Meet the Class of 2018


David L. Dodds

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Meet the Class of 2018

Where they come from, what they're studying, who they are and who they are not

Generation Z has landed.

More than 1,800 new freshman (as of the latest enrollment tally) ? most of whom were born in or around 1996 ? are moving in, and getting accustomed to their new surroundings at the University of North Dakota.

So, we thought we'd introduce the rest of the campus community and beyond to the Class of 2018, as far as who they are and who they are not.

The UND Class of 2018 is comprised of new freshman from 46 of the 50 United States. Only Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia aren't represented in the new class. There also are no students from the District of Columbia. The class mostly hails from North Dakota and Minnesota, but has a high representation from other places you might have guessed and others that might be surprising.

Outside of NoDak and the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Top 10 state origins for UND's incoming freshman are:

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Illinois
  3. California
  4. South Dakota
  5. Colorado
  6. Washington
  7. Michigan
  8. Montana
  9. Texas
  10. New York

The new freshman, who, incidentally, more likely than not are named "Emily" or "Michael", are mostly enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences, followed by the School of Engineering & Mines, the College of Business & Public Administration, and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Other fun facts about 1996 and the Class of 2018:

  1. UND has won six athletic team national championships in their lifetime (women's basketball-3, hockey-2, football-1).
  2. Jason Blake was a star hockey player for UND when they were born.
  3. In their minds, women have always played hockey at UND.
  4. To them a "tablet" is no longer something you take to composition class at Merrifield Hall, or take with water in the morning.
  5. UND engineering students dabbled with solar-powered race cars at the time of their birth.
  6. In 1996, unmanned aircraft was an aviation-disaster-waiting-to-happen rather than one of the fastest-growing programs at UND.
  7. To the Class of 2018, the term "computer labs" is a quaint reality of yesteryear when personal computers sat on desks and smart phones were the size of milk cartons.
  8. In 1996, the old Ralph Engelstad Arena was the epicenter of sports life in Grand Forks. Today, it only exists in pictures.
  9. They have never heard of "Old Science" at UND.
  10. The Flood of 1997 is not a vivid memory for them, even if they grew up in Grand Forks.
  11. Classic films for UND's new freshman would include titles such as Jerry Maguire, The English Patient, Mission Impossible (with Tom Cruise), and Twister.
  12. Alanis Morissette, the Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine and the Spice Girls were bursting onto the popular music scene when they were born.
  13. To this class, the rock band Nirvana is considered classic rock.
  14. Alternative rocker Kurt Cobain and rap music mogul Tupac Shakur were already gone before the Class of 2018 was born.
  15. They have never been asked "smoking or non" before being seated in a restaurant.
  16. They have never needed directions to get somewhere ? just an address.
  17. In 1996, Nintendo 64 was considered avant garde in the world of video gaming, and there was no such things as Google or eBay.
  18. UND's new freshmen have never lived in a world where mammals could NOT be cloned.
  19. To them, monthly texting limits are as old school as the term "old school."
  20. They've always been able to skip through TV channels and record two shows at the same time.
  21. For them, Saturday mornings were never the only time of the week to watch cartoons.

David Dodds University & Public Affairs writer

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