Looking back to 1985, I realise that the year was one of the formative times of my life. The beginning of 1985 heralded a change: I was leaving behind my high school years and entering my first year at university. University was an eye-opener for me: my academic life was no longer governed by teachers who expected me to think as they do; I was attending school with other races (growing up in Apartheid South Africa I had been to school with only other children of my race); I was attending classes of subjects that interested me.
It was at university that I discovered what I truly believed in; and I learned to speak out about it. One of my favourite songs from that era was Shout by Tears for Fears:
I fit in at university like I hadn’t before. I was able to express myself and explore so much. I definitely belonged in the life that working for my degree brought to me: time spent in the library doing research and reading; lunches with friends on the lawns; discussions with classmates in between lectures on topics that interested. It was during this time that I became a Sting fan (I had previously listened to the music created by The Police).
Music was always a pat of my life – I did not play it but I always listened to the efforts of musicians. Music accompanied me through my university years – and followed me when I began working. Thinking back on those years brings to mind the songs that I used to enjoy daily. Another singer I enjoyed listening to during this time was Bryan Adams. Loved his song Run To You. I was so excited when many years later I had the chance to see him perform live.
I may no longer be striding through the spaces of my alma mater, but from time to time I do listen to the music of that era. While singing along to the songs of 1985, my memories take me back to a time when I was fresh out of high school and exploring the new-found freedom of university life.
What songs do you think of when you look back to 1985?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020