Things All Aussie Kids Did After School, From Cereal Feasts To ‘Round The Twist’
“Just like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!”
Everyone remembers those hallowed after-school hours – when the school bell rang and we could play with our friends and ride bikes and eat Coco Pops straight out of the box and just hang out.
Pop on your best scrunchie and dust off the boom box, because we’ve compiled the best memories about the things Aussie kids did after school in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
If your parents were still at work when school wrapped up for the day, you had a few solid hours of KITCHEN FREEDOM. And, if they weren’t, this was the time to distract them with permission slips or soiled PE uniforms while you crept into the pantry in search of one thing and one thing only: Coco Pops. Sure, they were allegedly for tomorrow’s breakfast, but you were a growing child! You had needs!
For many of us, this is when we discovered that breakfast is actually a social construct and cereal is an anytime food. Coco Pops at 4pm? Hell yes.
Have you ever? Ever felt like this?
Streaming services give people too much choice and have brought a sad end to all those hours we spent calling our mates after The Saddle Club to debrief. Whether you were obsessing over Drazic’s eyebrow ring before the word “stan” was invented or if you were more of a Scott and Charlene ‘shipper, you can’t deny this era produced some truly memorable small-screen delights. Truly, there has never been a more golden age of television: ‘Round The Twist, Heartbreak High, that awkward 5:30pm timeslot where you and your siblings had to watch the news or reruns of M.A.S.H… Okay, let’s ignore that last one.
Cruising to the shops
A rite of passage for any young person is blissfully strolling through a shopping centre with the confidence of a billionaire, despite having virtually no cash at all. As soon as the bell rang, you and your mates would be hot-footing it to the shops with the energy of your mum at the Boxing Day sales.
Online shopping will never be able to replicate these moments: this was a time of CD stores with distressingly unhygienic public headphones that allowed you to hear Peter Andre and Chumbawamba in primo quality. The local newsagent would chase you out with a broom after too long spent browsing Dolly or K-Zone magazines like you were in a library, but not before you hastily rubbed the free sample of Cool Water on your wrist.
Windows ‘95 vs BMX bandits
Were you a Razor scooter type of person or more of a Minesweeper kid? Even before the dial-up internet screamed at you for several minutes, many households had one family computer – in some homes, it even had its own room. This enormous, noisy beast would be home to all your entertainment needs: solitaire, Encarta and, if you were lucky, a cousin leant you their Croc or Earthworm Jim CD-ROM.
Or maybe you were the outdoorsy, mullet-sporting type who’d hoon through the streets on a second-hand bike decked out with peeling stickers. Either way, you’d end up with a bruise or two after school… even if it was just from your sibling forcing you off the computer so they could play Tetris.
It should be illegal for young people of 2019 to actually look… presentable. The ‘80s and ‘90s were all about temporary tattoos, Space Jam t-shirts, and coloured braces. We all remember that one boy in primary school who was the first to get an ear piercing. At my school, a kid named Michael had a Cool Mum™ who put gel in his hair and carefully created a dozen unmoving spikes for photo day. I remember seeing a bunch of boys sitting on the oval after school with a communal tub of hair product attempting to recreate the pineapple-like shards. Is this where beauty blogging began?
(Lead image: Murillo de Paula / Unsplash)