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Thirteen Facts About the Life Experiences of This Year’s College Freshmen

School will be starting again soon, so here are some facts about the life experiences of young people entering college this fall, most of whom were born in 1988.

  1. They are too young to remember the space shuttle, Challenger, blowing up as we watched in horror (that was in 1986).
  2. Their lifetime has always included HIV and AIDS.
  3. When they learned about the “birds and bees,” they also learned about “safe sex.”
  4. Sales of CD’s eclipsed record sales the year they were born.
  5. They have always had an answering machine.
  6. They have always had cable television.
  7. To them, Jay Leno has always been the host of the Tonight Show. (This makes me sad because I was huge fan of Johnny Carson and attended a couple of tapings of the Tonight Show when he was the star.)
  8. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  9. They have never thought about Jaws while swimming in the ocean.
  10. They don’t know who Mork was, where he was from or what his relationship was to Mindy.
  11. [youtube width=”325″ height=”235″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI–TGQGNFc[/youtube]

  12. Steve Martin was once a stand-up comedian?
  13. [youtube width=”325″ height=”235″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w88Mz_Q154[/youtube]

  14. They never heard “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” or “Da plane, Boss, da plane.” “Dallas” has always just been a city in Texas.
  15. Food at McDonald’s was never served in Styrofoam containers.


  1. I’m not American and neither I live in States but I’m familiar with most of the things from the list (It’s great list by the way).
    Reading this was kind of depressive; as if that new generation has lost/never had something very valuable and sweet and … other depressive thing is the fact that ’88 is entering college already!!! time is running indeed …

    My TT is up as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wow I feel old. Kids starting college this year were really born in 1988???

    I bet they can’t sing the “hold the pickles, hold the lettuce” jingle either. *sigh*

  3. Wow…college students born in ’88?! I hadn’t thought of that before. That makes me feel old.

    I loved Mork from Ork…no one here in France has ever heard of it & I’ve found myself trying to explain it & also that Robin Williams had a career before going into movies. But, no one seems to get it.

    Great T13 list! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Great list. I hate to be picky but the CD overtook vinyl sales in 1988 it was being used for several years before that. For examle Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” was released on CD in 1985.

  5. Crazy, wonderful list. I was in college when they were BORN.

  6. JHSEsq

    Thanks for the info. I’ll make the correction.

  7. I loved your 13, the Jaws one is so me ๐Ÿ˜€

    For my kids there is one that applies: Life did exist before ranch dip for chicken nuggets. Yes, when I was a kid… we didn’t even have ranch except for special occasions. LOL!

  8. My husband is going to college and he feels like their dad. He is 40 which means he could be their dad. Some of the college students do call him “dad”. Or Old Man.

    Great list!

  9. I remember once at work years ago people were talking about how you could remember exactly where you were when a tragic event happened and someone asked me where I was when Kennedy was assassinated. When I said I hadn’t been born yet, they got the same look on their face I have right now when I read these things.

    Life before cable, DVDs and cell phones!!

    Mnemonic Devices

  10. What a cool idea for a meme—though it makes me feel pretty well stricken in years. Of course, a lot of people who participate can’t say where they were when Kennedy was shot because they weren’t born…

  11. Boy – do I feel old now! Great idea for a TT. Love the new look too. It’s been some time since I stopped by.

  12. I still don’t make my popcorn in a microwave. It has to be air-popped. (I worked in a movie theater for a while and that microwave popcorn reminds me of that smell…can’t stand it. Makes me ill.)

    Happy TT!

  13. Oh, yuck! I’m smelling it just reading your comments. I hate that stuff . . . it is so greasy and disgusting. It is easy for me to avoid since I’ve changed my nutritional habits since anything fatty or greasy has an immediate and quite uncomfortable impact upon my digestive system.

  14. Thanks, Christine! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really happy with Word Press. I should have switched sooner.

  15. When I was in law school, I as in the “Evening Division” which meant that most of us were married, had kids and were working to put ourselves through school. We used to laugh about the “chaining of the guard” in the parking lots: Between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., all the expensive, sporty little cars left and all the SUV’s, mini-vans and economy cars pulled in. I remember in Constitutional Law when we finally got to the issues involving Watergate, privacy, etc. Our professor came in and said, “I love teaching night students. Because you all REMEMBER Watergate. You lived through it and I don’t have to start by explaining to all of you what it was about. You know where you were and what you were doing when Nixon resigned.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    For the record, I was working at Straw Hat Pizza here in Lodi for $2.00/ hour (that was minimum wage then). I brought my radio to work because there was no way I was going to miss the speech. The potential brain surgeons running the place refused to let me turn off the 3 Stooges movies in order to listen to Nixon’s speech, banning me to the back room to wash pizza pans if I was determined to have “that junk” on. That was pure motivation to remain in college. After I had amassed enough money to buy the Fender classical guitar I was saving up for (I believe it was about $200.00), I told them where they could put their pizza and never looked back.

  16. Mary: When I was growing up, we not only didn’t have Ranch dressing, we didn’t have chicken nuggets. I remember bringing some over here to my parents’ house when McDonald’s first started serving them. We all gathered around the kitchen counter to stare at and taste them. No joke.

    Boy, I am feeling older by the second . . .

  17. Definitely feeling old now…It’s a shame they missed out on most of that good 80’s music.

  18. Trying to remember my college years now. I remember on how I would use to compare it as to being a fetus. You’d spend 9 months trying to get out and then spend the rest of your life trying to get back. Same as college, wish i could experience it again. The parties, the ladies, allowance. lol

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