College is frequently on my mind, as we live near a campus. There are actually a lot of colleges in St. Paul – St. Paul College, St. Kate’s, St. Thomas, Macalester, Hamline, Concordia, part of the U of MN campus . . .I know I’m missing more. A trio of college student DJ’s actually moved in next door and there’s a frat house behind us in the alley. We joke that all of the activity keeps us young.
A lot has changed since I was in college in the early 2000’s. Technology advanced and the world feels smaller. Here are some things that I would imagine would make college different today:
- Smartphones and knowing how to find your friends
Smartphones make it easier to find your friends. Near the end of my college years, our phones could text (companies often charged by the text sent and received). Internet access was so slow and expensive, no one had it.
We hung whiteboards on our doors and wrote where we were headed – e.g. the cafeteria or library. It wasn’t unusual to call people’s actual dorm landlines. A lot of times you would simply wander over to your friend’s room or dorm without any notification.
In college student fashion, we flexed our abilities to articulate thoughts and make sense of the world. We constantly argued and debated. But, not online. In person. This was before Reddit and Facebook. Sometimes we debated issues for hours. If your friend made an outrageous claim, you couldn’t just fact check them on your smart phone. You had to wait until you got to a computer.