If you attended college in the 80s or 90s, there is a good chance, if it hasn't happened already, that you will soon have a child entering the world of collegiate academia. Chances are, you are wishing you'd held on to your old pair of Doc Marten boots instead of that box of floppy discs, because while fashion has come full circle, technology has not.
College has changed a lot since you graduated, and Southern Utah University has teamed up with KSL.com to bring you six ways it has.
1. The registration process
In your day, if you wanted to register for a class, you had to wake up super early to register on your landline phone, or trudge to a long line at the registrar window. While your fingers were busy dialing, they were also crossed in hopes that you could get through to reserve a seat in the class of your choice. And, if you were lucky enough to have a cellphone, you opted to walk all the way to the registrar's office for fear waiting on hold would use up all your minutes.
Now, all it takes are a few simple clicks from your PC, laptop or mobile device, and you're in. SUU uses Degree Works which tracks all your classes for you on the path to graduation.
2. The way you write and submit reports
Depending on the year you graduated, you may have typed your reports on a typewriter, focusing more on not pushing a wrong button than whether or not the information was accurate. Or, you may have been lucky to have in your possession, a super retro IBM or Apple computer with a blinking green square letting you know where your cursor was.
If you are among the younger generation, you likely spent many hours in a computer lab typing your reports and waiting in line to pick up your report from the lab tech, who would then hand you a pile of steaming papers "hot off the press."
From typewriters to tablets to that dictation app on your phone, it is no secret that today's technology is far more advanced, and advancing by the second. Will dictated papers see the light of day? Possibly. Either way, it is much easier writing a paper today than it was in your college glory days.
3. Researching relevant information
If you attended college in 1988, you would look to the 1985 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica for the most up-to-date information.
Nowadays, not only would the encyclopedia be outdated (do they even make those anymore?), but if you gathered information from Wikipedia last week for a paper due tomorrow, you may want to run another quick fact-check before turning it in.
4. Knowing where the parties are
Let's just cut to the chase with this one. College life wouldn't be college life if there weren't parties happening, like, every day. That much hasn't changed. What has, however, is where the entertainment is taking place and how you know about it. Flyers, hand-written invitations and word-of-mouth have quickly been replaced by Facebook invites, tweets, Snapchats and texts.
On campus, emails and websites replaced the need for an events board, which is necessary for campuses like Southern Utah University that offer daily activities such as concerts, camping, rock climbing and 160 student clubs. On SUU's "College Life" page, your child will know where events are.
5. Where the learning takes place
While there are still classrooms and auditoriums like when you were in school, many colleges and universities offer unique learning opportunities. Supplementing, or sometimes replacing, the classroom setting, universities today offer courses that make learning an immersive experience.
Southern Utah University Outdoors has taken this a step further, teaming up with the National Park Service to offer students an outdoor education that is unlike anywhere else.
6. Preparing you for life after colleges
When you attended college, most of your day was likely spent in a classroom packed full of other students as you furiously took notes your professor wrote on the board, hoping that in doing so, it would prepare you for the upcoming test. You were so focused on the now, that you were unable to give much thought for the future.
Colleges are now seeing the need to better prepare students for life beyond college and offer programs starting from Day One that will help students achieve their unique personal or professional goals.
Former SUU student body president ('81), and current track and cross country coachEric Houle said, "Technology allows today's student to stay connected with family, classes and social life infinitely better than the student of yesterday. But with all those changes, one thing that hasn't changed at SUU is the personal connection between the teacher and student."
Another thing that hasn't changed is the fact that the college years were some of the best years of your life. While much has changed with time, you'll always have those memories to look back on and to cherish with your child when they start their best years.
This post was written by KSL, sponsored by Southern Utah University.