So the message came through on Facebook tonight. Our 20 year high school reunion is on.
Are we really that old? At 36 years old, all I’ve been telling myself is “at least you’re not 40 yet, there’s a few more years to get it right” but 20 years out of high school, well – it’s a long time. It got me thinking about the good ole days and how times have changed since those fabulous times at our all girls high school where spirits were high and our futures were bright and optimistic. Our school motto was “Women in Time Will Come to Do Much”. It really was our core belief and we chased our dreams….ahh they really were some of the best days of our life….
Because back in 1994….
- We caught trains to school called red rattlers, you could open the doors manually and reach out and grab the tree branches as the train whizzed past each station. There was no air con but you could open the windows and feel the fresh breeze. We were beyond excited when a new train called the TANGARA was launched.
- We used pay phones at the station to call our parents to ask them to pick us up but they wouldn’t accept 1c and 2c coins which were still in circulation back then. Normally half an hour to an hour later Mum or Dad would rock up without a worry in the world that they had no way of knowing we were safe during that time.
- Your boyfriend or potential boyfriend had to call and talk to your Mum and Dad before being teased to DEATH about a boy calling you. You had one phone line (two if you were rich) at home with one number that had 6 digits – I can still remember ours, 445-616 and it had a cord attached to the wall. Your parents and siblings could hear your every word. The biggest movement in technology at the time was the introduction of 3-way calls and call waiting.
- There was one computer lab in school and Windows had not been invented yet so computer education meant learning how to write computer programs in a language called BASIC. And that, it what is was, pretty frigging basic.
- Only three languages were offered as subjects, Latin, French and Italian. Latin is obviously a useful language to have up your sleeve nowadays.
- There was no SMS or mobile phones, we passed notes at school and sometimes they were brutal. I still have a note in one of my 90’s school diaries where a friend called me a “blaudy bitch” – if only we had spell check back then we could have abused each other with a bit of auto-correct help.
- You went to underage disco’s in North Sydney called Metropolis which was actually a NIGHTCLUB on every other night. The stench of booze was epic so you downed a gazillion Spumante and Passion Pop before you entered with the promise to ‘call your parents’ as soon as you were ready to be picked up. Cue the Macarena, MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This and Vogue – we danced the night away until, with 10 minutes to go there was a mad dash to pash the man of your dreams.
- Hooking up was referred to as “getting with” so if you kissed a boy on the weekend the discussion was around the ‘getting with’ process. If your mother mentioned the word ‘pash’ you DIED of embarrassment.
- Never mind Miley and her Twerking. We had Madonna and her SEX book. Michael Hutchence was corrupting Kylie and a band called Milli Vanilli were pretending to sing when they actually couldn’t.
- We had no Foxtel. We used video tapes to record anything and if you missed it, too bad. We had three channels and generally only one TV in the house. We were obsessed with E Street, The Simpsons, A Country Practice, Full Frontal, Video Hits, Rage, Beverley Hills 90210 and who can forget Kylie Mole and Con the Fruiterer on The Comedy Company.
- The gay kids couldn’t admit they were. They didn’t talk about how they felt and to be honest, it wasn’t an open discussion however when they came out years later, we knew. We always knew and we were always fine that they were. It seems so sad now that they couldn’t be themselves all those years ago.
- You spent a lot of time after school going to the library to study. The reality was no study was done and it was a hub of socializing, mainly with the opposite sex. The only way to find information was via books and books were at the library. You photocopied the info you needed at 20c per page and spent the rest of the evening trying to write the assignment you were at the library to complete.
- There were a LOT of school books. No digital books, laptops or ipads. Can you imagine carrying 3 binders and 4 mega school books plus lunch, drink and a musical instrument to school – it’s NO WONDER WE WERE ALL SO SKINNY!
- We listened to music on tapes through walkmans and listened ALL day to the radio to hear our favourite song so that we could record it for our Walkman playlist.
- A forty-five dollar Sportgirl top was our complete pride and joy and we were constantly reminded by our parents how ‘lucky’ we were to own one. It was compulsory to own Country Road duffel bag and we were loyal to brands. It was all about Portmans, Country Road and Sportsgirl.
- Many of us with weekend jobs were paid in cash. An envelope was physically handed to us with cold hard cash in it. No EFT, handwritten pay envelopes with the total less tax.
- We did some very naughty things and now we’re old enough to have daughters who will be there soon – we want to lock them up!
What else can you remember from school in the 90’s that is different to the world we live in today?