Every year Beloit College publishes their mindset list of what the typical freshmen entering college has always known, or never known, and each year I feel a little bit older.
Here is this year's list:
Students heading into their first year of college this year
are mostly 18 and were born in 1997.
Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess
Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa.
Joining them in the world the year they were born were Dolly
the sheep, The McCaughey septuplets, and Michael “Prince” Jackson Jr.
Since they have been on the planet:
1. Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced.
2. Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to
organize the world's information and make it universally accessible.”
3. They have never licked a postage stamp.
4. Email has become the new “formal” communication, while
texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.
5. Four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South
6. Hong Kong has always been under Chinese rule.
7. They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an
8. The NCAA has always had a precise means to determine a
national champion in college football.
9. The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to
hold a position has only impressed their parents.
10. Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over
his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.
11. Color photos have always adorned the front page of The
New York Times.
12. Ellis Island has always been primarily in New Jersey.
13. “No means no” has always been morphing, slowly, into
“only yes means yes.”
14. Cell phones have become so ubiquitous in class that
teachers don’t know which students are using them to take notes and which ones
are planning a party.
15. The Airport in Washington, D.C., has always been Reagan
16. Their parents have gone from encouraging them to use the
Internet to begging them to get off
17. If you say “around the turn of the century,” they may
well ask you, “which one?”
18. They have avidly joined Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione
as they built their reading skills through all seven volumes.
19. Attempts at human cloning have never been federally
funded but do require FDA approval.
20. "Crosstown Classic” and the “Battle of the Bay”
have always been among the most popular interleague rivalries in Major League
21. Carry Me Back to Old Virginny has never been
the official song of the Virginia Commonwealth.
22. Phish Food has always been available from Ben and Jerry.
23. Kyoto has always symbolized inactivity about global
24. When they were born, cell phone usage was so expensive
that families only used their large phones, usually in cars, for
25. The therapeutic use of marijuana has always been legal
in a growing number of American states.
26. The eyes of Texas have never looked upon The Houston
27. Teachers have always had to insist that term papers
employ sources in addition to those found online.
28. In a world of DNA testing, the Tomb of the Unknowns at
Arlington has never included a Vietnam War veteran “known only to God.”
29. Playhouse Disney was a place where they could play
30. Surgeons have always used “super glue” in the operating
31. Fifteen nations have always been constructing the
International Space Station.
32. The Lion King has always been on Broadway.
33. Phoenix Lights is a series of UFO sightings, not a
34. Scotland and Wales have always had their own parliaments
35. At least Mom and Dad had their new Nintendo 64 to help
them get through long nights sitting up with the baby.
36. First Responders have always been heroes.
37. Sir Paul and Sir Elton have always been knights of the
same musical roundtable.
38. CNN has always been available en Español.
39. Heaven’s Gate has always been more a trip to Comet
Hale-Bopp and less a film flop.
40. Splenda has always been a sweet option in the
41. The Atlanta Braves have always played at Turner Field.
42. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have always been
members of NATO.
43. Humans have always had the ability to use implanted
radio frequency ID chips—slightly larger than a grain of rice.
44. TV has always been in such high definition that they
could see the pores of actors and the grimaces of quarterbacks.
45. Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith have always been Men in
Black, not their next-door neighbors.
46. The proud parents recorded their first steps on
camcorders, mounted on their shoulders like bazookas.
47. They had no idea how fortunate they were to enjoy the
final four years of Federal budget surpluses.
48. Amoco gas stations have steadily vanished from the
49. Vote-by-mail has always been the official way to vote in
50. ...and there has always been a Beloit College Mindset