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Ohio Today

'What's an album?'
A look at life through the eyes of today's freshman

By Mike Gennaria and Laiteisha Dobbins

Remember what a typical day was like when you were a freshman at Ohio University? Connecting with the professor who taught your favorite class, eating what they called food in the cafeteria or staying up as late as you wanted with your roommate in the dorms. Those were the days, right?

Feeling out of touch?
Here's what you're missing.

Eminem - award-winning rap artist who is famous for his controversial lyrics
Abercrombie & Fitch - famous clothes retailer that caters to young adults ages 18 through their college years
Dirt-washed jeans - bluejeans with a brown faded or dirt-like tint
IM - "instant messaging" using a computer program that allows you to communicate in real time via wireless technology
Boo - nickname for one's boyfriend or girlfriend
Two-way - pager that allows two-way text messaging
Jammin' - listening to music, often at high volumes
iPod - portable music player that allows you to download songs from the Internet
;-) - an emoticon, or a series of computer keyboard strokes symbolizing a winking face (Tip your head to the left to see the winking symbol. The semicolon is the eyes, the dash is the nose and the close parenthesis is the mouth.)

Take a walk down memory lane with a look at jargon unique to Ohio University. View the list is suggested for parents and family of new students by clicking here.

Find out what students are doing on campus outside the classroom by visiting "Get in the Groove" here.

To see the complete "Mindset List" from Beloit College, click here.

Well, if you were today's Ohio University freshman, your fondest memories or a typical day may be quite different. Imagine waking up to the sounds of Eminem's mother-hating "Cleanin' Out My Closet" on your CD player and then getting dressed in your favorite Abercrombie and Fitch V-neck shirt and dirt-washed jeans. Yes, dirt-washed, and yes, you bought them that way. Then you climb Jeff Hill in your $150 sneakers or fashionable platform shoes while IM-ing your boo on your two-way and jammin' to songs on your iPod, all while on your way to class. Sound familiar? Maybe not, but all of the above and even more are a reality for today's freshmen.

Dean of Students Terry Hogan offers a glimpse of the University's average freshman through presentations he gives to faculty and staff each fall. He gives as examples student traits adapted from the "Mindset List," designed by Beloit College in Wisconsin to keep faculty and staff up to date with the experiences of new college students.

Did you know that today's average Ohio University freshman:

  • Was born in 1985?
  • Can only remember Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush?
  • Was 6 years old when the Cold War ended?
  • Thinks of the Vietnam and Gulf wars no differently than World War I, World War II or the Civil War?
  • Has always cooked popcorn in a microwave?
  • Has never owned an eight-track tape, a record player or a vinyl album?
  • Has always had cable television, a CD player, an answering machine, a VCR, remote-controlled television, cell phones, inline skates and MTV?
Hogan also gives some details about the current Ohio University student body, which includes approximately 29,000 students. About 70 percent attend the Athens campus; others study at one of the five regional campuses in Lancaster, Zanesville, Ironton, St. Clairsville and Chillicothe. Thirty-seven percent of the Athens students live in the University's 41 residence halls.

The University community boasts approximately 3,800 graduate or doctoral, 400 medical and 1,150 international students.

Eighty-five percent of the total University's students are from Ohio. The greatest percentage of students are registered with the College of Arts and Sciences (24 percent), followed by the College of Communication (13 percent) and the College of Health and Human Services (12 percent). The three most popular undergraduate majors are journalism, biological sciences and human/consumer sciences.

Ohio University students are active. Seventy percent of them participate in some type of extracurricular activity, including intramurals and Greek life. The University has 18 intercollegiate sports teams, and many students are involved in club sports such as mountain biking, mixed martial arts, sailing, water skiing and ultimate (Frisbee).

Times sure have changed, haven't they? ;-)

Laiteisha Dobbins, MSJ '03, and Mike Gennaria, MSJ '03, are former Ohio Today Online graduate student writers. .

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