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30 Things Only Those Who Are True ’90s Kids Would Understand

30 Things Only Those Who Are True ’90s Kids Would Understand

Ah, the ’90s. No other decade was quite as grungy, outspoken, or innovative. The decade saw incredible rises in new technologies, as well as unexpected social changes. Regardless of the worldwide implications of those 10 years, everyone knows ’90s kids were the real winners of this decade. The unique intersection of new technologies and new perspectives gave ’90s kids a truly distinctive growing up experience. So grab your POGs, CD ROMS, and Pokémon cards, these 30 experiences are things every ’90s kid can appreciate.

1. They Loved JTT

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    There are two kinds of ’90s kids, those who had a crush on JTT, and liars.

    2. They Hated NES Cartridges

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      Game consoles today are light years ahead of where they were for ’90s kids. Despite the limited graphics, wired controllers, nonexistent soundtracks, and simplified levels, we were still stoked to play video games even if the arcade was closed. Every ’90s kid shares the eternal bond of fighting with your NES system to get your game to play. Various combinations of dusting, breathing, and jiggling the power source will always be the hallmark of the ’90s kid experience.

      3. They Had To Be Patient

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        In less than 10 years we’ve gone from clunky cable to audiences controlling exactly when and where they watch a show. Incredible freedom to watch media on mobile devices means kids today will never know the pain of waiting seven entire days for the next episode. Binge watching a show was only possible through mass numbers of VHS tapes, but those always seemed to get ruined anyways. This is possibly the most disturbing hardship of the ’90s kid.

        4. They Had Limited Game Worlds

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          Along with game systems that were first-generation and full of glitches, ’90s kids were forced to play games with limited worlds. Whether the games took place in one room or had a simplified 8-bit scrolling track, the backgrounds, settings, and explorable space amounted to less than one room in Skyrim. 

          5. They Had Limited Game Songs

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            While ’90s kids were playing that game with only one objective over and over, we were happy to perpetually rock out to the 45-second MIDI loop that made the soundtrack. Not only was game space so limited that songs couldn’t even use real instruments, you were virtually guaranteed to sing the song for months afterwards. Oh, and by the way, there’s no memory on your game console, so you can’t save. Every ’90s kid can remember leaving their game system on for a week in order to pass a game, praying their parents wouldn’t notice.

            6. They Had the Real Power Rangers

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              ’90s kids also have the unique distinction of watching the Power Rangers when they used karate and quick thinking, not just weapons.

              7. They Were the Only Ones Who Loved the Internet

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                The Internet in the ’90s was not only limited in the number of websites available, it was also limited because many people from older generations thought the Internet was a trend. Despite the fact that our middle and high school papers had plenty of sources waiting at our fingertips, most ’90s kids can remember being forbidden from using the Internet for research at school. Sure, other generations can complain about having to do their homework by flipping through stacks and stacks of textbooks, but no other generation knows the pain of flipping through stacks of textbooks right next to a computer connected to the Internet. However, who knows how much research we could’ve done on a dial-up connection anyway?

                8. They Had Too Many 2D Cartoons

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                  Not only did ’90s kids have to suffer through subpar gaming, we also had much simpler cartoons. Not only were cartoons always two dimensional, the ones that were three dimensional were rendered on computers less powerful than your iPhone. Though this caused untold heartache, seeing Toy Story on the big screen for the first time was pretty cool.

                  9. They All Wished To Be Topanga

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                    After getting through the entire school week with none of the shows we liked to watch, ’90s kids would get together on Friday nights to tune in to our favorite shows. Every ’90s kid will remember the mainstay Boy Meets World, because all of us spent the weekend crying that we didn’t have Topanga’s hair.

                    10. They Had Too Many Road Trips

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                      I know what you’re thinking, yes, everyone is forced into a road trip at one time or another. But picture everything you hate about a road trip, with absolutely no screens whatsoever. Not only did we not have sophisticated mobile game options like the PSP or 3DS, there was no way to play VHS movies in vehicles for a long time. Plus, don’t forget that MP3 players were still a long ways off, so your very best hope was a pile of tapes and your parents’ Walkman. Combine this with less frequent air travel, and every ’90s kid likely has a few road trip horror stories to tell.

                      11. They Had TV-less Airplanes

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                        Much like being bored to death in the back your parents’ minivan, if you were lucky enough to fly somewhere instead, airplanes didn’t have television screens either. Unlike today, you couldn’t even suffer through reruns of shows you don’t watch anyway, you just had to watch the slightly sweaty stranger next to you slowly fall sleep.

                        12. “Bro, that hyper color looks rad.”

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                          There’s no way to explain why hyper color was cool. If you don’t get it, you just weren’t a ’90s kid.

                          13. They Weren’t Warned About Mufasa’s Death

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                            There were great moments for kids’ movies in the ’90s, and then there were traumatizing ones. Imagine if the first time you watched Simba’s father die, the image was as big as an IMAX screen. 

                            14. They Had To Be Kind And Rewind

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                              Every ’90s kid can commiserate together over the hours we’ll never get back from VCRs. Not only did you have to rewind the movie every time you viewed it, the last person at the video rental store usually didn’t. Infinite sleepovers, family nights, and parties were interrupted by needing to rewind. There is no way to measure the number of moods killed at the hands of this ’90s relic, not to mention the dollars we’ll never get back from overpriced video rental stores. To this day, I, like all ’90s kids, am tempted to bow down in front of a Redbox machine every time I see one.

                              15. They Had Tamagotchi

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                                Just like the plastic and paper toys we collected, ’90s kids were first to see the rise of mobile gaming. Looking at a Tamagotchi now seems boring, but at the time, we were more than happy to have games follow us wherever we went.

                                16. They Played With Gak

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                                  Though the decade was a sea of nonsensical trends, the ’90s also gave rise to one of the greatest toys of all time, Gak. This toy did nothing, had very few uses, and ultimately ended up permanently glued into your mom’s carpet, yet every ’90s kid had to have their own tub. Neon colored and virtually useless, every ’90s kid has a soft spot in their heart for this toy.

                                  17. They Saw Limitless Trends

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                                    Sure the ’80s saw a lot of consumers buy pet rocks, but nobody did trends quite like the ’90s kids. Aside from Gak and Tamagotchi, Pokemon, Digimon, Crazy Bones, POGs, and countless others made the ’90s a heyday of collectible toys. This is one thing ’90s kids remember that parents are probably glad to see go by the wayside.

                                    18. They Had Only Two Players

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                                      Early video consoles not only played simplified, less captivating games, most only had the capacity for two players. If you had a group of friends over or were having a party, you were forced to switch off between players, never truly getting a group experience.

                                      19. They Had Dramatic TV Goodbyes

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                                        In the pre-9/11 world, passengers were not the only people allowed into an airport terminal. Countless TV shows and movies revolved around a last-minute meeting at the airport terminal gate. Such a thing could never happen today, wiping out the credibility of countless TV and movie moments.

                                        20. They Loved Supergroups

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                                          Sure every decade has their share of musical groups, however the ’90s was a golden age of supergroups. Like collectible toys, ’90s kids had limitless choices when it came to boy and girl groups. Many people are happy that the music industry today has thrown away this particular trend, but nothing felt quite as exciting to a ’90s kid as a new N’Sync or Spice Girl CD.

                                          21. They Were Forced To Use The A: Drive

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                                            Only kids from the early ’90s can say they had to use more than four discs to install a game on the computer. Floppy disks were fragile, low capacity, and took up way too much space.

                                            22. They Had Sitcoms

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                                              Another thing ’90s kids have in common is being the last generation to be swept up in a multitude of TV sitcoms. The increasing options for where we get our media, including cable networks, online streaming, and greater access to foreign TV, makes for a much more diverse landscape of TV genres now. The last 15 years have seen a sharp decrease in three camera, laugh track ridden, location limited sitcoms. It seems the years of Seinfeld, Friends, Will and Grace, Roseanne, and similar shows, has finally come to an end.

                                              23. Their Screens Weighed More Than You Do

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                                                In today’s world of shrinking screen thickness, ’90s kids can likely remember having to haul computer or television screens that were a workout in themselves.

                                                24. They Had No Internet Speed

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                                                  Not only was the Internet disregarded by many as inconsequential, it was also slow as molasses. ’90s kids are likely to still hear internet dial-up tones in their nightmares.

                                                  25. They Had Jurassic Park First

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                                                    All the things ’90s kids struggled with we gained back in Jurassic Park. Easily among the most innovative films of all time, it was exciting and mind blowing to see such sophisticated special effects for the first time.

                                                    26. They Loved Mary-Kate and Ashley

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                                                      In a decade rife with tween and teen stars, nobody was quite as ingenious as Mary-Kate and Ashley. The bulk of their vast media empire was built when they were young teens, through a series of direct to video movies. Any ’90s kid, or at least any ’90s kid with a sister, will recall a childhood full of piles and piles of Mary-Kate and Ashley mysteries, stories, and movies.

                                                      27. They Treasured Logo Sweaters

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                                                        Much to the chagrin of our parents, ’90s kids were crazy about name brands. No ’90s closet was complete without at least a few sweaters showing nothing but a brand name in giant letters. Between GAP, Nike, Adidas, and many other brands, every ’90s kid was a glorified billboard at one point or another.

                                                        28. They Didn’t Need Reality TV

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                                                          Reality TV is one of the cheapest genres to shoot, since there’s no “name brand” talent, and filming can take place in everyday locations. With the advent of Survivor (which first hit TVs in Europe in the late ’90s), TV channels were more than happy to begin producing reality TV programs by the boatload. In today’s climate of more reality programming than not, every ’90s kid is caught wishing for the good old days.

                                                          29. They Saw The First Cell Phones

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                                                            When cell phones were invented, they were easily the size of a brick. Ignorant to the ultimately incredible and life-changing things cell phones would bring to the table, every ’90s kid can remember mocking their parents for using clunky, giant, heavy cell phones.

                                                            30. They Had To Use CDs

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                                                              Despite the limited space on CDs, most of us were more than happy to cart around a booklet of hundreds of disks and a Discman just so we could listen to music. Surprisingly, the worst part about using a Discman wasn’t the 30 CDs you needed along with it, it was the a laser that read the disk. If you were jogging, in a car, or even walking home, the laser would skip with the slightest bump to the device. Yet another reason all of us were beyond excited when MP3 players hit the scene in the early 2000s.

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                                                              Alicia Prince

                                                              A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                                              Last Updated on August 19, 2019

                                                              How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                                              How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                                              We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

                                                              When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

                                                              In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

                                                              Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

                                                              If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

                                                              According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

                                                              No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

                                                              When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

                                                              Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

                                                              1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

                                                              When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

                                                              Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

                                                              When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

                                                              Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

                                                              In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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                                                              It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

                                                              You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

                                                              Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

                                                              What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

                                                              You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

                                                              That’s where we all should be.

                                                              So, answer me this:

                                                              How are you, really?

                                                              And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

                                                              Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

                                                              Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

                                                              Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

                                                              Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

                                                              It’s taking control.

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                                                              2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

                                                              You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

                                                              You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

                                                              In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

                                                              Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

                                                              You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

                                                              Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

                                                              But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

                                                              It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

                                                              In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

                                                              It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

                                                              Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

                                                              Change will happen.

                                                              Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

                                                              You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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                                                              And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

                                                              You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

                                                              That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

                                                              You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

                                                              When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

                                                              There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

                                                              3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

                                                              Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

                                                              In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

                                                              If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

                                                              Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

                                                              Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

                                                              How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

                                                              Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

                                                              “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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                                                              Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

                                                              Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

                                                              It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

                                                              Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

                                                              “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

                                                              What would you do if you felt you were enough?

                                                              By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

                                                              So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

                                                              Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

                                                              When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

                                                              You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

                                                              More About Living Your True Self

                                                              Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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