Skip To Content
Paid Post

15 Things 1980s College Students Did That Would Baffle Kids Today

Can you relate? Class of '85, meet Intel's 2015 class of tablets and 2 in 1s.

1. Owning a 30-pound desktop that's larger than your desk.

Gregg Tavares (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: greggman

Is that a computer? Geek-o-rama!

2. Fixing typos on your thesis paper using correction tape or whiteout.

Director84 (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

One missing word usually meant you had to retype everything.

3. Taking a selfie, then dropping it off at the film lab.

Paul Downey (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: psd

Or developing it yourself in the darkroom.

4. Talking on a corded phone within earshot of all your roommates.

Eden, Janine and Jim (CC BY http://3.0) / Via Flickr: edenpictures

There was no privacy, like, ever.

5. Looking up numbers and addresses in the phone book...

Bart Everson (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: editor

Sometimes you'd look for your own name out of sheer boredom.

6. ...or, worse, dialing 4-1-1 at a grody pay phone.

Michael Struwig (CC BY-SA http://3.0) / Via vimeo.com

That's why you always carried spare change.

7. Pulling pranks under some of the most unfortunate fashion trends.

Bart Everson (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: editor

Trolling your dormmates was always IRL.

8. Renting movies from the off-campus video store...

Infrogmation of New Orleans (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: infrogmation

Which sometimes didn't have the movie you wanted.

9. ...and rewinding the tape when the last airhead didn't even bother.

engineerguy (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

Like, be kind, rewind, OK?

10. Waiting for the library to open so you could start your research paper...

Will Hart (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: cthulhuwho1

Where else could you find microfiche machines?

11. ...and waiting even longer when someone else was using the encyclopedia volume you needed.

Rob Ireton (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: aoisakana

The original search engines.

12. Spending quarters at the arcade in between classes...

David Kirsch (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

Where most of your laundry money went.

13. ...but saving just enough coins to grab a 62¢ hamburger from the dining hall.

Bart Everson (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: editor

Reminder: Phone home to ask Mom to send more cash.

14. Adjusting the gigantic rabbit-ear antenna on your TV set.

Sam Howzit (CC BY http://2.0) via flic.kr / Canale di Matrobriva (CC BY http://3.0) via youtu.be

Only to lose reception as soon as you sat on the couch.

15. And, finally, sniffing the exams that came fresh out of the mimeograph machine.

Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: bike

Careful not to smear the ink.

The roommates were rad. The calculator watch: not so much. Graduate to 2015 with Intel-powered tablets and 2 in 1s.