Students have always been at the forefront of musical and cultural evolution, with the changes in their lifestyle mirrored in most aspects of mainstream culture such as music, fashion and technology. Student insurance specialists Endsleigh have taken it upon themselves to produce an interactive graphic detailing the changes that have taken place in the lifestyle of students and popular culture over the past five decades, and they have been quite remarkable!
Beginning with the 1970s, student life was an entirely different experience. David Bowie had just made the transition to Glam Rock and his androgynous music could be heard echoing through student’s halls of residence. Although the perennial Bowie is just as popular as ever now! The 70’s also brought the peak of popularity for ‘Flare’ cut jeans – which could be construed as a travesty or a welcomed fashion statement, depending on how you look at it.
After this came the 1980s. This brought about the ‘New Romanticism’ craze, and students (particularly those studying the arts) could be seen throughout the country emulating the dress of the romantic poets, Byron, Shelley and Keats. Music changed dramatically too, with ‘new wave’ leading the way. Spandau Ballet and Boy George (of Culture Club fame) came to the forefront along with the eccentric dress sense championed by New Romantics.
The 1990s heralded perhaps the most seminal changes in student life, with the ‘Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998’ which introduced tuition fees in England and Wales. However students still enjoyed avant-garde music as much as they have ever done, with Brit-Pop and grunge developing as mainstream genres. Fashion in the 1990s mirrored the leading musicians more than ever before. Chequered shirts and skinny jeans (in the style of Kurt Cobain) and Parka jackets (in the style of Liam Gallagher) were being worn by most students.
From the millennium onwards students were increasingly immersed in technology. This changed how they learned and worked, but also increased the ways that music was available to them. Instant downloading became an option. This has only become more accessible since 2010, with new music available on websites like spotify and grooveshark Students continue to follow the latest quirky fashion trends, and there’s no reason to suggest that this will be abating any time soon! Time will surely show that students will always be keeping on top of the latest music and the newest fashion trends.