You Want to Feel Old? Read This.

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It’s time, once again to feel badly about yourself.

The year is 2010.  You are at least a year older.  Kids are way younger.

The gap between old and cool gets larger by the day (just ask my daughter).

I’m always fascinated by the list of cultural touchstones that Beloit College compiles each year (making us feel old since 1998… thanks Beloit).

It gives a real picture of the events that have shaped the lives of this year’s freshman class.

The list makes one thing perfectly clear… time really does fly and the only constant is change.


My favorites from The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014 (you can visit all 13 lists HERE).

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992 (as if you didn’t feel old enough already).

1. For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

2. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

3. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

4. Los Angelenos have always been trying to get along. If You Are Reading This You're Probably Old.

5. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

6. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

7. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus’s folks on Parents’ Weekend.

8. Entering college this fall in a country where a quarter of young people under 18 have at least one immigrant parent, they aren’t afraid of immigration…unless it involves "real" aliens from another planet.

9. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

10. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

11.Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

12. Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

13. Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

14. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

15. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

16. Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.

17. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.

18. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

19. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

20. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

21. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

22. “Viewer Discretion” has always been an available warning on TV shows.

23. The first home computer they probably touched was an Apple II or Mac II; they are now in a museum.

24. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

25. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

26. Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

27. Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

28. There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.

29. American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

30. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

31. The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

32. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

33. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. 

34. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife. 

35. Beethoven has always been a good name for a dog.

36. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine. 

37. Their parents’ favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.

38. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

39. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

40. It seems the Post Office has always been going broke.

Bonus… the nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing (and my guess is they never will).

I can’t imagine what The Evil Spawn will see and experience before she graduates from college in 2023 (or truck driving school… I’m not going to lie, I would be thrilled with either).

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6 Responses to “You Want to Feel Old? Read This.”

  1. Daisy
    on Aug 30th, 2010
    @ 8:10 pm

    Here’s another one: this generation thinks it’s normal not to know who won a presidential election until days (or weeks) later. 2008 election was an exception to their experiences.

  2. Lisa Parisi
    on Aug 31st, 2010
    @ 4:44 am

    Gee, thanks. I’m going to hobble in to school now and try to teach my kids something new.

  3. Richard Byrne
    on Aug 31st, 2010
    @ 5:02 am

    After reading #32 now I know why kids never know what I’m talking about when I walk into school and say “It Smells Like Teen Spirit Today.” They’re here now so I figure they want to be entertained. :)

  4. Angie
    on Aug 31st, 2010
    @ 7:45 am

    RE #15: Since everyone in the family has a cell phone, my husband and I have decided that our home landline consiting of 5 wireless handhelds is antiquated. Sadly, we still need it because it’s connected to our internet deal. So, we are on the lookout for a cool rotary phone with a 15 foot cord to place on the kitchen bar. We want our kids to experience the thrill of wrapping the cord around your arm while you’re talking and the agony of dialing a 0.

  5. Betty
    on Sep 3rd, 2010
    @ 8:16 am

    The post didn’t make me old in any way :) …instead I have learned something new and something remarkable. I love it because I have learned new things :)

  6. John Thomas
    on Sep 12th, 2010
    @ 3:04 pm

    Love your blog.

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