At some point in your life, you encounter a moment of enlightenment when you realize that you, in fact, are getting wiser, more mature and well, just older.
Nothing spurs such a revelation as the coming of a new class of first-years like the Class of 2019. With new faces roaming the campus while simultaneously mastering the skill of snapping pictures and walking, conversation among upperclassmen tends to drift to the reminiscent thoughts of, “well, when I was a kid,” which quite easily lays the foundation for the claim that life was very different about 18 years ago when the Class of 2019 was born.
Advances in technology alone have developed a new culture. Students now complain about the relatively infrequent service drops of PerunaNet when any Internet user of the ’90s had to battle the struggle of dial-up. The students of this newest class take for granted the luxury of performing a phone call while simultaneously using the Internet. Many of these students would not recognize the all-too familiar and never-ending beeps of dial-up.
Even something as common as data storage has greatly morphed. In the current day of solid state drives and flash memory, the long-lost floppy disk that could hold barely 1.44 megabytes seem like an ancient artifact. The members of the Class of 2019 probably never experienced the joy of installing Windows 95 games such as Jezzball or Space Pinball onto their non-portable computer.
What about the world of music? The days of the record player seem like a distant dream that only vintage hipsters desire to revive. What about the slightly less popular music mediums of decades ago? Few members of this class remember the moment that your cassette tape would finally finish its last play, marked by the terrifying distortion of the music. Even after the cassette tape, these students probably never experienced the inner excitement at the prospect of listening to music from a small device such as a portable radio or a Walkman (predecessors of the MP3 player).
Also, this class of students might have difficulty recalling the days of walking into a Blockbuster and searching the numerous aisles of VHS tapes. They never experienced the building excitement of waiting for the VHS to rewind in order to begin a movie or “staying tuned” for a special feature when one finally reached the end of the eternally long tape.
With such varied experiences, the Class of 2019 will probably never experience many of the memories that their classmates years ago treasured. However, SMU has several opportunities for students to start writing new memories of their own and participate in age-old traditions such as Mustang Corral and Convocation.