Back to the Big '80s: How was Student Life?

Back to the Big '80s: How was Student Life?

by Michael Stoddard

College life is one of the best periods in your life. It is the time when you go to another city or country and you start living on campus. You study your favorite subjects, you go to parties with your friends and colleagues, and you meet new people and cultures.

But at the same time, it is a period many students experience as challenging. Education has changed over the last decades and college life is distinct today from what it was in the ‘80s. Many students take college life and education today for granted but few of them are aware that it is so contrasting to what it was in the ‘80s.

For example, modern students have many options for solving difficult assignments. They can not only ask a teacher or a classmate for help when they encounter difficulties but also finds answers to questions on the Internet. In addition, nowadays, a constantly busy student can entrust an academic assignment to a professional paper writing service like WritingAPaper, while students of the '80s did not have such an opportunity.

So, what was student life back then?

Huge Computers

One of the main distinctions between college life today and in the ‘80s is the size of computers. The ‘80s were the years that marked a lot of changes. Those are the years that can be considered the start of technology. You can surely see in many entertainment shows for students and not only the first computers used by students during those years. Computers were so huge that you needed an entire table for them. It was a period when only those who had financial options had a computer.

Most students had a typewriter but some of them did not have one at all, so they had to write by hand all the assignments and essays they had to complete. Nowadays, things are pretty different. You can write an essay on your smartphone and even select unique entertainment essay, you do not need a computer. And if you need one, there are a lot of laptops that are slim, light, and portable. They fit in your backpack, not like the old computers. As a college student, you can learn faster and easier today than in the ‘80s.

No Mobile Phones

Can you imagine your student life without mobile phones? This is how it was back in the ‘80s. If you wanted to reach your colleague, you would have to call them in their homes. But there was no guarantee that they would answer the call. Usually, there was another family member near the phone you had to talk to and ask to call your colleague.

This might not seem so challenging, but imagine setting up a date with someone. A date you would want to cancel due to various reasons, but you had no means to let the other one know. It might seem painful to live without a mobile phone and all the advantages it comes with. You could not make an online call with your family to keep in contact with them while you are a student. You had to meet them or use someone else’s home phone to call them.

Renting Movies

Nowadays, due to the evolution of technology, you just have to sign up for an account on a movie streaming platform and choose the movie you want to watch. But back in the ‘80s, there were movie rental stores and this is what most students did to burn a couple hours of free time.

To listen to music, they would watch MTV and wait for the latest music videos from their favorite bands to be broadcast. Nowadays, students can easily search for their favorite songs and play them in a matter of seconds.

Internet and Technology

Many students see studying as a burden, but few of them imagine how it was back in the ‘80s. Even though this decade marks the boom of technology, those years were unique. The expectations from students were pretty much the same.

They had to complete their assignments, work on group projects with their peers, go to classes, and study for exams. Speaking of studying, it was mostly done in libraries. Students had to search for information in books and articles, not online. This, of course, means that a lot of time is spent researching academic tasks.


A lot of students take their life for granted and fail to appreciate the things that make them easier. Back in the ‘80s, student life was distinct, but there are similarities too. Even though it was the decade dominated by MTV music and fashion trends, technology was not as advanced as it is today.

Computers were massive and not portable at all. Mobile phones, the internet, and social media were inexistent. And renting movies and spending a chill night in with your colleagues was normal.

About the author: Michael Stoddard is a content writer and blogger. He has written a lot of articles on topics such as ‘80s pop culture, music, and movies. Michael loves watching movies and listening to music on weekends.

Photo courtesy Depositphotos

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