Reading this list might make you feel a little old.

Scott Jashik reports at Inside Higher Ed.

What Freshmen Know … and Don’t Know

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released its “mind-set list” to help faculty and administrators understand what a new class of freshmen have experienced and not experienced. Here is the list for the entering college class of 2019, most of whom were born in 1997. Among those who have never been alive in this group of students’ lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau and Mother Teresa.

Since these students have been on the planet:

  • Hybrid automobiles have always been mass-produced.
  • Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”
  • They have never licked a postage stamp.
  • Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.
  • Four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South Park.
  • Hong Kong has always been under Chinese rule.
  • They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association has always had a theoretically precise means to determine a national champion in college football.
  • The announcement of someone being the first woman to hold a position has only impressed their parents.
  • Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.
  • Color photos have always adorned the front page of The New York Times.
  • Ellis Island has always been primarily in New Jersey.
  • “No means no” has always been morphing, slowly, into “only yes means yes.”
  • 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.
  • The airport in Washington has always been Reagan National Airport.
  • Their parents have gone from encouraging them to use the Internet to begging them to get off it.
  • If you say “around the turn of the century,” they may well ask you, “Which one?”