Then and now: University 2006 vs 2016

Arctic Monkeys, dirty Converse and Anchorman quotes vs EDM, Stan Smiths and endless cat memes

2006 collage

If you ask anyone over the age of 23, 2006 doesn’t seem like that long ago. It sure as hell does not feel like TEN BLOODY YEARS AGO. But alas, contrary to Matthew McConaughey’s True Detective theory, time is not a flat circle but does indeed march on and here we find ourselves on the wrong side of 2010 wondering where the best years of our lives went…

Enough about our quarter life crisis, let's take a look back at what uni life was like a decade ago (hint: there was no Instagram).

  1. 1 Facebook v Instagram/Snapchat
    Source: Facebook/Snapchat

    Ten years ago Facebook was the only way of sharing pictures we had (apart from emailing them, which no-one except your mum ever did) and played a big part of uni life.

    The average student night out in 2006 went a little something like this: get ready while listening to The Killers and drinking a bottle of the cheapest wine on offer at Tesco, take a handful of badly lit, badly composed pictures on your digital camera with nowt more than the black and white setting to flatter, bring said digital camera to whatever piece of crap club was selling pitchers of snakebite for £7, take approximately 326 blurry pictures and spend the next morning carefully curating them down to 300, putting them all on Facebook, sitting back and waiting for the desperate pleas of ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU PUT THAT UP. UNTAG PLEASE.’

    These days, thanks for Instagram’s seemingly endless supply of filters we’re able to cultivate a carefully crafted public persona that can make even the crappiest Tuesday in Wetherspoons look like a night at Studio 54 or The Viper Room (if these mean nothing to you, Google ‘common cultural references that you should really understand by the time you’re an adult’) And forget hundreds of the same blurry club photos.

    Now we’re taking Snapchat videos from the dancefloor and no-one seems to mind that their impression of Hotline Bling will disappear in 10 seconds.

  2. 2 Going out wardrobe: 2006 v 2016
    Source: Instagram/ASOS

    Whereas mid-noughties style was a mishmash of babydoll dresses, graphic tees and giant pashmina scarves, 2016 style is straight off a 90s Calvin Klein ad via an Eternal music video with a dash of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Atypical night out wardrobes are as follows: 2006: Sparkly top, denim skirt, cut off tights and blazer 2016: crop top, mom jeans and bomber jackets.

  3. 3 Dirty Converse vs box fresh Stan Smiths
    Source: Instagram

    While we’re on the subject of fashion, the change in shoes has to be one of the most obvious differences over the last decade. Whereas ten years ago you would go out of your way to scuff up your Converse high tops, in 2016 there is no such thing as trainers that are “too white”. Hands up who here has cancelled plans ‘cause it was raining and they didn’t want to get their white Air Max 90s dirty? Yeah, us too.

  4. 4 Indie vs EDM

    The Killers, Kings of Leon, Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Futureheads, The Strokes, The Long Blondes, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire vs David Guetta.

  5. 5 Posters: Libertines vs Taylor Swift

    I picked my uni halls based on the fact that there were posters of The Libertines, Hot Chip and The Royal Tenenbaums in the communal kitchen. These days it’s all about Taylor Swift, Blue is the Warmest Colour and even unironic pictures of Justin Bieber in his Calvins.

  6. 6 Communal film night vs Netflix

    Most uni halls had a communal sitting room of some kind and as someone once told us that if you have a lock on your door and a TV in your room you need to pay for a TV licence, chances are this was the only television you had access to. These days your laptop is way better than any TV because you can avoid three hours of Jeremy Kyle everyday and watch only the good stuff - like three hours of Come Dine With Me.

  7. 7 Anchorman quotes vs memes

    “Sixty per cent of the time, it works-” OH MY GOD I GET IT, YOU’VE SEEN ANCHORMAN. Here’s a stat for you - 60 per cent of lads who used Anchorman quotes as chat up lines during Fresher’s Week got zero action. Thanks to the internet, comedy has evolved into crude renderings of a frog called Pepe expressing all our emotions for us. Hilarious.

  8. 8 Smoking vs smoking areas

    Going to uni in the pre-smoking ban era was only great if you were a smoker. Imagine the first Monday night back after Christmas at the biggest club in your uni town. Now imagine that every other person in that giant sweatbox of a place is smoking. It’s truly amazing that more fires didn’t get started or flailing arms didn’t get burned. That’s not to mention coming home every night STINKING of smoke. Bleugh.

  9. 9 Backcombing vs top knots
    Source: Tumblr/Instagram

    ‘The higher the hair, the closer to God’ was a mantra many of us followed a decade ago. Until Jersey Shore and WAGs came along and ruined what was a perfectly good hairstyle. Now it’s all about top knots and huns, which are pretty much the same thing.

  10. 10 Dial up vs broadband

    Pretty sure there was no such thing as wifi in my uni halls in 2006. Okay we might not have had dial up but we defo had to connect to the interweb with one of those ethernet cables. Okay, now I’m really starting to feel old.

  11. 11 2006 Calvin Harris vs 2016 Calvin Harris
    Source: Tumblr