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FreshmanIncoming Freshmen: Factoids That Will Put Things In Perspective

With a new batch of incoming freshmen coming this month, it is important to remember that their lives have been somewhat different than that of previous generations. In order to help them feel welcome and to understand them better we must first look at what they have experienced (or not experienced) in their life.

What does the incoming freshman look like? Well, let’s take a look.

The average freshman was born in 1995 or 1996 and has never known a time when Kurt Cobain or Richard Nixon has been alive.

It is hard to believe that it has been 18 years since this year’s entering college students were born. Here are some other factoids to help put things in perspective.


  • They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”
  • Football has always existed in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
  • Blue M&Ms have always been a part of the M&M family but not tan ones.
  • Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.
  • They watch television everywhere but on a television... and sometimes without commercial interruption.
  • Selena means Selena Gomez to them.
  • They grew up, somehow, without Romper Room.
  • Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book.
  • They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes.”
  • To them, the floppy disk icon for "save" as well as a telephone for "phone" are outdated and irrelevant to them.
  • They have never gazed on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.
  • Music is not primarily found on the radio. They often listen to it on their laptops or replace it with music downloaded onto their MP3s and iPods.
  • They have always lived in cyberspace!

Hopefully this article will put things into perspective. The freshmen of today are vastly different from the freshmen 10 years ago. Change is inevitable as the years progress and as a campus we need to be aware of the generation gaps that we experience daily here at SHSU.

For a complete rundown of these freshman facts, visit The Mindset List from Beloit College.

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