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We might not have always been excited to go back to school, but gearing up for the big September event was always one of the best parts. The smell of freshly bought paper, the promise of a new set of funky pencils, the fashionable way we were going to organize our binders and all the stickers we were going to deck things out in.

The nineties were kind of the best. At least in terms of the “must-have” essentials we begged our parents to buy for us.

Here are 14 such items we loved.

Milky Pens

These were the best for writing notes to your besties and your crushes. Of course, the paper had to be folded into intricate designs before it could be handed off.

Milky Pens
Flickr/LaBlueGyrl

Erasable Pens

Basically these were pencils that never quite erased all the way, but these puppies allowed us to write every other line a different colour. And that made us feel cool.

Spacemaker

For the life of us, we can’t remember how this giant hunk of a pencil box actually saved space. All we know is that we had to have one for all of our essentials.

Spacemaker
Etsy

Mr. Sketch Scented Markers

Remember when we were actually encouraged as children to sniff markers? Although we’ve yet to come across anyone who actually liked the black licorice scent.

Mr. Sketch Markers
Amazon

Treasure Troll pencil toppers

Because we just needed a troll on our pencil, okay? The only tricky part was getting it to actually stay on.

Treasure Troll Pencil Toppers
eBay

Yikes Pencils

These pencils were the bomb… until they snapped in half on you mid-writing, thanks to the flimsy middles. Every. Single. Time.

Yikes Pencils
Imgur

Yikes Pencil Sharpener

For sharpening all those pencil halves, naturally.

Yikes Sharpener
Etsy

Themed Lunch Pails and Thermos

These thermoses were perfect for holding all of our Chef Boyardee lunches. Well, except for the fact that they leaked all over. That didn’t stop us from getting a new set every school year though.

Character Themed Lunchboxes
Etsy

Stackable Pencils

Never having to sharpen these made them a nifty little tool. Until you lost one of the little nubs and the whole thing fell apart. #PencilFail

Push Pencils
Etsy

Eraser Tips

These were a surefire way to make any standard yellow pencil just a little more personable.

Eraser Tips
The Pencil Shop

Pencil Grip

Back before things became computerized, we did a lot of writing by hand, making these yet another colourful pencil essential.

These Cat Stickers

To this day, we don’t know why we loved them, but we put them on everything.

Winking Cat Sticker
Etsy

Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Stickers

Mmm, chocolate-smelling stickers… why was our generation so obsessed with sniffing our school supplies anyhow?

A Canvas Backpack

We all thought we were artists when we covered ours with patches, Sharpie pen designs and personalized graffiti. They never fit all of the stuff we splurged on above, but this bag was still essential come September.

Vintage Canvas Backpack
Etsy