If you were born after 1996, this article is for you and all those 2000’s kids who embrace the nostalgia and timeless memories of their childhood. Here are 20 things that make Generation Z, Generation Z!

You grew up as either a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon kid

Gen Z had a plethora of shows to watch during their childhood. I remember setting my DVR for my favorite shows on Disney Channel to premier, including Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, iCarly and Drake and Josh on Nick, and so many more. There were also tons of Disney Channel Original Movies, such as Camp Rock, Cadet Kelly, the High School Musical series, Lemonade Mouth, The Cheeta Girls series, and more. 

In elementary school, you got to take an AR test after reading a book

Let’s be honest, the AR tests were either a complete chore to complete or a motivation to start reading more. The top student with the most AR tests completed usually received a prize too. 

Your first phone was not an iPhone

I didn’t get a phone until 7th grade, but before then I used my iPod touch for listening to music and playing endless games of Minecraft, Temple Run, and Angry Birds. 

You had a silly bandz collection 

I would get the 5 pack at the store and try to get as big of a variety as I could. Bonus points if Silly Bandz were banded from being brought to your school. 

You witnessed the downfall of Blockbuster and the popularity of Netflix 

Do you remember when Netflix movie rentals would be sent out by mail before there was an application for it? 

The biggest event of the school year was the Scholastic Book Fair

I was addicted to the scholastic book fair, especially for the crazy nick-nacks and less of the books. My favorite things to buy were the large pointer fingers, Smencils, posters, and crazy calculators. 

Webkinz and Club Penguin took up a majority of your time

I was definitely a fan of Webkinz, to the point where I asked for the deluxe version of it for Christmas. At some point I probably had over 20 Webkinz pets. 

You participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in middle school

Who could forget getting a ice bucket dumped on your head and challenging your friends to do it as well? 

Some of your favorite foods of your era:

Kid Cuisine (specifically the chicken nuggets and chocolate pudding), Lunchables, Gogurts, and many more. There are also favorites from this time that are discontinued now, like cereal straws, Yogos, and Gripz to name a few. 

Your first video game set was the Wii

My brother and I received our Wii early in elementary school, and we played it nonstop. Our favorite games were WII Sports Resort, WII Sports, Mariocart, and Just Dance. 

 The first book series you started reading included: 

Harry Potter, The Magic Tree House, Nancy Drew, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Junie B. Jones

You grew up listening to the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and more

But you also saw the rise of One Direction, and if you really loved boy bands you watched Big Time Rush too!

You insisted you needed every “As Seen on TV” toy that was on commercials

Honorable mentions include Nerf guns, Heely’s, Chia Pets, Orbeez, Rainbow Loom, Razor Scooters, and so many more. 

If you were in middle school around 2014-2015, dystopian teen themed movies were the top movies in the big screens

These movies include The Hunger Games series, the Divergent series, the Maze Runner series, and The Giver

Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Green brothers were your second teachers

If the TV cart was rolled into your class in elementary school, you knew it was going to be a fun day. The whole class would join in with the chant, screaming “Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Crash Course videos were necessary to understand science, math, ad history concepts as well.

This was the background of the old family computer: 

Enough said. 

You had an American Girl Doll 

I anticipated the monthly issue that got delivered to my house and would circle all the items that I loved. I also read all the books that corresponded with my favorite dolls as well. 

Justice, Hollister, and Abercrombie were your favorite stores in elementary through middle school

Honestly, I still shop at Abercrombie, but the iconic Hollister logo tees were unforgettable. 

You watched movies on VCR tapes and then DVD’s, and vividly remember the VCR “Coming Soon to Own” commercials before the movie started 

A distinct childhood memory indeed.

And lastly, these cartoons were your favorite growing up: 

SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, Phineas and Ferb, The Fairly OddParents, Kim Possible, and Tom & Jerry, to name a few. 

Ivey Y