Students in the 90s lived a different life than modern students have now. Different interests, different fashions, and different technologies meant life in the 90s was a completely different experience.

While modern students may be meeting dates and making friends through social media, students in the 90s went out and met people in person through friends and acquaintances.

Students in the 90s might have had a simpler life; however, with no access to Google, it may have been more difficult to complete assignments. Here are five of the main differences between students in the 90s and students now.

Owning a computer
In the 90s, most people didn’t own a laptop. A computer was a fixed installation in your home, and it was normally for family use. 90s technology meant computers were pretty large and bulky and took an age to startup and shutdown. To type assignments, students were sent to a computer lab where computers were available for public use. You had to login with your username and password to access the word processing software, early web browsers, or of course play Doom.

Nowadays, most students have computers, laptops, or tablets that hold far more power than the average 90s PC. Typing an assignment means just finding the appropriate place to sit down with your device. It is even possible now of course to do the same tasks on your mobile phone, including emailing or printing. 

The internet
Back in the early 90s certainly, it was rare to have an internet connection in your home. When it became slightly more popular, the internet connected through a phone line using dial-up and was particularly slow. Loading webpages and downloading files took a very long time.

A 90s student probably never dreamed that one day students would be able to find information with a few taps or within a few seconds.

Adding to accessibility of information is the accessibility of tools to check the authenticity and uniqueness of your work. Not only can students Google to find information as part of their research but there are tools to help them with their spelling, punctuation and fact checking. EduBirdie online plagiarism checker is one such tool that allows you to make sure your assignments meet the standards your professors are looking for. It includes checks for web content, resumes and essays of any type.

Passing time
While there have been advancements in the use of technology in modern education, it is important to consider what students do in their free time. These days many students binge series on Netflix, play games online, or aimlessly browse social media for hours on their phones.

Students in the 90s were often watching movies in theaters, gaming in arcades, or listening to music on a Walkman if they needed time alone. Playing games with your friends meant connecting your computers with physical cables or setting up the PlayStation, if you had one.

Most 90s students had to buy cassette tapes or CDs to listen to music, and VHS box sets of series were common in many households and dorm rooms.

Image – Freepik

Bulletin boards
Cell phones were also very rare in the 90s and we mostly saw those bulky Nokia ones. They were pretty boxy and bulky and not very convenient. In addition, you couldn’t really do much on an early cell phone. You couldn’t even play Snake until 1998.

When it came to education in the 90s and knowing what was going on, students had to head to a physical bulletin board. Notices and scores were posted on these boards. So, to find out if class is canceled, you had to head to campus and find the relevant bulletin board.

Education today has evolved and adapted. Students get all information through the school portal, website, text message, or email. This means students can plan their time better, and there are fewer resources, such as fuel and paper, wasted on notices.

College catalogs
Complex websites in the 90s took forever to load, and email was not very common in the 90s. So, when you looked at colleges and universities in the 90s, you ended up with paper catalogs and magazines telling you about the schools. Applications were also hand-delivered or posted in.

These days you can simply look online for the information you want, and applying can be done through the school website – including payment! Saving you space and giving you the opportunity to compare schools and access reviews about schools in a few clicks is a great advantage of the internet.

The bottom line
When comparing students from the 90s with modern students, it could be concluded that modern students have it easier. Modern students have better access to the internet, easier ways to make friends and better resources for academic articles. However, this also comes with more and conflicting information, and students are often left more confused than when they began their research.

It could also be said that life was much safer and simpler in the 90s, since students experienced less pressure and lower workloads, with more freedom. Either way, technology is improving access to information and students have more resources than ever before to achieve their best scores at college.