Middle School Trends: Reviewed


Middle school is often seen as an uncomfortable time filled with pimples and anxiety and high school is often the same in that sense. However, there are some trends from middle school that very few people would touch in high school, despite the fact that it was just a few months ago for some of us. The favorites such as silly bands and grippers for pencils still hold a special place in the hearts and/or back of the closets of many, but a few of these you may have completely forgotten, but looking back, how cool were they?

TechDeck skateboards: These finger sized skateboards were incredibly difficult to maneuver, but decently fun once you got the hang of it. While incredibly annoying to teachers, I think it’s safe to say most people who had these got quite the kick out of them.


Airbrush customization: From hats to shirts to the occasional hoodie it was absolutely the thing in middle school to have a signature piece of apparel with your name or a phrase and a cool design airbrushed across it. It was especially trendy if you had gotten this on the class trip to Adventureland at the end of the year. This may have been trendy then, but looking back this was the middle school equivalent of a neck tattoo of your name, I don’t even like to wear a name tag, but having your name airbrushed across your chest in size 100 font is a whole different thing.


ClubPenguin and Webkinz: Two separate websites that allowed you to maneuver your lovable creature through a virtual world, decorate your house, play mini games, and interact with other players. While Club Penguin had many more places to explore and the added benefits of the missions where you tried to defeat a polar bear and the ability to have your penguin learn jiu jitsu (I had multiple accounts with black belt benefits), Webkinz also served as a security object as your character came as a 3D stuffed animal who you could register in the 2D world and had many more room and furniture options. While some take a walk around their Webkinz house for old time sake I think it is safe to say that no high school student would spend hours trying to defeat a fictional polar bear.


Instant messenger: I personally never got the point of this, but the general idea was that if you were working on the computer it was much more difficult to pick up your cell phone and text somebody than to switch tabs and types a message. I’m not really sure why this trend died, but perhaps others began to realize the flawed logic of IM-ing each other and the convenience of modern cell phones that pretty much everyone had anyways.


Silly Bandz: Before the silly band trend started I never realized how boring the black hair band I wore on my wrist was, not to mention functional. While, I’m vaguely remember some people actually using them to hold their hair back, my hair is much too thick. The general idea was to collect and trade these shaped rubber bands. Originally they were a fashion statement, but before long people had hundreds (I had just over 150 in my less than impressive collection) and simply could not wear all of them, so they got put in a Ziploc bag where they remained.


Kooky Pens: At the start this trend made some sense; students need pens, why not make them fun? They were pens shorter and fatter than ballpoint pens, which made them easier to hold; stringy hair, a lobster claw hook, a face, and a name. Some were kooky pen originals and some were modeled after characters, some of which were said to be very rare. Here’s the thing though, nobody used them as pens; they just clipped them to the corner of their pencil bag and let them build up until they had a fistful of plastic just hanging there. Cool, but non functional.


BFF Necklaces: What better way is there to show your undying friendship for your middle school bestie than wearing a “Be Fri” half heart necklace that interlocked and matched their “st ends” necklace? You could start by actually hanging out with them and let people figure it out for themselves. Too difficult, well, I guess you’ll have to stick with pressing your faces together and choking yourselves to match up the sides of your necklaces every time someone dares question you. Not to mention these necklaces were usually given to you for your birthday as a set and the person who gave them to you just sat their smiling waiting for you to give one back to them. Also, it seemed like nobody ever wore the same one for longer than a month, so much for “best friends FOREVER”.


Middle school dances: Ah, the middle school dances, because every 6th grader needs to go to a dance 8 times a year. Even better, it was the perfect time to see your boy friend or girlfriend from another school. I guess it was supposed to be the time for bonding with people from other schools before high school when we all got mushed into one class, but I only remember ever talking to like 2 people from other schools, and it wasn’t even good conversation, we just talked about who we thought knew more digits of pi, and then recited digits of pi. Oddly enough we are friends now, but for other reasons, so I guess it worked??? I’m not quite sure those planning it got the concept of social awkwardness, and those who needed help socializing would just sit in a corner with other socially awkward people that they talk to at school. The worst part though, was that they tried to scare the crap out of us by telling tales of people who did drugs at a middle school dance or people who danced too close to each other and got expelled or something, and therefore we are required to wear jeans, because a dress code will prevent people from looking at each other. Keep this in mind though; you put every middle school student in the greater Des Moines area into one gym and have them jump and dance around IN JEANS, it gets hot, sweaty, and stinky FAST.

*0 stars*