Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Its Been Nearly 40 Years Since I Graduated From High School in 1983

I graduated from high school in 1983 -- nearly 40 years ago. Now, at age 57, it's hard to believe that almost four decades have gone by since I walked out of the high school gymnasium with my diploma in hand. As I was filling up my car with gas, I began to recall the 'old days' and how less expensive things were. That got me going down memory lane and flashing back to the simpler days of the early 1980's -- long before the Internet, cell phones, and the fast pace of today's world. Here are a few nostalgic items from my high school graduation year:

I wish that my children and stepchildren could have experienced life in the early 1980's. Truly, those were more simple and innocent times. I recall my parents saying the same thing about the early 1950's. Now, they are in their mid to upper 80's in age and I can only imagine how different the world looks to them compared to the early 1950's.

The Internet, cell phones, and computers changed the world forever. In some ways, those advancements in technology have provided many positive results. However, there are certainly ways in which those things have made society pay a significant price -- and I'm not just talking about at the checkout counter. I'm glad that when I graduated from high school in 1983, personal computers were not common and the Internet and cell phones were not yet available. Today, most people walk around with the world in their pocket. They have Internet-driven portable devices that can access any information within a few words typed into Google.

I remember when the Encyclopaedia Britannica was my "Google," when a phone mounted on the wall at home was my only phone, and when the library was my "computer." I remember when having a portable phone meant having a CB in your car, and when getting written words to someone fast meant paying extra for postage at the post office. Back in the early 1980's there wasn't anything "on demand" as there is today. If you missed a TV show on one of the few channels available, then you missed it. There wasn't on demand streaming services. The TV Guide or a local newspaper was the only way to find out what was scheduled to be on television. And, each day at midnight the TV went off -- for everyone! The National Anthem would play before the TV went to static. Back then, it cost too much for TV stations to run for small night audiences. Generally, the TV came back on around 6 a.m. the next day. Yes, that's how it was until I was in my 20's.

Its been almost 40 years since I packed my bags and headed off to the University of Montana, where I earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees after five years on campus. I paid out-of-state tuition (having gone there from Alaska) and my total bill for two degrees was around $25,000 -- and yes, that included tuition, room, board, and books. I was curious what it would cost me today to attend the same university and pay out-of-state tuition. As you can image, the cost has certainly gone up! If I wanted to earn two B.A. degrees now from the University of Montana, I would pay approximately $192,000 for five years of tuition, room, board, and books as an out-of-state resident. That's about $167,000 more than what I paid back in the 1980's.

The average cost of a U.S. home in 1983 was $75,000. Today, the average cost is $375,000 -- or five times more! Back in 1983, the world population was 4.6 billion people. Today, it is 7.9 billion -- an increase of 58 percent! In the words of Doc Brown... "Great Scott!" (and you would only understand that if you've watched the movie 'Back To The Future' from 1985)There certainly have been a lot of changes that I've seen in the world during my 57 years on this big blue marble, and I'm hoping to live to 100... in the year 2065. What else might I see in the next 43 years? I can only imagine!

From Him, Through Him, For Him (Romans 11:36),
Paul J. Staso


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