Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to
try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of that year’s incoming
freshmen. Here is the fall 1999 list:
- The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were
born in 1981.
- They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and did not know
he had ever been shot.
- They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.
- Black Monday, 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.
- For them, there has been only one Pope. They can only really remember
- They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart, and do not remember the
- They have never feared a nuclear war. “The Day After” is a pill to
them, not a movie.
- They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
- Tianamen Square means nothing to them.
- Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
- Bottle caps have always been screw-off and plastic recycled.
- Atari pre-dates them, as do vinyl albums.
- The expression “you sound like a broken record” means nothing to them.
- They have never owned a record player.
- They have likely never played Pac-Man and have never heard of Pong.
- Star Wars looks very fake to them, and the special effects are
- There have always been red M&M’s and blue ones are not new.
- There used to be beige ones?
- They may have heard of an 8 track, but probably never have actually
seen or heard one.
- The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old.
- As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents.
- They have always had an answering machine.
- Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they
seen a black-and white TV.
- They have always had cable.
- There has always been VCR’s, but they have no idea what BETA is.
- They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
- They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony.
- Roller-skating has always meant in-line for them.
- The Tonight Show has always been with Jay Leno.
- They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.
- Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
- They have never seen Larry Bird play, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a
- They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
- The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII, or even
the Civil War.
- They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.
- They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are.
- They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from.
- They never heard: “Where’s the beef?” “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,”
or “de plane, de plane!”
- They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is.
- “The Titanic was found? I thought we always knew where it was”.
- Michael Jackson has always been white.
- Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not singing
- McDonald’s never came in Styrofoam containers.
- There has always been MTV.
SO, DO YOU FEEL OLD YET?