When I went to school...

These are pictures from my very first day of school back in 1974. I’m the one with the cute green dress and dark green knee socks. My mom made me that dress and made a lot of my clothes when I was young. 

Things sure were different back then!

  • Back to school shopping used to happen in late August. You never saw back-to-school stuff in the stores in July, let alone Christmas decorations!
  • Cold lunches were extremely plain. I took hot lunch for many years and then started packing my own in 4th grade. Lunch meat sandwiches were as exciting as it ever got. I don’t even think we had fruit roll-ups in those days? They came out when I was in Jr. High.
  • Backpacks were no big deal. I don’t even remember thinking about them until about 7th grade.
  • I don’t remember needing to bring certain school supplies to elementary school - we just used what was there. I vaguely remember having my very own box of crayons in about 3rd grade. My parents were certainly never asked to donate anti-microbial wipes or big boxes of Kleenex to each classroom.
  • We also didn’t have very many class parties. We just decorated cookies for Halloween and Valentine’s Day. No games. No pinterest-worthy spreads. There were no rules about Halloween costumes or masks.
  • We played tag at recess. We had a real swingset with some gravel underneath. One kid jumped off his swing while it was high in the air and broke his leg in several places and his collar bone. He missed the first half of his first grade year because of that.
  • Some people had piano lessons or dance lessons once a week after school, but that was about it. I don’t remember people being all that busy.

There have been so many changes since the seventies. Many of them are good (like softer playground surfaces). Some of it makes me a little sad though. I guess it’s nostalgia for a simpler time. Probably a good sign that I’m getting older.