Seniors Swap Grown-Up Backpacks for Kindergarten Ones To Show How Far They’ve Come

Teens across America are trading in their minimalistic high school backpacks for a trip down memory lane.

This year, seniors were seen entering their final year of school wearing kindergarten backpacks that featured Elmo, Disney Princesses, and other cartoon characters.

The Senior Backpack Craze

This alternative backpack preference may just turn out to be the hottest trend of the year.

Meet Dad Jeremiah, who goes by @blessupinspiration on TikTok.

In a recent viral video, he showed his daughter’s senior year backpack: a small and sparkly Disney Princess-themed delight. The bag has nine princesses printed on the front, including Rapunzel and Aurora, and is covered in sequins. 

“This is my daughter’s going-back-to-school backpack—for her senior year in high school,” he proudly declared in his video. 

His daughter and her friends aren’t the only seniors who decided to buy these for their last year. It seems that more and more high schoolers are getting in on the fashion action, unable to resist the nostalgic allure.

While the trend seems to have started in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it is rapidly spreading across many other states.

Students from Texas and the southern states are already participating in the shift, while those based in Utah, Arizona, California, and Maryland have recently started jumping on the bandwagon.

Regionally, the trend is sweeping schools across the United States and even making its way to Canada. 

Commemorating Kindergarten 

Jeremiah explained the idea behind the trend as he showcased the pink princess backpack his daughter had chosen.

“From what she’s telling me, they all get this little kid backpack for their senior year to take them back to kindergarten, first grade. The kind of backpack they would wear back then to graduate high school in, man. It’s like full circle,” he said in his video. 

Jeremiah is a fan of the trend, describing it as “the coolest thing ever!”

@blessupinspiration Kids in Dallas-Fort Worth Tx do this, not sure about all of Tx. Do kids in other states do this? #backtoschool #highschool #backpacks #trendy #cool #anyoneelse ♬ paper planes – 3 minute sounds &lt3

Trending Across America: #seniorbackpacks

A quick search of the hashtag #seniorbackpacks on social media reveals a delightful montage of high schoolers returning for their final year in style.

There are extra points for glitter, accessories like bells and whistles, and even detachable lunch boxes. 

Instead of carrying the weight of adulthood on their shoulders, seniors opt for pint-sized bags adorned with their favorite childhood figures.

From Spiderman to Minecraft, Cars to SpongeBob, and Star Wars to Sesame Street, it’s clear that no character is off the table. It’s a ’backpack parade’ of nostalgia!

The origins of the senior backpack trend are somewhat hazy, but it appears to have been a regional TikTok phenomenon since at least 2021. In the South, however, it may date back as far as a decade in certain areas.

However, it truly caught fire this year.

A Backpack’s Journey That Spans Borders

While some schools limit the fun to seniors, others allow juniors, sophomores, and freshmen to bring whatever backpack they like to the premises. However, some feel that middle school and junior high school students are too young to make kindergarten backpacks cool again.

Nevertheless, the trend is considered by most observers to be wholesome and heartwarming, helping parents and kids alike take a trip down memory lane. 

Some seniors, however, are sticking to their age-appropriate bags and even opting out of backpacks entirely—possibly in a symbolic gesture of their impending freedom. 

As parents watch their once-tiny kindergarteners turn into young adults ready for their final year of school, they can’t help but tear up a little.

This backpack blast from the past is bound to fill both parents and teachers with pride and nostalgia.


This article was produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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