College Days: 10 Things I'm Grateful Didn't Exist

I went to college in the early 2000 timeframe when life was simple. Few people had mobile phones, and we had to take turns sharing the dorm landline, where there was no "call waiting" or caller ID.

Sigh. The simple life.

If someone tried to reach you, you could pretend you never got the call, the email, or the letter that came via snail mail from the post office. You didn't have to think about doing something immature and becoming an overnight sensation on YouTube. You didn't have to worry about stupid things you wrote in an email going viral.

Because back when my friends and I were in college, we never said or did anything dumb, immature, or regretful.

Rolls eyes.

Here are the top 10 things I'm glad didn't exist when I was in college:

Text Messages. These weren't around until my senior year of undergrad and, even so, nobody really used them because it took ten minutes to figure out how to type an eight letter word. Further, they weren't part of my family cell phone plan, and my dad threatened my life against texting because each incoming message cost 25 cents.

Back in the glory days, we actually had to pick up the phone and call someone when we wanted to make plans. Or we had to hop on our computers [usually desktops] and log into AIM to figure out what everybody was doing.

My screen name was chikenleggz. Don't ask.

Facebook. Back when I was in college, they had this thing called Flashes Online.

Nope, it wasn't one of those sites.

It was a company that hired photographers to attend university events, usually Greek functions, to document tomfoolery, shenanigans, and debauchery. The pictures were uploaded onto the internet for purchase within a couple days, and you better believe that me and my girlfriends were glued to our computers, scrolling through hundreds of pictures of people we didn't know to see if our crush-of-the-month was spotted with another girl on camera. Praise the Lord, Facebook didn't hit the scene until my first year of law school, and even then, it wasn't popular.

Oh, and you had to actually be enrolled at a university or college to qualify for an account. Not like today, where the entire world has access to it.

If Facebook was around in college, I would have been arrested for stalking.

Hashtags. #wheniwasincollege #wedidn'thavetheseridiculoushashtags #andcouldactuallybefunnyinreallife #withoutfeelinglike #wehadtobefunny #ontheinternet.

The Bachelor/ Bachelorette. While this show was technically around when I was in college, the extravagant dates on the show didn't occur until much later. If so, the over-the-top nature of "dating" would have given me an unrealistic view of relationships and made me feel insecure about my own love life (or lack thereof).

You mean, you're not picking me up at 6:30 to take me on a personal tour of the Grand Canyon via private jet, followed by a romantic candlelit dinner at a castle?

Instead, you're taking me to the all-you-can-eat buffet at KFC?


Amazon Prime. I didn't have a car my first two years of undergrad. If I wanted to go anywhere or needed to buy anything, I had to either take the bus or mooch a ride from my friends.

99 percent of the time, it was the latter.

I would have been impoverished if Amazon Prime existed when I was in college. The fact that I didn't have a job or two nickels to rub together wouldn't have deterred me from buying seventeen bottles of Herbal Essence shampoo, a Juicy Couture terry cloth jumpsuit, and the new John Mayer album just because I could.

Wikipedia. When I was in college, if you wanted to do any research, you had to actually go to the library and completely acquaint yourself with the card catalogue. Nowadays, thanks to Wikipedia, students can plagiarize from the comfort of their own futons.

Smart Phones. During my college days, I had the freedom of being completely "in the moment" with friends without the pressure of needing to instantly respond to emails and SMS messages, uploading pictures of my otherwise mundane life on Instagram, or posting witty remarks on Twitter.

Camera Phones. When I was a college student, we carried disposable cameras from the drugstore. Getting them developed was like opening presents on Christmas morning: you never knew what you'd get, and the final product would leave you equally elated and disappointed.

There was no skin-smoothing filter or red eye correction. The only way to crop a photobomber was to take scissors and physically cut him or her out of the picture.

Sometimes you had to hide your newly-developed photographs from your significant other, because you didn't know the exact age of your disposable camera or if any of the pictures that you'd since forgotten about could get you into trouble.

Rule Number 1: Don't ever let your mother develop your pictures.

This also leads to:

Selfies. You couldn't really take a "selfie" with a disposable camera. If you did, you couldn't immediately upload it onto the internet (because there was no social media) and you had no clue how it turned out until you developed your pictures.

Not to mention that being caught taking pictures of yourself in the early 2000s would have gotten you labeled as narcissistic and vain.

Tinder. This is a smart phone application that pulls information from Facebook to create the user's profile, and then retrieves "matches" that meet their age/gender/location criteria. The user swipes the picture to the right if they find the other user attractive, or swipes to the left if they're not interested.

Basically, Tinder is just another reason to feel insecure in college.

Cheers to the days when life was simple and unplugged!

Jennifer Burby is a litigator at a large Florida law firm. When she's not badgering other attorneys in the courtroom, she's working on her blog, The Champagne Supernova, and tending to her daughters, ages one and three. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more hilarious posts about surviving parenthood. Cheers!