This year's list, which is made up for the graduating class of 2022, represents those students primarily born in 2000. This year's class is unique for me on a personal level as my firstborn child is entering the University of Florida as a freshman this fall.
As you can see, this year's list highlights advances in technology, significant world events, and the many ways that today's college students experience the world differently from their parents.
You can read the complete list here but I've included some entries below that I found particularly interesting:
- They are the first class born in the new millennium, escaping the dreaded label of “Millennial,” though their new designation—iGen, GenZ, etc. — has not yet been agreed upon by them.
- Outer space has never been without human habitation.
- They have always been able to refer to Wikipedia.
- They have grown up afraid that a shooting could happen at their school, too.
- People loudly conversing with themselves in public are no longer thought to be talking to imaginary friends.
- Investigative specials examining the O.J. Simpson case have been on TV annually since their birth.
- Same-sex couples have always found marital bliss in the Netherlands.
- When filling out forms, they are not surprised to find more than two gender categories to choose from.
- Presidential candidates winning the popular vote and then losing the election are not unusual.
- Parents have always been watching Big Brother, and vice versa.
- They’ve grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on 9/11.
- There has never been an Enron.
- The Prius has always been on the road in the U.S.
- They never used a spit bowl in a dentist’s office.
- They have never seen a cross-town World Series.
- There has always been a Survivor.
- “You’ve got mail” would sound as ancient to them as “number, please” would have sounded to their parents.
- Mifepristone or RU-486, commonly called the “abortion pill,” has always been available in the U.S.
- A visit to a bank has been a rare event.
- They have never had to deal with “chads,” be they dimpled, hanging, or pregnant.
- Exotic animals have always been providing emotional support to passengers on planes.
- Thumbprints have always provided log in security—and are harder to lose—than a password.
- Robots have always been able to walk on two legs and climb stairs.
- None having served there, American Presidents have always visited Vietnam as Commander-in-Chief.
- There have always been space tourists willing to pay the price.
- Mass market books have always been available exclusively as Ebooks.
- Oprah has always been a magazine.
- Donny and Marie who?
- There have always been more than a billion people in India.
- Films have always been distributed on the Internet.
- Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon, and the coal sludge spill in Martin City, Ky., have always exceeded the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
- The detachable computer mouse is almost extinct.
Please remember to pray for the 21 million U.S. college students that are starting classes over the next few weeks. They are part of a changing world...and they also have the opportunity to influence how the world changes.