9 Things You'll Recognise If You Went To University In The 1980s

Richard Linklater's 'Everybody Wants Some!!' celebrates this era of high fashion and exclamation marks.

In one monumental decade the 80s’saw the rise of the perm and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Generation X, those ones that came after the Baby Boomers, existed in an era of dial-up internet, vinyl records and the first coming of Reeboks. The university experience was a far cry from Facebook Socials, late night Uber rides and online lecture slides.

Over the decades hair may have become tamer, but the attendance rate of uni-goers has remained relatively much the same. To commemorate the Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD release of ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’, here’s a collection of some of the things you’d immediately recognise if you went to university at the time the film is set, an era of high fashion indeed...

The Handlebar Moustache
The Handlebar Moustache was the quintessential facial accessory of the 80s’, and reserved for the privileged minority who were at the peak of pubescence. To emulate Lionel Ritchie or mirror Freddie Mercury was a facial-hair feat achieved by few. Nonetheless, the handlebar shaped a generation of moustachioed hunks that swarmed university campuses leaving a path of swooning girls.
The Music
You know you went to uni in the 80s’ if at one point in time you were asked to see someone’s record collection. The birth of MTV, punk rock and Madonna were only some of the decade’s musical breakthroughs. If The Sugarhill Gang, 'Rapper's Delight’ doesn’t strike a chord with you, you just weren't trying hard enough.
The Cars
If you went to university in the 1980’s and had a car, chances are it was loud in more ways than one. The 21st century's economical and silent Prius is the polar opposite to cars in the days before emission regulations. Despite being heard well before being seen, to get from A-to-B at Uni in the 80’s, four wheels and a sound system were absolutely essential.
The Hair Accessories
The scrunchie was the hair adornment that took a generation by storm. Bejewelled, fluorescent, velvet... the wardrobe mishaps were endless. Like a virus, the scrunchie spread across campuses and evolved into the side-ponytail. Thankfully for the graduating classes in the 1980s Snapchat wasn’t even a twinkle in its developer’s eye.
Sub-standard Student Accommodation
Student accommodation in the 1980’s makes 21st century halls look like a luxury Hilton Resort. The meaning of ‘shared accommodation’ has been redefined over the decades. Communal lines weren’t the only thing to be crossed - bare necessities such as hot showers, cooking facilities and a Starbucks around every corner were just some of the privileges students of the 80’s never got to enjoy. From pipes breaking to floors concaving, university living in the 80’s was a rite of passage.
The Fashion Tribes
Gone, but never forgotten are the days that Alice Cooper influenced a generation of freshmen with his eyeliner choices. Fashion tribes shaped the university experience in the 80s – jocks, goths, punks, theatre kids – the identities, styles and corresponding cliques have never been so distinctive.
The Big Hair
The ozone layer took a significant hit in the 80s. Hair, just like the atmosphere, became bigger, thicker and heat-damaged. The obsession with Hairspray reached new heights when turned into a 1988 musical. Unless you’re Brian May, the crimped, curled, permed locks have all but gone back down to acceptable proportions. However, it is an undeniable fact that if you went to uni in the 80s your headspace would have grown twice the size.
The Landline Calls Home
In the distant years before the mobile, people had to keep numbers in phonebooks and pick up the receiver to make contact with the outside world. The dating scene was accordingly far more complicated and high-maintenance than a mere 'Swipe right'.
The Jelly Shoes
Whoever said you can’t have comfort and style obviously didn’t go to uni in the 80s and didn’t know about jelly shoes. The older and better looking croc became a sensation across campuses. However, this fortunately hasn't been consigned to history. The PVC footwear that came in any colour and were permitted with socks have crept back into the style-sphere over the years.

‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is available on Digital HD from 5th September and Blu-Ray and DVD from 19 September 2016