College freshman

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 this year's incoming freshmen. Here's this year's list:

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1985. They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

The CD was introduced the year they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

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 Boss, de plane".

They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Do you feel old yet?


  • 41 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 03-09-04 AT 04:38PM (CST)[/font][br][br]>They don't know who Mork was or where he was

    That explains why I always get a blank stare whenever I say to a newhire, "Nanu-nanu." x:D

  • I hate to be a pest - but the way this is worded is a bit irksome to me. A lot of folks don't have cable or answering machines, etc, etc.

    It would be funnier if the statements were less judgemental (i.e. instead of "They cannot fathom not having a remote control" try "Since they were born, TV's have come standard with remote controls"). Again, I hate to be a pest or a party pooper, and I understand that it IS pretty weird to think about how different things are for different generations, but I tire of the "let's look down at the youngin's" attitude. No offense BSA.
  • I think you're being a little too sensitive. Judgemental? I thought it was factual. It's not looking 'down,' it's looting 'at.' No two generations are the same. We boomers laugh at ourselves all the time (it hides the fact we can't remember, I think . . ) Who were we talking about? :)
  • It's okay with me if you think I'm being a little too sensitive. I'm usually "a lot too sensitive" but not so much on the forum. I get sick and tired of being told that my generation "has it so easy" and that we're "lazy" and we "don't know the value of a dollar" and blah blah blah. The original post didn't say those things specifically, but the tone reminded me of the babble that occurs so often. That's why I mentioned it.
  • Lighten up. All generations have their stigmas. My parents' generation lived through the war and the depression and had to walk three miles to school with snow up to their knees - the boomers were lucky to have food on their plate.

    The boomers staged liberal demonstrations all over the country, burning their bras, holding rock concerts, protesting the war, and smoked dope at 'love-ins' shouting 'Peace, Love, and Rock-n-Roll.'

    We spoiled the gen-x'ers and gave them everything we didn't have.

    Don't let general statements like these cramp your style - they're general statements. I kept my bras and didn't spoil my kids.

    Ignore what people say and continue to make a difference.
  • The funny thing is, is that MY father lived through the depression and was IN WWII. My mother was born at the tail end of the depression, put baked potatoes in her pockets to keep her warm on the way to school (in Minnesota), and didn't live in a home with an indoor toilet until she went to COLLEGE.
    My point is, my parents are NOT boomers. They are boomer's parent's ages and I'm 26.

    I'm not letting general statements cramp my style, I'm stating an opinion. You don't agree with my opinion and that is fine.
  • Cinderella, let me try to clear this up. Nothing I said was intended to be derogatory, perhaps I should have chosen different phrases. You weren't stating an opinion, you were expressing your feelings by saying you were "sick and tired" of some negative qualities attributed to your generation. Yes, that's your right. But more important than the tags placed on a generation are those by which an individual is known by. You are an individual with the good fortune of being raised with a set of values that are foreign to MOST other 26 year olds. All I was saying was to stop fretting about what people say unless they're talking about you. My lesson here is to butt out and not offer advice when it wasn't asked for in the first place.
  • Clear what up? I never thought what you were saying was derogatory, nor did I say that - I was referring to the tone of the original post as irritating to me because it reminded me of the BS I hear all the time about my generation.

    Smoll, what is the difference between stating an opinion and expressing feelings? I see no difference.

    I never claimed to be raised with different VALUES than others my age - or anyone for that matter. I claimed to be raised by people who were older than most people my age's parents. Hence, I remember things like onionskin because my parents didn't run out and get word processors or electric typewriters as soon as they were available - they stuck to what they knew.

    I know you were saying "stop fretting", I just don't care. If I want to say something, I say it, period. I don't change or retract my statement because someone disagrees with me. For example, if you and I were talking at work and you said, "lighten up", I would most likely reply with "no thanks". If I decide something bothers me, it bothers me. If I change my mind about it, then I do. If I don't, then I don't....the only thing I can't figure out is why you care so much what I think.
  • I have seen this or similar many times. Never once did it occur to be that it was "looking down at young ins" It has always been my take that it is just demonstrates how much the world and techonology has changed in a relatively short period of time. Just my take on it. .
  • I agree with Sonny. In fact, in my previous life as an Academic Advisor at a College we would receive this every fall, as a way to help us understand and better relate to our incoming students. There was nothing judgemental or insulting about it all, and it really did help remind us what life is like for a current 18 year old.
  • I agree too. My mother often tells us how she grew up without a toilet in the apartment and no shower at all. I don't think she's looking down at me or is saying I'm spoiled, she's just telling it like it is. There is 15 years between me and my sister- my mother often marvels at the baby things that were available for her that she did without when I was born. Not to make my sister feel bad, but just to say "wow, things have changed". And now that she's a grandmother, she continues to be amazed at what her granddaughter will have that she would never have thought of when she was a child.
  • Rad - I think you're right, someone is not saying you're spoiled/or whatever if they simply say "I grew up without a shower - we only had a bath tub". They ARE saying something about you if they say "YOU CANNOT FATHOM living in a house without a bathtub". The latter is what irks me, not the former. I love talking to my parents about their lives when they were my age and things like that. But they don't tell me what I can fathom and what I can't.
  • To be perfectly honest, I can't fathom living in a house without a bathtub or a shower (she had neither, by the way) any more than my 13 year old nephew can fathom life before remote controls and cordless phones.

    Interesting you are so offended, at 26 you are 8 years older than the typical college freshman. I am 8 years older than you; certainly there are convienences you had as a student that I could not have imagined in my college years.
  • Your nephew might not care if YOU tell him what HE thinks, but I care if people try to tell ME what I think - that is what irritates me and that is my point.
    I'm not saying differences don't exist, I'm saying I don't want to be told how I feel or think by some jackass who thinks because their older and somehow had it "harder" that they can.
  • As I said before, the original post didn't say certain things specifically, but the tone (i.e. "they cannot FATHOM...", "they DO NOT CARE...", "they DON'T HAVE A CLUE...") irritates me and reminds me of other things I hear all the time that are usually untrue and are delivered with this "somehow superior" tone to them that is so ridiculous to me. I'm just saying that I would rather read something that took on a more refreshing outlook such as, "cable tv has been widely available since the year they were born" then reading "they cannot fathom not having a remote control" I mean, come on.
  • You were born in the 80's, weren't you Cinderella? x;-)

    Love your Profile photo, by the way. x:D
  • >Nope, I was born in 77.

    oh my... I graduated in '77. I've been working as long as you've been alive.. scarey...
  • Wow! When you were born I'd already been in the service for two years (actually helping people sign up for a Masters program in something called "human resources" at Gonzaga U.)! That's spooky! x:o
  • I remember telling my nephew that we did not have remote controls when I was young, he really thought I was joking. He could not imagine having to get up and change the channel. When I was little we did not have wet wipes, my Nana used to keep a wet face cloth in a baggie for quick clean ups when we were out.
  • Some things from my past that I doubt will spark a glimmer of recognition in most below 35...

    carbon paper
    typing eraser
    thermal paper
    correction tape (the paper kind)
    slide rule
    vacuum tubes in the TV (and the tube tester down at the local store so you could see which tube in your TV burned out)
    fuse boxes
    6.5 oz Coke in little glass bottles I dating myself yet? x;-)
  • Rotary telephone dials
    Telephone numbers that started with letters
    School clothes and separate play clothes
    Clothes and sheets that had to be ironed and how great they smelled afterwards.

  • "Telephone numbers that started with letters".

    Remember BEECHWOOD 4-5789
  • "Beechwood 7-5309"
    some guy just tried to "sell" that phone number on the internet. They did a report on the news explaining to people that no one can sell a phone number, it was a scam...
    my kids will grow up not knowing what life was like before the internet.
  • I'm 34 and I remember some of these.

    I also remember smelling the newly copied papers as soon as they came off the mimeograph machine at school. Loved that smell, little did we know we were killing brain cells!
  • I was going to mention that "ditto" machine. Ahh, those purplish copies and the smell. I loved to turn the crank to make those copies, also making the original was kind of fun too. Try to tell someone who has only used a modern copier that you had to turn a crank for each copy instead of puching a button.
  • I still have my old slide rule that I used in college. My kids think I'm a genius for ever being able to figure it out, let alone use it. Remember how, on humid days, it would become almost impossible to use? It also served as a good place to write down crib notes for exams and could be instantly wiped clean if the prof happened to amble by.
  • Pookiebeagle, I'm just short of 35 and I remember all but onionskin. What IS that?

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