Remembering middle school and the symbols that defined a lost era

Pour one out for the behemoth of a cellular device that was the Motorola RAZR. It’s time to sit back, relax, and recall the good ol’ days.

And by “good ol’ days,” I mean literally the least enjoyable time in every young person’s life. Nearly everyone had braces and no matter how cool you felt when you changed your bands from purple to blue when you got them tightened, you weren’t. Middle school was the painful era during which everyone was suddenly forced to transform from a whiny little kid to a full adult within a two or three year time span. Puberty happened. Acne happened. Poor fashion choices certainly happened.

For the sake of old times, here’s what else happened:

RAZR Phone

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In order to call your mom to tell her it was time to pick you up from gymnastics or text someone by pushing the same button 500 times to get one letter in style, you HAD to have the Motorola RAZR. You were even more envied on the school bus if it was in hot pink.

The “Scene” scene

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If you were young, trendy and sad, the best way to express these qualities was through scene fashion. For those unfamiliar, the scene style was the evolutionary stage of outsider fashion that fell between the goth and hipster eras. It was a glorious collision of neon, heavy eyeliner, skater shoes, multi-colored hair, skinny jeans and anything that said “Rawr” on it.

Brand names

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The coolest girls had Juicy Couture sweatsuits that matched on the top and bottom, but for the majority of us, the go-to shopping spots were Aeropostale, Hollister, Abercrombie, and any other store that stank of perfume, dimmed the lights, blasted music and sold the Vampire Weekend album “Contra” in wicker baskets at checkout. The bigger the brand name was spelled across your chest, the better.

Sims 2

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There was a time in my life when I played so much Sims I swear I was fluent in their native tongue. The first installment of Sims was laggy, the images were pixelated and there was only so much your Sims could do even if you did Ctrl+shift+C rosebud;:. Sims 3 was far too detailed and gave you too much control over your virtual humanoids’ worlds. Sims 2 was the sweet spot.

Dance Dance Revolution

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AKA the best Christmas present EVER and DDR for short, Dance Dance Revolution was once the best way to get your Xbox-addicted children to get off of their asses and sweat for a bit. Almost half of the songs were in Japanese but the dance moves that resulted from stomping on your mat in accordance with the arrows that appeared onscreen transcended all language barriers.

Twilight

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Fantasy thrillers with female leads were all the rage in this era. Before Katniss Everdeen was slaying with a bow and arrow and risking her life for the sake of her district, Bella Swan was being pale and helpless somewhere in Washington state. Twilight books were the trash TV of young adult literature. Poorly written, morally questionable but sooo entertaining.

AIM

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For some reason no one told me that my AOL username should somehow, in some way identify who I was so I spent two years of my life as Tropicalbreez411. Before Facebook statuses, away messages let your friends know that you were “at soccer practice, studyin then chillin” and to “txt itttt <3”.

Jersey Shore

Image result for snooki drunk on beach

If you didn’t know what GTL stood for, you must’ve lived under a rock. There was nothing more entertaining in 2010 than watching some chick called “Snooki” who wore her hair in a dome get drunkenly dragged off of a beach mid-day… nothing. Additionally, fist-pumping was God sent for school dances for those of us who had zero rhythm.

Objectively bad club music

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Speaking of middle school dances, Crank That (Soulja Boy) was a staple. If you didn’t know how to crank that, you sat on the bleachers and took a water break when this song came on. Songs by Katy Perry, Sean Kingston and the Black Eyed Peas all made it on the exclusive list of 120 songs my iPod Shuffle allowed me to download (along with the Weird Al discography, but I think that was more of a me thing).

I know this is nowhere near a complete list. If you were in middle school between 2007 and 2011 let me know what I’m missing. What are the most ridiculous trends, songs and symbols from your middle school days? Comment below or email me to let me know what you remember.

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