College Freshmen

September 9, 1999

Do you realize that today's college freshmen probably never dialed a telephone. They have always had Sony Walkmen, PCs, and NutraSweet. In their world, there has always been a woman on the Supreme Court and Cats has always been on Broadway.

As someone who speaks on college campus, I have to remind myself that each year I get older and thus each year the gap between me and college students widens. My first experience of that was in the 1980s when I noticed that college students referred to the Vietnam war and Watergate as distant history. I lived through it. They read about it.

Well, the last few years Beloit College has put together a profile of incoming college freshmen. Those entering this year were born in 1981 and as I already mentioned, they live in a world very different from yours.

They were the first generation born into Luvs, Huggies, and Pampers. Space travel has always included women. They grew up with Microsoft, IBM PCs, in-line skates, fax machines, and film on disks.

They have no idea how big a breadbox is. They have probably never opened an icebox. Ketchup has always been a vegetable to them. They have never seen a BankAmericard. They have never had to worry about the packaging of Tylenol.

They don't think there is anything terribly futuristic about the year 2001, and they were never concerned about the year 1984. They have spent half their lives with Bart Simpson.

They have never seen white smoke over the Vatican and do not know its significance. They don't understand why Solidarity is spelled with a capital "S."

Let's face it, the incoming freshmen grew up in a different world than you did. Oh, and, by the way, I'm sorry if this commentary made you feel old.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion