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.