17 Homework Struggles That Only '90s Kids Understand


Guys, trying to complete mandatory assignments arbitrarily allocated by teachers, is hard. I mean, I don't think it matters what decade you grew up in. However, there are specific homework struggles that only '90s kids understand. I mean, I'm honestly surprised there aren't a bunch of documentaries exploring how many of us managed to actually complete assignments on a daily basis. (Or, at least a podcast procedural on the topic.) Remember how our parents and grandparents used to walk uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow, to school? How they’d always tell us about it and lament how much easier we had it? My son’s too young now to absorb any of my “back in my day” stories, but once he starts having homework, I may not be able to hold back. Yep, I'm slowly turning into my mother.

If you were a '90s kid old enough to go to school that dished out time-consuming assignments on a daily basis, chances are you navigated through epic distractions and modems and the boyband era, only to come out on the other side as a full-formed adult. Congratulations! (Perhaps, like me, you appreciate the occasional pat on the back for all that you’ve gracefully endured.) To celebrate the fact that we're no longer forced to deal with these homework-inspired challenges anymore (yay adulthood!) here's a health dose of nostalgia, because you can't know where you're going until you've appreciated where you've been.

Hauling Multiple Encyclopedias To And From School

Because the encyclopedias your family may or may have had at their disposal, was not going to cut it. By the time they were printed (and delivered), they were often outdated anyway.

Your Parents Were On The Phone, So You Couldn’t Use The Internet

Kids today don't know how easy they have it. If it wasn't your parents, it was a sibling taking to his or her "crush" for hours on end, completely oblivious to your slow-internet needs.

Typing On A Typewriter Was A Royal Pain

I had a teacher who would offer extra credit for typing. That said, I'm still not sure it was worth it.

Microsoft Encarta Didn’t Have Enough info

Does anyone know what happened to Microsoft Encarta? Anyone? Anyone? Hello? For those that missed that boat, it was CD-Rom encyclopedias and they were once the pinnacle of home-based research. I swear I'm not making this up.

You Were Too Saddened To Concentrate After Dying On The Oregon Trail

It's actually kind of messed up that we all experienced simulated death on the regular.

If You Did Make It To Oregon, You Had To Stop And Celebrate

Because via computer is the only way I could have managed a cross-country wagon ride, let's be real.

The Shows We Wanted To Watch Were Only On Once A Week, So We Couldn’t Record Them

If Luke Perry and Jason Priestley weren't incentive to get one's homework done, nothing was.

Wikipedia Hadn’t Been Invented, And Google Wasn’t Mainstream

Perhaps I've simply blocked it from memory, but I can't remember what I did when there was something I wanted to know back then. Ask my mom? Look it up in Tiger Beat (because, real talk, it usually had to do with Jonathan Taylor Thomas)?

You Went To The Library For Research, Only To Get Distracted By Magazines

Back issues for days.

Playlists Weren't A Thing

Forget curating a perfect study playlist. We had to stop and skip the songs we didn't want to hear. When we were tired of an artist, we had to get up to change out the CD completely. With our hands.

Email Wasn't All That Popular

Someday, I'll tell my son the story about how I needed something from my friend for a school project, so her dad faxed it to my dad. Faxed. We might as well have been churning our own butter.

Floppy Disks Presented Challenges Of Their Own


Trying To Print A Paper Was A Life Or Death Situation

To be fair, sometimes it still is.

Chat Rooms Were Irresistable

What was it about anonymous commentary that gets people so excited? Looking at you, Reddit.

So. Much. Paper.

I shudder to think about the trees sacrificed in the name of completed '90s homework.

You Couldn't Resist Signing Into AIM...

It was like texting, but before texting and before wifi and before emojis. Basically, it was just words on a screen, but still. It mattered.

...And Once You Did, Your Crush's Cryptic Away Message Proved To Be The Ultimate Distraction

Well, time to pull out your CD collection and make a DIY playlist because feelings.