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16 Back-to-School Photos That Will Make You So Nostalgic

It's that time of year again.

When you were a kid, you probably hated the day when summer ended and your had to sling a heavy backpack over your shoulder and march back into the classroom. But, as an adult, as soon as the leaves start to change, you find yourself in Staples, inhaling the scent of plastic binders and Number 2 pencils, remembering those innocent days when all you had to worry about was a pop quiz in math.

On Sunday, the Design Museum in London asked people to share the pencils, uniforms, textbooks, and other items that bring them right back to those childhood days. The thread was flooded with images ranging from the Lisa Frank notebooks of the '90s to the of the report cards of the  '40s. Check out some of the best tweets below, and for another trip down memory lane, read 17 Things You're Nostalgic for But Shouldn't Be.

Library Cards

library card
Design Museum/Twitter

As convenient as it is to use an app that sends a notification to remind you when a book is due for a return, there was always something romantic seeing all of the previous due dates sloppily stamped in those little boxes, establishing some sort of secret bond between you and all of the strangers who had held the book in their hands before.

Report Cards

report card
Design Museum/Twitter

You awaited the report card with trembling hands, and nothing was more devastating than seeing a "U" for unsatisfactory.

Funky Erasers

80s erasers
Emma Cutler/Twitter

This psychedelic pair hails from the '80s. And for more throwbacks from the decade, check out 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew up in the 1980s Will Understand.

Composition Notebooks

composition notebook
Amy Schraub/Twitter

There was always something exciting about carving your name and the date into its hard, cardboard surface, and cracking it open to write the first entry of a brand new year.


Selected Works/Twitter

Especially the Helix ones with the blurry "Shatter Resistant" font.

Lisa Frank

lisa frank
Kelly Reid/Twitter

Notebooks, backpacks, pencil boxes, stickers—there was no such thing as too much of this psychedelic gear. And for more '90s nostalgia, check out 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew up in the 1990s Will Understand.

Cursive Writing

cursive writing
Jessicat Furever/Twitter

Kids today will never understand the struggle of drawing the perfect Q under the dotted line.

Flash Cards

flash cards
Jani Whitesides/Twitter

No memorization technique is more fun.

Typ-e-rase Pencils

typ-e-rase pencil
Anne Maliff/Twitter

The brush was used to rid the typewriter of dust, and it erased typos but only with the greatest of effort.

Old-School Calculators

1970s calculator

The red font on the TI 2500 "Datamath" was oddly ominous. For more amazing blasts from the past, check out 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew up in the 1970s Will Understand.

Number 2 Pencils


Especially the ones with "TICONDERGOA" emblazoned in green. And when the eraser on the end ran out, you always had those bubblegum pink erasers to rub down to a fraction of their original size.

The Simplex wall clock

analog clocks
Libby Berke/Twitter

This is particularly poignant given that analog clocks are apparently starting to disappear from schools.

Banana Pens

banana pens

Bananas were all the rage in the '70s, it seems.

Scented Markers

scented markers
Michelle Campbell/Twitter

The smell is still intoxicating to '90s kids.

Cliffs Notes

cliffs notes

Before the Internet, this was the only way to get the plot summary of an insufferable book.

Teachers' Report to Parents

30s report card
Lauren Hanley/Twitter

Back in the 1930s, this was what a report card looked like. Really makes you wonder why we phased out "Thrift and Good Citizenship."

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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