We forget, sometimes, that they haven’t always been around–those people who take up so much space in the world and for whom most television commercials make sense.

We forget that we have lived through things of which they have no idea.

And that’s why it’s useful when somebody at Beloit College takes the time every year to remind us of just what it is that WE know that young people don’t know, so that we don’t take offense when they give us those blank looks when we’re talking to them.

Yep, once again it’s time for Beloit College’s Mindset List for the Class of 2010, just in case you are like us and have an 18-year old to communicate with.

These, then, are a sampling of things that are true for those who are 18:

The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.

They have known only two presidents.

They have never heard anyone actually “ring it up” on a cash register.

A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents’.

There has always been only one Germany.

Thanks to pervasive headphones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.

A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.

Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents’ attics.

“So” as in “Sooooo New York,” has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else,

“Outing” has always been a threat.

They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.

Disposable contact lenses have always been available.