Welcome to the Freshers of 2016
Every year, Benoit College in the US prepares The Mindset List, which lists the cultural influences and landmarks that distinguish those starting at University each year. Unfortunately, good as the Benoit version is, it is rather US-focused. So let’s think about what marks out students starting their University life in Britain this autumn:
An 18-year-old today has never lived in a UK without the Human Rights Act (they may find out what it’s like again, all too soon). Or ASBOs. They have no experience of a political world before Tony Blair. Many of them will not know what The Troubles were; The Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998. There has never been a Russia without Vladimir Putin, or a Europe without the Euro
For them, there has always been a two pound coin in general-circulation.
They will never have known a British Eurovision Winner.
The O2 has always been there, though it was called the Millennium Dome for a bit. They have never lived in a world without the DVD. There has always been the Internet. It’s been mobile, and its been mostly broadband. There have always been iMacs, and Google. Not to mention Harry Potter.
They won’t know a world before the Spice Girls. Or even Three Lions, even with the German national team singing it. Unfortunately, there has also always been Coldplay.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire has always been on their screens, but neither World in Action nor Sale of the Century have been.
The film Titanic has always been there. So has The Full Monty. And Pixar.
Father Ted ended and The Royle Family began in the year of their birth. As did Bob the Builder, and The Powerpuff Girls
They will never have seen Frank Muir in the flesh. Or Dermot (Father Ted) Morgan. They have never known a world with Frank Sinatra in it.
If they’ve heard of Enoch Powell it will only have been as an historical reference.
Catherine Cookson, Betty Marsden, Roddy McDowall, Joan Hickson, Ted Hughes and Lew Grade also died in the year they were born.
Football fans cannot conceive that anyone other than Arsène Wenger has ever managed Arsenal.
Feeling old yet?