Incoming college freshmen have never licked a stamp

What Freshmen Know (And What They Don't)

You used to have to lick stamps to get them to stick?

That's a question likely to come out of the mouths of students starting college this fall, who have grown up in a world where Splenda has always existed to sweeten their beverages, "South Park" has always been on TV, and any time they've needed information, Google was there.

According to the Beloit College "Mindset List," an annual project that looks at the culture shaping the lives of incoming college freshmen, the majority of students entering college this year were born in 1997. That was the same year the movie "Titanic" was released, Dolly the Sheep was born, and Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.

When they were born, cell phones existed, but were bulky and expensive — used primarily in cars for emergencies, the list from the Wisconsin school goes on to say.

Learn more about starting college atThe Freshman Year Experience

Also of note in 1997: The first Harry Potter book was published in the United Kingdom.

According to Tom McBride, one of the list's creators, the collection of facts not only provides a historical snapshot of incoming freshmen, it can help college faculty relate to their students.

"The message for faculty is: Don't assume that your old references will always continue to make sense," McBride said in an email to NBC News.

RELATED: Parents: Ready to Feel Old? Here's How College Is Different Now

The Beloit list also shares incoming freshmen's views on the world. Students entering college now believe that Wi-Fi is an "entitlement" and that email is the "new formal communication," while texts and tweets are considered casual, the list says.

Researchers put together the list by interviewing millennials, parents and educators to get context about life since the year incoming freshmen were born.

The Freshman Year Experience: Meet the students

The annual list has been released each August since 1988. The entire Class of 2019 Mindset list is available here.

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