Cruising All Day: What Student Life Was Like In The '80s


The 1980s were a different time altogether! It saw the growth of conservative politics, a breakthrough in computer technology, and the rise of pop culture: an explosion of TV networks such as MTV that launched many artists' musical careers. Not to mention the 80s fashion influences, the streets were full of people strutting around in their Air Jordans and reversible inside-out coats. Some brazen ones were channeling their inner Joan Jett and could be seen in biker jackets and ripped tights. Generation X, the people born during this decade, will agree that life in the 1980s was as unique as possible! It isn't surprising that influences from this decade live on.

College in the 80s was an altogether different deal; however, the teaching methodologies were pretty similar. Students were expected to attend classes in schools and colleges, read books, and write assignments, just like today. The only difference is students these days can opt for professional help and say Edubirdie can do my essay when they are feeling a little overwhelmed with the writing course.

There are a few other stark differences between the 1980s vs today and a few similarities. Since it was an exciting time, many people find themselves fascinated by the popular things in the 80s. Here are a few interesting facts about the 80s and a sneak preview into what life was like for the scholars back then.

Computers were massive!

Education in the 1980s wasn't as digital as it is today. Most students would write their papers physically to hand it over to their mentors. If it wasn't handwritten, it was probably typed on a typewriter. Meaning, if you made a mistake typing something, you would have to retype everything from the top. You also had to readjust the paper after every single line physically. Imagine that. Most of them didn't even own computers, and the ones who did had computers the size of their tables. Students these days have no idea how lucky they are to have computers that fit in their backpacks and a mobile phone with a hundred times the computational value than the computers did in those days.

Video Games were played in arcades


Even relaxing was a whole different game in the glorious decade of the '80s. Today's generation enjoys its video game by merely hooking up their consoles. Back in the days, people had to line up at their local video game arcades. The thrill of finally being able to play after queuing for minutes was something else. The lucky ones had access to a games console in their home, though. These were the popular kids whose home was often visited by other fellow peers in the hopes of getting to play games such as Commodore, Atari, and Amstrad. 

Calling friends on home phones

When a person wanted to talk to someone, they would call them in their homes and hope they were there. The phone would most likely be answered by someone else, and you would have to politely ask them to please pass on the phone to your person of interest. Plans were made and were seldom altered, because how do you notify someone that the plans have changed? If you made a date with someone, you kept it, for the most part. You didn't have social media to keep updated with the people you loved. So, you would physically meet them and get to see what they were up to. This also means you could go months or several years before reconnecting with someone from your past.

VCRs and Cassettes

The '80s were a glorious time for Blockbuster, founded in 1985 and was a home movie and video game rental service. Renting out a movie and watching it in the comfort of your homes with a tub of popcorn was a pretty standard weekend ritual in most students' homes. Music was available in magnetic cassettes, and if you wanted to listen to the song again, you would have to rewind it. If the player was broken, you had to physically insert a pencil and keep turning it over and over to get to the song's beginning. 


Every decade has its history, and although time can never be turned back, it can feel good to try and relive some of the olden experiences, like turning off your mobile phones and enjoying a lovely afternoon with your friends and family.

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