Let’s be real, some of us were just not cute in middle school or high school. Some of us did not understand how to wear just the right amount of eyeliner and not look like Jenny Humphrey in her last season of Gossip Girl. Some of us had no idea that our poof hairdo just wasn’t cute. There were those of us that, though we blossomed eventually, were just straight up weird for a long time. You’re not alone, friend.
Maybe you were the obnoxious kind of awkward. You know, you wanted to be likable in the funny way, but unfortunately, you were less funny and more awkward and yelly. Luckily for you, your friends probably were too (or a different kind of weird) so it wasn’t that bad. Maybe people judged you for being weird, but you didn’t mind. Your squad was weird. To be real, your squad is probably still weird. But like, you’ve learned how to chill out in public a little. You’ve stopped making “that’s what she said” jokes excessively, and you’ve stopped making the most obnoxious jokes you can just because the more random, the more lolz. Yeah, we’ve calmed down a bit, thankfully.
Wearing some strange article of clothing and wearing it way too often. Some of us were punk scene kid weird and owned an arsenal of band t-shirts that all came from Hot Topic and shrunk after the first wash. Luckily, we’ve mostly traded those for XL sorority tees from Houndstooth. But back then, we rocked those shirts. Or maybe you were the kid who wore way too tight Aeropostale tees with an awkwardly long lace cami underneath. Look, it happens. All Time Low was awesome and your flare jeans were cute with camis that went down way too low. Let’s not let it happen in college.
You took it a step further and had Heelys. Okay, look, I know the concept sounds kinda awesome. And at the time, it totally was. I mean, you could really just get to class in no time and look cool doing it, then tuck your little wheels right back in and have normal shoes. It was the dream. Bonus points if you had a rolling backpack to double the efficiency. Actually, maybe we could revisit this concept in college. After all, aren’t we all sick of being late to class? Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and some things just shouldn’t make a comeback.
Owning things with celebrities’ faces on them. I know your Justin Bieber backpack was the coolest part of your outfit back in 2010, but look, there are more ways to show that you’re a fan of him. Like, make a cool Spotify playlist with that artist and put it on your Facebook page, or post an artsy Instagram of their lyrics or something. But the backpacks? The notebooks? The most random school supplies you can think of with their face on it? Yeah, let’s leave that one in 2010.
Being vague and angsty on social media. Our generation grew up much differently from those before us, so the concept of putting your feelings online whenever you wanted was not foreign to us. But there were rules. You can’t straight up post “I hate my friend Ashley because she stole my boyfriend,” but you can totally post the lyrics to “Misery Business” by Paramore to get your feelings out there. Nowadays, it’s unnecessary and childish. But man, wasn’t it so easy to start passive aggressive drama back then?
Wearing waaaay too much Axe body spray. Look, if you’re trying to take Ashley to the 7th grade spring formal, wearing way too much Axe is not gonna get her to go. It’s also not gonna get her to go with you to formal sophomore year of college, so this is one we would love to leave in the past. There’s nothing more pungent than a middle school boy. Fortunately, most college guys have discovered that a simple shower and a little cologne is the way to go. Likewise, ladies, let’s not forget that some of us didn’t know when to stop with the roll-on body glitter. Yikes.
You hated cheerleaders/band kids for no reason other than you were supposed to. I mean, we really fell for all that movie crap where you’re supposed to hate the cheerleaders just because they’re cheerleaders so they’re obviously evil. And likewise, if you were the cheerleader, you hated the band kids because they hated you. Looking back on it it’s absolutely ridiculous, but it made sense at the time, okay? Bonus points if you ever used the words "band geek," "poser," "prep," and only ever talked to band kids if you started the conversation with "this one time at band camp," which is another middle school trend we'd rather not see come back.
Having a tortured soul despite having little to no life experience. Obviously, in middle school, you are a dark twisted soul. Or you’re the deepest, most emotional being since Taylor Swift. And her lyrics are your Facebook status every day, obviously, because she understands how that boy in first period history broke your heart when he didn’t return your longing, music video-worthy stare during a lecture about the thirteen colonies. “I was a dreamer before you went and let me down…. text me xx”. Praying he sees it and likes it. He doesn’t.
Accessories that really didn’t make sense. Remember the 2 months that feather hair extensions were cool? When you traded silly bands in homeroom because someone else had the ice cream cone and you had too many of the elephants? And of course, anything that can be zebra print, will be zebra print. Bonus points if your zebra print was rainbow where it was supposed to be white. As much as we love Lisa Frank, the overuse of animal prints and rainbow colors is for your middle school locker, and it should stay there long after you forgot the combo.
Literally thinking all of the above were cool. The worst part of all of this is we actually thought we were the coolest people ever in middle school. I mean, now we look back on our rolling backpacks and silly bands and wonder what on earth we were thinking, but to be real, we’ll probably see silly bands on the runway in a few years. Everything comes back. Let’s hope some of these things don’t, but you never know.