Vintage pictures of college dorms and what they look like now
Maybe it seems like summer just started, but in actuality, it’s coming to a close. August is the month that most college students will return to school — or move in for the first time. That can only mean one thing: dorm room shopping.
Though decorating your dorm room can be a thousand-dollar investment in 2019, dorm rooms used to look pretty different back in the day.
Keep scrolling to see how much dorm rooms have changed over the past few decades.
It seemed like dorms used to be, essentially, a glorified closet.
This looks barely big enough for the furniture, let alone two people and all their belongings.
Now, some are big enough to comfortably fit a couch.
We wish our dorm had been big enough to fit some seating, instead of forcing everyone to sit on our beds, desks, uncomfortable desk chairs, floor, or any flat surface available.
Read more: 16 colleges with the best dorms in the US
People who were ahead of the tech curve had their very own desktop computer in the ’90s.
Personal computers became more and more popular throughout the ’80s and ’90s. It became a necessity to have a computer for homework, talking to your friends, and gaming — but you were confined to your desk to use it.
Now, almost everyone has a laptop that barely takes up any space.
Now, heading into any college classroom, you’d see many students using their laptops to take notes (among other things). The same goes with a dorm room — some students use their desk as more of a vanity, or storage, because they can take their laptop into bed with them.
Read more: The best college laptops you can buy
Of course, before any type of computer, students were typing out term papers on typewriters.
Yup, typewriters were a common sight in dorm rooms back in the day.
If you wanted food, you’d have to trek to a dining hall.
If you wanted to get some hot food, at least … or ice cream … or anything that required temperature control.
Now, dorms usually come with a fridge and microwave, or at least they are available to rent from the school.
Now, students can make all the Easy Mac or Cup Noodles they want, without leaving the comfort of their dorm.
Decorations went from simple pictures and books …
Everything comes back into style, and even old-school decorations like dream catchers are starting to filter in again.
… to more coordinated decor.
Check out these 15 dorm makeovers that will give you the urge to re-enroll in school.
Televisions were thicker, while screens were smaller.
Even four decades ago, college kids would gather around the (admittedly tiny) TV to watch things together — though it’s not exactly “Netflix and chill.”
Now, TVs are thinner but have bigger screens.
Take a look at any of the dozens of dorm room tours on YouTube— most of these college students have TVs that past generations would find extremely futuristic.
The drinking age used to be 18 in the US, meaning that freshman were freely allowed to drink and even erect bars in their room.
But starting in 1987, all 50 states had raised their drinking ages to 21, so only upperclassmen could drink — and many campuses are still completely dry to this day.
Music used to be jammed out to on a record player.
Yes, record players might be back in vogue, but hipsters must admit that they’re not the most convenient way to listen to music at a party.
Now “smart” dorm rooms are all the rage with various speakers and virtual assistants like Alexa.
Whether it’s an Alexa, a Sonos, or a Bose speaker, the college experience is getting more and more electronic. Insider Picks has you covered on which speakers are the best for your dorm room.