It took me until sophomore year of high school for me to actually enjoy lower education. Middle school was the worst, elementary school a close second. Most people look back on childhood with fondness, and while I definitely miss having the freedom to twirl around on the monkey bars and play with my friends in the field, I also valued my off-time and summer vacations a great deal. One night in late July 2001, I was watching TV with my dad when a Wal-Mart “Back-to-School” commercial appeared onscreen. My dad laughed and pointed at the television set, but I ran to my room and shut the door, disgusted at the audacity of businesses to remind me that I had to return to class and start waking up at six soon. I don’t know about you, but my school-year typically didn’t start until after Labor Day, so the July and August madness never made sense.

Though the “Back-to-School” nonsense was polarizing back then, it’s much more pervasive and obnoxious now. Thank you, Internet. I just received an email from Apple that reads, “Go back to school with the perfect gear and free shipping.” Because that’s really what I need right now: a lame, irrelevant excuse to buy overpriced products. I wish this country could do a better job allowing young folks to celebrate their time away from school and not remind them midway through the summer that the fun is ending.

This is pretty cool, though. I would have greatly benefited from videos of this nature back in my day: