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Blog: Me At 20

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Yesterday there was a THING going round the Social Medias of people posting pictures of themselves at 20. My colleague Mr S Hewitt posted a brilliant picture of his old NUS cards looking EXTREMELY fresh-faced, and I thought "Hang on, I've got MY old NUS card somewhere, I could join in!" And LO! I did!

As I said on the Twitters, I thought that picture was an AMAZING idea when I took it in Boots in September 1990... and then RUED my decision over the rest of the year when I had to use it almost daily as ID. I also made the Traditional Remark re: Polytechnics i.e. "for those too young to remember, a Polytechnic was like a University, but for cool people", and then realised that pretty much EVERYTHING to do with this image needed some explanation for THE KIDS. For instance:

  • NUS cards don't really exist anymore, at least not in the same way. I've got something called a "Totum" card now (that I had to ACTUALLY PAY for!!) which gives various discounts, whereas the NUS card was issued as part of everybody's registration each year, and was used by the Poly and other organisations as the one way to prove you were a student. Talking of which...
  • Student Unions don't seem to be anywhere near as much of a thing as they used to be. Back in the dark distant days of the late 80s/early 90s our union building was THE place for Friday and Saturday nights, also any other night, also for daytime drinking, or clubs and societies (which most people were part of), or getting information, or even eating sometimes. I've worked in several Educational Establishments since then, and nowadays you'd be hard pressed to know where the Union building WAS. I don't think we've got anything like that at all at UAL, for instance.
  • Photobooth pictures aren't such a thing anymore either. I used to love going to photobooths, and as you can see from the picture above I spent a LOT of time thinking about them - the one in Boots had a choice of blue curtains, orange curtains or no curtains, and I thought it might look good to use THE LOT. I also thought it would look good to pull that expression, but you can't win them all.
  • Waistcoats! Everybody wore bloody waistcoats back then, what on earth was that in aid of? Had charity shops massively overstocked and were flogging them off cheap? If you see a photograph of students from those days they will a) look oddly wan and poorly b) 90% be wearing waistcoats, rising to 100% if any of them are in a band. I haven't worn a waistcoat since I "grew out of" my three-piece charity suit, I used to think I looked AMAZING in it!

    There's also the use of Official Stamps to VALIDATE things (of which I heartily approve), ID cards that were basically a piece of paper laminated and the row of BOXES at the bottom that could be CLIPPED for some reason. It's basically an ANTIQUE! The only mystery about it all is that it appears to date from THIRTY YEARS AGO. That can't be right can it? Surely i was A BABY then?!?

    posted 17/4/2020 by MJ Hibbett

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