Then vs Now: 6 Ways the 21st Century Saved Your College Life

Ever wondered how lucky you are to live in the age of technology? Here are 6 major differences between college today vs back then.

Updated 12 May 2021

Then vs Now: How the 21st Century Saved Your College Life - Feature-Image

Do you tend to feel demotivated when it comes to attending college? Don’t take your privilege for granted. With modern technology such as the internet and mobile applications, being a college student in this century means you now have amazing ease of access to plenty of studying utilities that your parents never got to enjoy!

See how technology in the 21st century has helped ease and smoothen college life for students everywhere.

#1. Getting your assignments

College Then and Now-Getting your assignments

Previously, skipping a class potentially meant you’ll miss out on getting your assignment briefs and also the numerous readings for your course. Your only hope was to count on your friends to collect them on your behalf — that is, if they attended the class themselves. Otherwise, you’re going to have to face your lecturer and explain your absence!

Fortunately, the advent of applications like Google Classroom and even Facebook Groups marks the end of an endless pile of papers being handed out to you. Lecturers can choose to deliver assignments virtually and post the readings online so that you can easily access the files whenever you want and only print them out if necessary.

This ultimately means fewer paper materials hoarding the space on your desk and of course, fewer trees being sacrificed. Talk about saving the environment!

#2. Researching for your papers

College Then and Now-Researching for your papers

Gone are the days where you’ll need to look for a textbook or journal in the campus library to help you write your college essays. You’ve probably never had to look for a book among the dusty shelves of your college library!

Researching for your college assignments is now simply a click away. With the help of search engines such as the almighty Google on the internet, you’ll have your questions answered in less than a second. In fact, you can retrieve information in a plethora of formats like webpages, PDFs, journals and videos — all within a single search entry (all hail Google)!

#3. Working in a team

College Then and Now-Working in a team

Back then, having a group assignment can be a pain in the neck. You’ll have to accommodate to everyone’s timings to set up a meeting. And even so, you still have to deal with the Malaysian timing — being late (ugh).

Now, messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat help you coordinate and assign tasks among your team members without the need to meet up physically. You can also rely on services provided by Google Drive such as Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides which allows for multiple users to create and edit files online while collaborating with other members in real-time. So you can work with your team separately, at the same time!

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#4. Attending classes

College Then and Now-Attending classes

Imagine it’s raining cats and dogs. You have to drag yourself out of your home sweet home, brace the thundering weather and attend your 8am lecture... only to find out that the class is cancelled.

Worry no more! Living in the age of connectivity, you can now receive updates immediately from your lecturers from social networks — especially if a class is postponed or cancelled. But of course, remember to check for the updates before you hit the road. You can also attend classes despite being at a different location from your lecturers through the magic of video call platforms like Skype, Zoom or other virtual classroom websites like Easyclass or Vedamo.

#5. Choosing your career

College Then and Now-Choosing your career

Back then, there weren’t many options and fields of studies to choose from. In fact, many students did not have as much reign over their choice of studies. Your parents were probably restricted to traditional options such as medicine, law and teaching, or went straight to work after completing secondary school.

The abundance of information you can find online makes looking for an interesting career even tougher due to having too many choices! There are now a plethora of unique courses that are unheard of and with new industries popping up in recent years, areas such as cybersecurity, big data analytics and financial technology are now viable fields of study.

#6. Searching for the best college

Parking issues. Packed convention halls. Sweaty crowds. These are probably some major problems when attending a traditional physical education fair as students flock to the fair to look for colleges that best fit their requirements. And don’t forget the many flyers that get shoved in your face as you walk down the exhibition hall.

But… your search for the best college is now made easier than ever. Ditch those boring physical education fairs and check out a virtual one instead!

At EduAdvisor’s Virtual Education Fair, you’ll get to connect and chat live with multiple universities all over Malaysia, within an arm's-length through your preferred screen. In addition, you’ll also get to tune in to exclusive live webinars with various industry experts sharing their professional knowledge and take personality quizzes to figure out the best pathway.

Are you glad to live and breathe in the 21st century now? As tertiary education becomes more accessible, don’t take technology for granted. Be sure to utilise the convenience of modern tech to your advantage and take charge of your education!

Find scholarships, discover programmes and connect with Malaysia's top institutions at the EduAdvisor Virtual Education Fair — happening this 27 May – 5 June 2024! Click here to register.

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    Josephine Serena

    Josephine Serena

    Media studies and journalism graduate. Buy me coffee and I'll spill the beans. Also really tall.