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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 April 8, 2020

                                                              11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

                                                              11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

                                                              We all know some overachievers: supermoms who manage to get online degrees between cleaning, cooking, and taking kids to practice; students who write 10-page papers when the directions call for 4; managers whose resumes look more like pages from the Guinness book of Records.

                                                              How do they do it all? How is it possible that one person can graduate at the top of their class, found an orphanage in India, run 30k marathons, write a best-selling book, travel all over the world and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese while having a full-time job?

                                                              What’s the secret of an overachiever? Here’re 11 things overachievers do differently that you can learn from.

                                                              1. They Know How to Manage Their Time

                                                              It’s pretty simple actually – you can never become an overachiever if you don’t know how to organize your time efficiently.

                                                              The great thing is that overachievers are ready to share their knowledge and time management talent with the rest of the world. Read The 4-Hour Workweek or The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

                                                              2. They Don’t Spend Hours Watching TV or Playing Computer Games

                                                              Mostly because they have better things to do, like exercising, reading, spending an evening with their family or volunteering to work in the local soup kitchen. Their philosophy is simple – the world is full of wonderful things to try, explore and experience. Watching TV is not one of them.

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                                                              3. They Are Obsessed With Perfection

                                                              Imagine Steve Jobs’ work approach and you’ll understand the level of perfection and painfully high standards that overachievers set for themselves and those around them. Often it pays off (especially if they focus on just one domain). But sometimes compulsive over-striving turns into a sure-fire road to disappointments and unfinished tasks.

                                                              Learn how to strike a balance: How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up

                                                              4. They Know How To Inspire

                                                              Overachievers learn quickly that it is much easier to achieve goals through collaboration (and especially delegation). So they know how to inspire, encourage, persuade and motivate people around them. Even though they often drive their team crazy with their stubbornness and perfectionism, people quickly follow under the spell of their enthusiasm and greater vision.

                                                              Learn these 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively.

                                                              5. They Set Clear Goals

                                                              The term “overachiever” itself implies that they know how to achieve goals. That is kind of hard to do if your goals are vague, unclear and lack specific deadline, which is why overachievers educate themselves, read goal-setting books, and think about the best way to approach a new task.

                                                              Although, it’s worth mentioning that overachievers usually use their time management and goal-setting skills towards competitive, “I want to kick butt” type of goals rather than self-improvement, mastery goals.

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                                                              Take a look at these tips to help you set clearer goals: What Are SMART Goals (And How to Use Them to Become Successful)

                                                              6. They Are Organized

                                                              It’s hard to imagine a disorganized overachiever, isn’t it? Their great organizational and planning skills usually serve three main purposes: keeping track of time, keeping track of progress and keeping track of achievements.

                                                              This hasn’t been confirmed by scientific research yet, but overachievers might actually get a “runner’s high” from crossing tasks off their to-do lists, and making new to-do lists.

                                                              Here’s How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People

                                                              7. They Try to Avoid Failure at All Costs

                                                              Some psychologists believe that overachievers place their self-worth on their competence, driven by an underlying fear of failure. Rather than setting and striving for goals based on a pure desire to achieve, their core motivation becomes avoiding failure. This may explain the fact that overachiever beat themselves up for even little setbacks and seemingly-insignificant mistakes.

                                                              But be aware that having a strong fear of failure can wrek havoc your productivity. So the best thing to do? Learn to conquer the fear: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It)

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                                                              8. They Love Awards

                                                              Who doesn’t love them, right? True enough, but unlike most people who like to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts, overachievers are bent on collecting ‘awards’, be it university degrees, spelling bee prizes or unusual destinations.

                                                              While loving awares isn’t bad, it’s even better if you’re driven by internal motivation instead of external ones which could be quite uncontrolable or unstable: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It).

                                                              9. They Don’t Understand the Concept of Work Hours

                                                              Don’t get surprised if you receive a work-related email anywhere between 8 p.m. and midnight. It’s something overachievers usually do and you weren’t the only one. At least 20 more emails have been sent during these hours to other people. The concepts of over-achieving and working overtime usually go hand in hand.

                                                              The downside of this is an imbalnced life, which may need to problems in other aspects of life including health and relationships. A better way is to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance.

                                                              10. They Rest

                                                              Overachievers might often be labeled as “workaholics”, because they often ignore bodily signs of hunger, fatigue and even a full bladder, hoping to finish just one last little part. This doesn’t mean that overachievers don’t know how to disconnect and relax.

                                                              True that they tend to work in the highest gear, but they also have enough sense to give themselves time to rest and recharge. Of course, they do it in their own overachieving way, preferring climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or hiking through the Amazon jungle to lazing on the beach.

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                                                              11. Overachievers Continuously Educate Themselves

                                                              A great quality that most overachievers have is the hunger for knowledge. They surround themselves with bright people. They know how to listen, and most importantly, they get tons of mentoring.

                                                              Despite the fact that overachievers want to excel at everything they set their minds on, they are humble enough to admit that to get on top of their game, they need help. And they are willing to pay someone to push, coach and guide them.

                                                              You too can learn How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You.

                                                              More Tips to Help You Achieve Success

                                                              Featured photo credit: Nghia Le via unsplash.com

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