1. You probably didn't own a computer. If you did, it looked like this and weighed a ton.
2. If you wanted to use the internet, that meant going to the ~computer room~, where you would spend endless hours waiting for web pages to load.
Even though all you wanted to do was check your Hotmail and dick around in chat rooms.
There might have been a whizz kid in your halls who had a computer in his room and managed to illegally download a TV show or film. But it took him/her all term to do it.
3. Still, it felt like luxury compared to using your parents' computer at home – where any internet time had to be scheduled for moments when your mum wasn't on the phone.
4. Not that you necessarily needed technology for your work. Wikipedia didn't exist, and Ask Jeeves was no help at all.
5. Besides, you wrote your notes in fountain pen, and kept them in a ring binder.
6. Essays were a thing that you physically ~handed in~.
7. If you wanted to leave a message for someone you'd stick a note on their door.
8. Hardly anyone owned a mobile phone, so when you and your friends made a plan to meet, everyone had to stick to it.
9. If you lost your friends in a club or bar you could spend the whole evening searching.
10. If you did own a mobile, it was a Nokia that only had space for eight texts. So you had to be selective about which you kept.
11. You queued for ages to use the pay phone during freshers' week.
12. You may even have used a phone card that you topped up at the start of term.
13. Freshers' week conversations revolved around '80s kids' TV shows, like Mysterious Cities of Gold.
14. At the end of the first term you wrote down all your new friends' phone numbers and addresses in a book so you could keep in touch over the holidays.
15. You sent actual letters to friends at other universities telling them how you were getting on.
16. And, since email was a novelty, you'd send long missives that way too.
17. The only way you knew when anything was happening was by checking noticeboards.
18. You had train and bus timetables pinned to your wall or stuffed in a drawer.
Generally, there was a lot of paper. In London, pre-Google Maps, it was common to take an A-Z with you wherever you went.
19. Someone in your halls almost certainly had this poster on their wall.
20. You knew a group of lads who did literally nothing but play GoldenEye on the N64.
21. There were days when your only achievement was watching Neighbours twice in one day.
22. You sang along to "Disco 2000" and it was about the future.
23. You could smoke wherever you damn well pleased.
24. You were pleased when people came to your room because it meant you could show off your awesome CD collection.
The Bends – check. Counting Crows' debut album – check. The Best of James – hoo boy, check.
25. You owned a bulky hi-fi that was a real bugger to cart home at the end of every term.
26. The dual cassette deck was important because you never knew when you might want to make someone a compilation tape*.
27. There was a druggy crowd who were always trying to persuade you to go to a drum-and-bass night.
There would be a conversation about how you were supposed to dance to the bassline, not the drumbeat.
28. There was a cheese night that people would go back to over and over again, despite claiming never to enjoy a single moment of it.
29. But there often weren't that many entertainment options. Sometimes you'd stay up all night, just sitting in someone's room, talking.
30. It was easy to keep conversation going, because no one had their head buried in a smartphone at any point.
31. But the weirdest thing to wrap your head round now? People almost never took photos.
32. Which means very little photo evidence exists today.
And you're glad about that.
If Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat had been around to immortalise what you were like back then? Doesn't bear thinking about.