Thursday, November 5, 2015

FTSF - When I was 19 years old

This blog hop post is being linked to Finish the Sentence Friday - When I was 19 years old.  Kristi Campbell of is the host. The co-host for this week is Mimi Sager Yoskowitz of

It really rattled the old memory cage as I contemplated what to share.  That seems like forever ago, and there has been a lot of living since then.

After completing my freshman year of college, I was extremely tired.  After an exam I learned I was anemic and needed to take iron shots.  By the time my birthday rolled around that summer I was beginning to feel better and ready to be 19.

When I was 19 it was a year of decisions, important decisions.  I met my future husband during my freshman year of college, and I wore his (co-op living group) pin that indicated we were in a steady relationship.  By the middle of my sophomore year I was wearing his engagement ring and planning to marry after he graduated and worked for a summer.  (In high school a girl would have worn her boyfriend's class ring, or perhaps his letterman's jacket, but in college a guy living in a fraternity or a co-op gave his steady girlfriend his pin to wear.)

My major in college was business education, but the last quarter of my sophomore year I changed my major to early childhood education.  I felt some of those classes would be more important now that I was planning to get married and someday have a family. As it turned out, both the business classes and the early childhood education classes have been assets in my life.

My biggest challenge at college came when I had classes that required a lot of reading.  I'd never had difficulty reading words, but after seeing the speed with which my husband and children are able to read, I suspect I may have some kind of reading disability.

I lived in a dormitory, as I didn't have a desire to live in a sorority and hadn't gone through "rush."  Dormitories were segregated by the sexes with boys in completely different buildings than the girls.
A hall phone was on each floor of the dormitory.  This phone was shared by all the girls on the floor.  If you were expecting a call from someone and the phone was in use, you just had to hope the caller wouldn't give up trying to call you.  There wasn't a way to have a phone in your room, and of course cell phones were a thing of the future.  We could only wonder about the gadgets we saw in Dick Tracy comics.  Calling home or receiving calls from home were infrequent because of the cost.  Writing letters was the favored way of communicating.

There was one candy machine in dormitory.  I don't remember any kind of a pop machine being in the building.

Each student brought his own typewriter to college.  There were no computers then.

The dress code on campus at that time was for the girls to wear dresses, or skirts and blouses/sweaters to classes.

Those little folding plastic rain bonnets were common at that time, as were umbrellas.  The umbrellas were used a lot in the spring when the grosbeaks inhabited some of the trees lining the streets on campus.  It only took one dumping on your coat or books to sell the idea of carrying an umbrella.

Each night the girls took time to roll their hair in brush rollers and then tried to get a good night's sleep.  Somehow one just got used to it.

Job experiences included working during the summers in secretarial type jobs where I used the business skills I'd gained in high school and in college.  I took dictation using my shorthand skills and did a lot of typing and general secretarial tasks.

When I was 19 I didn't know how to drive a car.  (I could drive a tractor.)  There wasn't such a thing as drivers education in the schools then.  (My husband actually taught me to drive several years after we were married.)

That's it from this now much older than 19 blogger.


  1. Loved the fact that you couldn't drive a car yet you could drive a tractor. So very telling. Yes, I remember the days of having to line up for hours to register for my courses. That's how I landed in my favourite class with my favourite prof. After standing in line for over an hour I learned that the kids' lit class was full. My face must have registered my disappointment for a another prof sidled up and advised me to join the Chaucer class. "Best prof on campus." I did. Very reluctantly. And he was right. Best prof on campus. Loved it. Loved Chaucer.

    1. Was the prof that taught the Chaucer class the prof that advised you to join the class? Sometimes the accidental happenings turn out to be the best.

  2. What a fun trip down memory lane to your age 19! My mom was pinned by my dad in college. And I took Early Childhood Classes in undergraduate and graduate school. They were helpful in life! And I love that you knew how to drive a tractor but not a car.

    1. Thank you. There wasn't much to worry about dodging when driving the tractor, and unlike now, I only drove it in the fields on the farm.

  3. So much of this is similar to my college experience. We had one payphone in each hallway and we'd wait in line with quarters on Sundays to call home. Cell phones were a thing of the future for me then as well and we did have a few computers in the library that we had to sign up to use. Most of us just used typewriters in our dorm rooms. And the other thing? I loved getting letters in the mail. I miss that. I think we should bring hand-written letters back.

    1. There weren't any computers in our college library when I was in college. The first computer I saw was in a savings and loan office where I worked a year after I got married. It was the size of a small office and no one except one person was allowed to use it. Not much better than a mail box with a letter in it.

  4. :-) Life was certainly different at 19, Pat! What an interesting trip back in time! Must have been heavy - carrying those typewriters everyday is the thing that stood out for me. College life in India is very different. One of the things I loved was the overdose of greeting cards - Hallmark's and Archies must have made a killing back then with us! Computers weren't even heard of! I started my career in 1984 and used a computer for the first time (with Dbase) in 1995! Life was different and quite wonderful. I always feel happy to have lived then...and to be here now.

    Thank you, Pat!

    1. Yes, life was very different then. Since I lived in a dorm, that is where my typewriter stayed. I took hand written notes in class, and if an assignment needed to be typed, I did that back at the dorm. I had a portable typewriter which was much smaller than the typewriters in offices. It is great to have these blog challenges which cause us to reflect in detail, and it is also wonderful to see all the advancements that have happened through these passing years.