Ah, college. The freshmen that are beginning college this week are, for the most part, 18 or 19 years old which means they were born in 1992 or 1993. (We’ll overlook the Doogie Howser-esque young prodigies for the purposes of this article.) For the class of 2015, LBJ means LeBron James; women have always been on the Supreme Court; Andre the Giant and River Phoenix have always been dead; they’ve never touched a TV dial; and Ferris Bueller is old enough to be their dad.
Want to feel even older? Here are 18 things older than this year’s college freshmen:
1. The Nirvana baby.
Spencer Elden, who appeared naked on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, was born February 7, 1991.
2. The world wide web.
Tim Berners-Lee published the world’s first website on August 6, 1991.
3. MTV’s “The Real World.”
The Video Music Awards (or VMAs) have been around since ’84 but in 1992 Bunim-Murray started reality television with a simple show about “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” Season 26 starts in September. (It’s my theory that everyone under 40 has one season that they strongly identify with from their youth — mine is 1998’s “The Real World Seattle” with Irene and the famous slap heard ’round the world.)
4. Mariah Carey’s entire career.
Her debut album came out June 12, 1990. She had eight #1 songs by the end of 1993.
5. Pac-Man, Mario, Mega Man, Link (“Zelda”) and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Pac-Man may have been the first major video game icon when it debuted in 1980 until that plucky plumber known as Mario arrived as Donkey Kong’s rival in 1981. Then Link appeared in “The Legend of Zelda” in 1986, Mega Man sprung into action in 1987, and Sonic first appeared on Sega in 1991.
6. Reebok Pump inflatable shoes and L.A. Lights’ light-up sneakers.
The craze of getting “pumped up” before a basketball game started in 1989, and kids have been wearing those cool light-up sneakers since 1992.
7. “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?”
Do it Rockapella! This geography show and accompanying theme song both debuted in 1991. (Those of us who watched it will snicker now to realize that the host’s name was Greg Gethard. Tee-hee.)
8. Non-Communist Russia.
Unless they’re studying history, the class of 2015 has little to no knowledge of the fact that Russia used to be known as the U.S.S.R. and was the foremost Communist power in the world until it dissolved in 1991.
9. Pamela Anderson’s ginormous boobs.
She later had them removed (and got them again in 2004), but “Baywatch” lifeguard CJ Parker first got breast implants in 1990, going from a 34C to a 36DD.
Barney the purple dinosaur was created in 1987 and debuted on PBS in “Barney & Friends” in 1992.
11. Mark Wahlberg’s non-acting career.
When today’s college freshmen were born, he was known as Marky Mark, modeled for Calvin Klein and had a #1 rap hit with “Good Vibrations.” His first movie role was in 1993’s The Substitute.
12. Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks.
These NBA and NHL expansion teams were all added between 1988 and 1992. The Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies joined the MLB in 1993.
13. Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Brave Little Toaster and Aladdin.
These four Disney movies came out between 1987 and 1992. The first Pixar movie, Toy Story, changed animated films forever when it came out in 1995 when today’s freshmen were just 2 or 3 years old.
14. The Silence of the Lambs.
Sir Anthony Hopkins starred as Hannibal Lecter for the first time in 1991. He won an Oscar despite only appearing on screen for 16 minutes, the shortest ever for a Best Actor winner.
15. Hello Kitty.
The cute Japanese bobtail cat with no mouth is even older than you might realize. She first appeared in the U.S. in 1976 and now is the face of more than 12,000 products worldwide and has earned Sanrio billions of dollars.
16. Jonathan Lipnicki.
The cute “the human head weighs 8 pounds” kid from Jerry Maguire was born October 22, 1990. He was adorable when he was 6, but his cuteness (and his career) faded as he got older.
17. “Blossom,” “Doug,” “Rugrats,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Ren & Stimpy,” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”
All of these premiered in 1991. Yes, Jerry Springer has been interviewing Nazi midgets with clown fetishes on TV for 20 years, and Mayim Bialik and Melissa Joan Hart are both now 35. “Whoa!”
18. Otto the Orange.
Syracuse University, back when their sports teams were still called Orangemen and Orangewomen, did not make Otto the official mascot until 1995. However, according to the SU website, the cheerleading squad first picked the name Otto for “The Orange” in 1990.
Speaking of Syracuse (my alma mater), Michael Jordan’s daughter Jasmine is a freshman at SU this year. Yes, MJ’s youngest child is in college and she was born two years AFTER Syracuse basketball great Derrick Coleman won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1991. How old do you feel now?