Throwback: 8 Things That Became Status Symbols in Elementary School
Oct 6, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Oct 6, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
The word “flex” didn’t exist back then, but kids back in the day already knew that if they owned specific cool items, they could zip through the stratosphere of elementary social status and claim fame. It was as simple as owning a coveted lunch box, getting their hands on awesome magazines, or even having a fresh set of crayons. You already know what we’re talking about, but in case you’re clueless, let’s take a trip down memory lane and check out these items that had the power to elevate your status symbol as a kid:
Anyone who owned this iconic lunchbox automatically became the envy of the whole classroom. How could the rest of the kids ignore this magnificent plastic box that’s the stuff of dreams? It’s probably loaded with Sunkist or Chuckie, a hotdog sandwich, a pack of Hello Panda, and a Lemonsquare Cheesecake for merienda.
If you’ve ever been jealous of a classmate who had that pencil case with two floors, you’re not alone. It’s equipped with a built-in sharpener, a divider for pens and pencils, and a separate compartment for erasers. It’s the warship of all pencil cases. But the bougieness doesn’t end there. There’s also a metal version of this famed pencil case, one that boasts three floors when opened. Isn’t that just the dream?
It’s easy to get your hands on the basic 8-crayon Crayola set or even the 24-set. But to own a Crayola 48 pack or the 64 pack and have it proudly displayed on your desk during arts and crafts time was a huge PSA to other students that you’re a league above them. What’s that? They’ve only got blue? Well, you own a cerulean and probably five other shades of blue they couldn’t even imagine. Peak elementary rizz!
As adults, we kind of already know that this art set we envied as a kid didn’t deliver much in the quality department. The scissors were dull, the glue was cheap, and the crayons and markers were ironically unfamiliar with the word “vibrant.” But did it look cool bringing this set to school and opening it in front of a bunch of jealous kids? Heck yeah.
Kids sporting hand-me-down hanging-by-a-thread backpacks can’t help but envy those who rock up to school with trolley bags. It’s always the hot pink Barbie and Dora the Explorer trolleys for the girls and the Spider-Man or Ben10 theme for the boys. It also comes with enviable lunch boxes that complete the whole set.
Who here hasn’t envied kids who had the latest editions of Total Girl and K-Zone? They were fortunate enough to get their hands on the copies while the rest of their classmates could only look on and say “Pahiram ako pagkatapos mo.”
School buses aren’t a huge Pinoy thing unlike what we see in American movies. But where they have actual buses, we have a plethora of options: vans, L-300s, tricycles, and even side cars. Regardless, if you have some sort of school service or “sundo,” you’re already a step above everyone on the social status ladder. Some students (like me) had to walk home or take the jeepney.
Gen Zs can believe it or not but there was an era where elementary kids weren’t equipped with the latest iPhones and iPads. We had actual toys to entertain us, and they were enough. Back in school, if a classmate rocked up to the classroom with pockets full of bey blade, that spinning top toy, Pokémon cards, or the rare Tamagotchi, their reputation skyrocketed. These cool toys were status symbols for sure.
Did we miss other indicators of wealth as a kid? Share them with us in the comments section!
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
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