. Kids just propped the back doors open because otherwise there wasn't enough time to get from class A to class B if you had to get to a wing on the opposite side of the huge ass school. My school had 5 halls connected by one main hallway so going from one side to another could take 20 minutes but we only had 15 for changing classes. Sometimes you had to run.
We still used floppy discs for school projects since my school had some older computers and not every classroom had a computer with a CD drive. By my senior year USB drives became a more common thing although they were expensive at the time.
When we watched movies in class it was with a VHS tape. My French teacher was the only one with a DVD player in her classroom because she brought one from home.
Kids would throw stink bombs at every school assembly.
There was a controversial "off the chain" vs "off the hook" divide.
From what I remember, everyone dressed super casual. Hoodies, T shirts, baggy pants, girls pretty much all wore flip flops every day despite it being rainy most of the year. No neatly gelled hair, slim chinos and fitted shirts for us. Pajama pants were more common, though. There were a few guys that were Eminem wannabes with bleached buzz cuts. Then you had your typical cliques like jocks, stoners, geeks, and goths.
Kids would walk around with their disc-man and those cheap over the ear headphones that came packaged with them. They'd keep a folder full of CD's except 90% of them would be CD-R's they got from friends.
Most of us didn't own cell phones until my senior year in 2006 when Motorola Razors were really popular. Same thing with social media. I don't remember Myspace being all the rage until 2005 or so, at least at my school.
In the morning my friends and I would go to the computer lab and watch flash animations or play games on Newgrounds or Miniclip.
Coyote Ugly Fashion
-I honestly hated much of the music (except maybe Ryan Adams) and listened to a lot of older stuff and started getting into country, like the Dixie Chicks.
-Coyote Ugly is a good example of the girl's clothes. Super low cut jeans with thick tanks, halters, or western tops. Finish with chunky belt. I also didn't mind the velour lounge suits, so comfy.
-I hated the frosted tip look on guys. But loved when guys started to grow out their hair a bit. LOVED trucker hats on guys. Also the chunky ribbed sweater was really handsome.
-Sex and the City was on Sunday nights, and for the rest of the week radio and TV talk shows would discuss the modern relationship topic the show would bring up. Also a lot of talk about the fashion.
-Still were into photos. We just bought disposable cameras and took a zillion pics, sometimes making photo collages / scrapbooking.
-You could research online for homework, but it was slow. We were only allowed to use 2 internet sources, and the rest had to be a book from the library.
-Lots of burned CDs, and then everyone had an iPod
-The "WB" station = Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls, Angel, etc.
Since almost nobody had cell phones, the way to get a hold of somebody's contact information was to ask for their AIM ICQ or MSN screen name. Met my now husband on ICQ random chat. He was from Australia, I'm from Canada. I was 14 lol. We stayed in touch for 10 years before he came to visit and well, he's still here. Thanks, ICQ! Lol
Teachers Would Think You Were A Drug Dealer
No cell phones, so if you wanted to talk to your friends outside of school, you had to call their house on the only phone, which thank God was cordless so you could take it in your room. If he wasn't there you had to leave a message on his answering machine and hope you were there when he called back. You would make plans ahead of time and flaking was super bad because there was really no way to communicate after you left he house.
A few kids started getting cell phones in like my junior and senior year, but it was only the ones who could afford it and teachers would think you were a drug dealer.
They had to use the term 'personal electronics' on prohibited items lists because phones hadn't eaten cd/mp3 players yet, so you'd three or four separate devices. Also I spent a lot of time getting hassled by the teachers for having chains on my pants.
The Weirdo Group
Me and my friends were the wierdo group: skaters, goths, metalheads etc; we all sorta clung together as there weren't enough of us to form separate cliques.
Pant legs were big enough to fit two legs or more into, and when it snowed it wicked up to your thighs. Studded or spiked belts paired nicely with those jeans, as well as the bondage straps hanging off the back. Chokers, chokers everywhere! Goths had spikey ones, and preppy girls had those stretchy ones. A lot of guys had spiked hair back then too, usually with a color added to the tips. Girls used a lot of fun clips in their hair, and scrunchies. Platform shoes/boots were a must for me, as well as hoodies. I owned and still have to own a lot of hoodies and flannels. Several of us also sported trench coats.
Gay And Out
It was a Big Deal to be gay and out. It usually meant you either had super progressive parents, or parents you weren't afraid to piss off. Our sex advice came from Adam Carrolla and Dr. Drew.
Tests For No Reason
You had all of the overprotective BS as today, but crappier versions that people were less experienced with and easier to skirt around. It seemed like we were the test class for a lot of stuff in my school. So like, the same amount of overburdening standardized tests but they didn't count for anything yet.
We had classes in "how to use a search engine." There were various options available: Lycos, AskJeeves, AltaVista, DogPile, Yahoo. Not everyone had internet at home so getting online was a novelty; people would queue to use the computers at lunchtimes and breaks. Eventually Google took over.
1998-2002. Everything smelled like cucumber melon lotion from Bath and Body Works. Butterfly clips. Putting on gobs of glittery lotion before square dancing in gym class, and the boys acting like we slimed them. Really low-cut jeans with the thong sticking out over the top. Eyebrows plucked to basically one hair's width. Black eyeliner. Watching South Park at parties after band concerts. That weird five minutes when swing music and dancing was hot.
It's fun to sit around and pretend, isn't it?
Or maybe you win the lottery, it doesn't matter. The point is there's a lot of things you can do with a billion dollars, so with the world the way it is let's take a fun trip down imaginary lane.
What would you first do if you ever became a billionaire?
These are the people who would help the world continue running, keeping the sails on the ship and the car on the road. They spend their money responsibly, reasonably, and with caution.
Maybe a little boring, but extremely necessary.
The Bare Minimum
"Turn on double verification in my bank account"
"Bank account or bank accounts?"
Let's Put These Things In Proper Order
"Get an attorney"
"Then an accountant"
"It's so unlikely to become an accidental billionaire, but basically this, the only way to survive it is to create a company that runs your life and has multiple employees. Your attorneys, accountants, drivers and security detail. You are now the CEO of a small company that is dedicated to your safety."
Doing Things For Others As Well As Yourself
"This will sound cliche.
Take care of friends and family.
Travel for remainder of my life."
"You would be popular for taking care of your friends and it's a good thing to do, but i feel like it would get weird once the word gets out. You might suddenly find yourself surrounded by a lot of long-lost friends."
Of course, if you've been gifted billions of dollars you don't have to go down the reasonable route. Instead you could take all of your money and do something silly with it. Something obnoxious.
A Whole Lot Of Nothing
"Nothing, with that kind of money I could afford not to do anything for a while."
"Anyone with a billion dollars who is still working is a psychopath."
"Buy two senators and make them fight."
"They are surprisingly cheap; can you get a few more and let the rest of us watch?"
Start A Lot Of Beef With A Lot Of People
"I'd employ a law firm that semi-exclusively litigated my petty squabbles with the world. False advertising. Cop car paint colors. Whatever else that bothers me."
There's no explanation for these ones. They say money makes you eccentric and these people's dream purchases are proof of that idea.
Who's Gonna Stop You?
"I would never tell anyone and pull money out of my @ss when i need it."
@ss pennies do give a certain amount of confidence."
Sounds Like A YA Novel In The Making
"I'd build a Hunger Games theme park complete with an Arena and invite 24 children a year."
That's Some Fancy Ketchup, Bro
"I'd still eat Kraft Dinner but with really expensive ketchups. Dijon ketchup."
"And an emu. I bet you always wanted an emu."
Dream big. Have fun imagining your future.
Just don't dream of a death match for kids. That's probably not an ideal way to spend your cash.
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Our interactions with strangers can be pleasant – whether it's a fellow customer at a store smiling at us or talking sports or other mutual interests with a friendly bartender.
But then there are those who you just can't figure out but engage in a conversation with anyway until something in your gut tells you to abort.
Whether it's an ominous situation or a mysterious individual, your instincts telling you something is not right is usually accurate and what happens next depends on whether or not you act on what your inner voice tells you.
"What is Your Best 'I'm in Danger' Story?
These predicaments could have resulted in severe consequences. Or not.
"Driving through jasper on our way to leduc when my dad saw a family on the side of the road looking off into the bush off the side of the road. So we pull over and walk over to ask if they need any help. They say that they saw a bear in there and were throwing rocks at it to get it to come out so they could take pictures. My dad told us to get back to the car and we sped off down the highway. To this day i wonder what happened to those idiots."
"Not me, but a really close friend was going through flight school and they were going through emergency procedures and the instructor asked something along the lines of."
"What would you do if you noticed the power was lost?"
"And at that very moment, the aircraft lost power and my buddy said 'Well that's a neat trick and makes it feel real.' To which the instructor said 'No, that's not me. This is real.' Apparently, my buddy giggled and said 'oh no.'"
"And then they had to crash into the gulf and he swam away."
"I can't think of a better example than that."
The Thing In The Bushes
"When I was about 5-6, my mom and her best friend took us kids out huckleberry picking. We brought a battery power radio so we were making noise and would not startle any wildlife. We were all kind of spread out around these wild berry bushes. The adults heard this snorting, stomping, and sounds of a large animal moving through the dense overgrown areas coming towards us. They freaked out, screaming for us kids to run to them so we could run to the truck together. Moms friend threw her FULL bucket of huckleberries (5 gallon bucket, took all day to fill) at whatever was coming, hoping to distract it..."
"It was a cow."
You never know what strangers are capable of, especially where drugs are involved.
Sacrifice For The Devil
"I used to work in a group home. I was working a night shift and one of the residents was pacing by his room. I asked him what he was doing, he went into his room quickly. I assumed he was on meth since that's what he liked doing. Thought not much of it until a few hours goes by. I go to get some water and heat up my food, and he is standing in the hallway. Again, I ask him how he's doing and try to check in with him. This guy starts speaking in some made-up language in a loud whisper (think Harry Potter talking to the basalisk). He then takes like 4 steps slowly toward me then stops. He says 'I can't stop him forever.'"
"I call police for his and the the safety of the house."
"Police show up and talk to him for a bit in private. One officer comes back to my office and says 'yeeeah, he's not himself right now. Said the date was May 50, 2100.' It was January... and 2015. They took him away. They also found and took a pocket knife off of him and gave it to me for safekeeping."
"Now if that wasn't already messed up, I went back on the security footage and I saw him stand outside of my office door (outside my view) for like 30 minutes without me realizing. Standing still, like in paranormal activity."
"I checked the camera from when he was speaking the weird language, and he was standing there for like 20 minutes heavy breathing before I walked by."
"2 weeks goes by and he's released from the hospital sober and mentally present again. He decided to move out of the house. He came by to grab his stuff, and pulled me aside to apologize. I forgave him and tried to brush it off. Buddy looks me in the eyes and said that he was planning on killing me that night for a blood sacrafice since he was seeing some crazy stuff and he believed a demon was controlling him, but the police ruined his plan."
"I kept the knife as a morbid souvenir."
The following people these Redditors engaged with were very suspect. No drugs were apparently involved, but they were apparently quite mental.
"So, just for context, I'm Scottish. I was on Holiday in Durham and it was late afternoon. We just arrived and we were going to visit the Cathedral."
"So these lads (likely students, they were obviously on a night out or something) came up to me and were like 'hey do you know how to get to so-and-so street' and I was like 'sorry, I'm not from here.' Suddenly the guy got mad and was all 'are you Irish, ARE YOU IRISH?!' And I was like 'No I'm Scottish' (but I was sure I was going to get beaten up because, let's be honest, if he's like this to someone who's Irish then he'll not exactly be hunky Dory with Scots), but when I said that his demenor did a 180 and he was all 'oh right, you're cool, sorry to bother you' and walked off."
"And that's the story of when I was nearly hatecrimed because someone thought I was Irish."
"Went out for a drink with a pretty girl I got talking to on a bus. She was a bit awkward, but seemed kinda fun. She kept talking about her roommate, and the crazy hi-jinks they got up to. She even joked that we would have a threesome if I went back to her place."
"We went back to hers... at which point I found out that her roommate was a barbie doll that she talked to like it was a real person. Her place clearly hadn't been cleaned for years, and the toilet was full of green 'matter.'"
"The final straw for me was when I stepped on her cat's corpse..."
Not The Basement
"Couple of years ago I was picking up a chair I had bought from craigslist. I drove to this guys house and got a creepy vibe instantly when I stepped inside, for reasons I can't really understand to this day. After a minute or so of small talk, where he was mostly busy staring at me and not completely focused on the conversation, he asked me to follow him down to the basement where the chair supposedly was. As he went for the staircase he raised the volume of the music playing to a level that was distinctly louder than normal."
"I noped the f'k out and went straight home again."
In middle school, I was not a popular kid. So it surprised me when my fellow classmates who were viewed as "popular" actually engaged in a conversation with me during lunch when I was sitting by myself.
They asked me what my favorite food was and what TV shows I watched. I genuinely thought they were interested in me, but I was also skeptical about their forced friendliness.
My suspicions were confirmed when, in my peripheral vision, I saw their buddies dragging a trashcan over towards me.
I blurted, "gotta go!" and I darted. Those jerks were going to throw me in the garbage!
Chocolate milk hair and spaghetti sauce-drenched shirt was avoided that day, thanks to my gut instincts. Damn bullies.
Deciding to foster a child, while clearly admirable, is the furthest thing from a no-brainer. So much consideration must go into the decision to provide safety and security to a child who hasn't always had it.
Nobody has ever left a thriving, trauma-free family dynamic and found themselves suddenly plopped into the foster care system.
A child arrives there because the adults in their lives have struggled to give them what they need, be that love, nutrition, physical safety, or stable emotional environments.
So a foster parent enters a child's narrative a little after the fact. That can make the whole experience a real challenge.
Curious to learn the specifics of those challenges, Redditor RaeRai293 asked:
"People who are or have been in the foster system: What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a foster parent?"
Many people unpacked the nuanced dynamics of a well-known element of foster care: children arrive with a history of trauma.
"I had a friend growing in up whose biological parents were foster parents. I remember that when I went round I wasn't allowed alone with certain children there. We are still friends now and said that alot of children are from abusive families, physically, mentally."
"So you need to be prepared to receive children that have experienced horrific things in their life and the baggage that brings."
You Will Not Be Perfect
"Take care of yourself. You are not a superhero. If you don't remember self care (mental, emotional & physical), you will struggle."
"You cannot give from an empty cup and foster kids will drain you. They are suffering from trauma and you will feel that. Don't ignore your needs or they will suffer more."
Prepare for Some Sorrow
"It can be extremely heartbreaking. My aunt and uncle fostered a few kids. The 2 youngest girls were i believe 6 and 4 when they took them in. Their birth mother was an addict and sex worker."
"I remember once we had planned a camping trip."
"When we told them we were going camping they started hysterically crying. I later found out to them 'camping' was sleeping out in the streets."
Coming on the back of those upsetting realities, the foster parent's conduct and parenting style needs to be very deliberate.
"Regardless of how long the kid stays with you, they will remember how you treat them. Be patient, many may not understand what is happening at first. Most will be angry but even if they upset you don't let it show."
It's Not About Your Opinion
"Have lots of empathy for everyone involved. Put aside your judgments and listen. Figure out how you can best serve the kids. There is no magic pill that will help them. It takes time, therapy, patience and a lot of empathy."
Not For No Reason
"go easy on them. We dont act out because we just feel like it or hate you, we act out because we're not used to being treated nicely and in the back of our head we always know that we could be sent away any day so we might not wanna get attached too fast."
"my sister and I went into foster care when we were really young and we came from a very abusive family so we just expected every family to be like that? I'd flinch every time someone tried to touch or hug me and I still don't like it. you just gotta be very patient because you never really know what they went through"
Last, others reminded folks that the point of foster care is to provide temporary safety until the child can, ideally, return home.
For obvious reasons, that's so important for people to get straight.
Know the Goal
"The system is designed to reunify families as its first goal. If you are in it to adopt you will have conflicting priorities. If you're not, you should keep in mind that in order for a successful reunification to happen, you really need to forge a relationship with the bio parent(s) and in a sense, foster them as well."
"Almost all parents who are part of the system probably should have been foster kids based on what they grew up with. Treat the kid (s) as part of your family but recognize the pain of a parent having their child taken away. Regardless of what they did, they are probably hurting"
A Different Thing Entirely
"The goal of foster care is reunification, not adoption. I wish more foster parents understood that. You're not entitled to someone else's child, and foster care is not some free version of adoption."
"It can be a result, but the goal 99% of the time is reunification with bio parents. Also, no matter the situation, there WILL be trauma. It's not easy."
Remind Children Too
"First of all; As a foster you are part of a system trying to reunite families."
"First time children are going to be confused and frightened, reassure them that everyone, including you, is working on getting them back to their family."
"Children that have been in the system before will still be frightened, but might not show it, they may also be scared of going back to their parents."
"Each will be different and you need to adjust to their needs. Emotional and physical."
"Treat them as you treat your own child. This means feeding them the same,(and healthy foods) getting the clothes they need, making sure they get to the dentist and doctor, giving them treats/toys/fun things as well."
"Give them their own safe space."
"Allow them to make choices (which shirt/shoes do you want? Do you like this food? What meal do you want tonight, choice 1 or chose 2?) They have no control in their own lives, this helps give them some control."
"Get them a suitcase, that's theirs, that they can take with them when they move on. Most don't have one."
"Give them an allowance from the money you get for housing them and spend the rest of the money on things they need. It's for them, to help you care from them and it's not yours to vacation on or by your (bio) kid a new iPad."
"THEY WILL REMEMBER YOU FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES. Someday you may be a horror story about their past, or you may be the one who gets remembered fondly and with love. You dammed better be the one they remember with love."
Perhaps fostering a child has crossed your mind in the past. Here's hoping this list helped you iron out your motives, concerns, and confidence level.
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People Divulge The One Thing They Want To Tell Their Parents But Are Afraid It'll Break Their Hearts
Who knows us better than our parents?
A lot of people, in fact. Not every person's relationship with their parents is perfect, and sometimes people have reasons why they hide things or choose not to be entirely honest that are perfectly valid. It takes a lot of courage to be open––especially if the environment in which we grew up wasn't exactly ideal.
That's what we were reminded of after Redditor Magical-Potato-Chips asked the online community,
"What's something you've wanted to tell your parents but won't because it'll break their hearts?"
"I hate staying..."
"I hate staying in their house when visiting because it is so messy and their dogs are not trained properly and all they do is watch TV all day.
My old room was my one sanctuary, I kept it completely clean and clutter-free, but then my dad took it over, and now it is floor to ceiling stacked with boxes and junk.
I love them to death, but living in all the junk, smells, and rowdy dogs just isn't enjoyable."
"I do think..."
"Probably just a real talk about how abusive my mother was to us. She's mentally ill and I've forgiven her. I do think she tried her best, but she didn't have the right tools to be a good mother. It would stir up more issues than it's worth. I just accept her for who she is."
Sometimes that's easier.
"I was afraid..."
"I slide my feet whenever I walk on wood floors, no matter where, at every age no matter what. I was afraid of my mom knowing I was up and around. The more noise I made, the more negative attention I received."
This is sad. When we hear that "children should be seen and not heard," we should remembeer that these are the consequences.
"I was easily manipulated..."
"Their bad example of love, marriage, and family led me to several abusive relationships. I was easily manipulated because I was terrified of being abandoned."
"That my dad..."
"That my dad dismissing my interests as a child and preteen makes me not want to talk to him. And he's said a decent amount of hurtful things he's never apologized for.
He retired and lives across the country, and I just pretend I'm bad at calling/texting."
"My mom is extremely bad..."
"I was so obedient when I was a child only because I was afraid that I would agitate them and get shouted at any time.
My mom is so proud that she raised an extremely well-behaved and polite daughter. But the only reason I was like that was because I lived in a fear of violating the adults' rules and the consequences. My mom is extremely bad at controlling emotions."
Sometimes talking to a parent can feel like dealing with a land mine.
"I am living with my family of Muslims and I go to a Muslim school and I hate it. My parents will either be really sad or really angry if I tell them I am atheist so I have to be quiet and pretend.
I can't eat, wear or do what I want and I have to constantly listen to teachers and students preaching about death and how I will burn in an eternal flame if I don't believe. It's terrible, sometimes I have doubts and going to school to listen to them talk is legitimately scary."
"That I'm always sweet and agreeable..."
"That I'm always sweet and agreeable not because that's how I really am, but because I'm terrified that they'll kick me out if I disagree too strongly or cause any strife. I'm disabled and can't work. There's nowhere else for me to go.
My parents have never given me any indication that they would do such a thing, but they could, so I can't trust that they never will. I'm always on my guard, trying to figure out what will make them happy and what I need to hide."
My heart breaks for this person.
"That would kill my mother."
"That, yes, my sister is right. You were emotionally abusive when we were kids.
That would kill my mother. She vents to me about how awful it feels to hear that from my sister. She tried her best."
"As a result..."
"I never went to them when I was hurt or needed help because I always knew how stressed they were dealing with their own problems. They didn't hide it well.
As a result, I often feel the desire for attention that I never got, and have to avoid attention-seeking urges. Sometimes I blame it on them, even though I know that isn't fair of me."
Having trouble with your parents?
"Particularly for children who had a difficult relationship with their parents as kids, recognizing a lack of closeness with parents in adulthood can feel like another, added layer of grief. In any case, feeling a distance from one's parents is undoubtedly difficult, but there are some strategies that you can use to cope," writes Dr. Samantha Rodman, a clinical psychologist and columnist with TalkSpace.
Practicing acceptance, focusing on qualities that your parents do have, finding support and solidarity, and being the parent you wish you had can go a long way.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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