Congratulations to our Dallas High School/Morrison Campus Class of 2020!
Interesting facts about the class of 2020 that will blow your mind
They may not get to walk across a stage or experience the milestones of being a senior due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the class of 2020's accomplishments are still cause for celebration.
Many students graduating high school this year were born in 2002. They will be entering the workforce during an uncertain time; they were also born in an uncertain time and grew up through the Great Recession and Financial Crisis.
The class of 2020 are part of Generation Z. Dr. Corey Seemiller, a Gen-Z expert, defined them as having a great desire to change the world and make it a better place.
"They want jobs that are fulfilling, tap into their passions, and situated in organizations that align with their social values," she said.
Here are some interesting facts about the classes of 2020.
1. To the high school class of 2020, 9/11 is a historical event rather than something they lived through. They don't know a world without 9/11.
2. When they were born, George W. Bush was president. The Texas-born president was still in his first term when the class of 2020 entered the world.
3. They were only 6 years old when President Barack Obama was elected into office. During Obama's victory in 2008, the high school class of 2020 was still in elementary school.
4. They're younger than the iPod, which was released in 2001, and they were five years old when the first iPhone was released.
In 2020, there are over three billion smartphone users around the world, and 77% of Americans own one.
Gen-Z expert Corey Seemiller said growing alongside the commercialization of the internet has allowed older Gen-Z members to adapt naturally to technology.
"Many have used smart devices for entertainment, hobbies, and connecting with others since they were toddlers and rely on these devices today in order to engage in everyday tasks – from messaging and streaming the latest episodes of their favorite shows to watching DIY videos online," she said.
5. The high school class of 2020 was also only 3 years old when YouTube launched. The online video service gave the world a platform for a new generation of voices to be heard.
6. SpongeBob SquarePants is older than the high school class of 2020. The yellow sponge who worked at the Krusty Krab was already on his third season in 2002. The show celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019.
7. They were born the same year Eminem released "Lose Yourself." That was also the same year Vanessa Carlton released "A Thousand Miles," and that Avril Lavigne said "see you later, boy" to a "Sk8er Boi."
8. That was the same year Sam Raimi's first "Spider-Man" movie came out. The year they were born, Harry Potter and his classmates were only in their second year, Frodo was still trying to destroy the One Ring in "Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers," and Anakin Skywalker hadn't become Darth Vader in "Star Wars: Attack of The Clones."
9. The video game series Halo is also older than the high school class of 2020. They were only a year old when the first "Call of Duty" game came out. "Call of Duty" has released a game almost every year they've been alive.
10. They were also a year old when MySpace launched, 2 years old when Facebook was created, and 4 years old when Twitter started.
The class of 2020 is more likely to be on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram than Facebook.
"While many Gen Zers are on the forefront of today's technology, every young generation is seen by their older counterparts as the most contemporary generation at the time," Seemiller said. "As Gen Z gets older, though, they will likely be like every other aging generation, having those in younger generations seamlessly using and embracing the latest tech innovations while they try to learn to adapt."
11. The high school class of 2020 weren't even teenagers during viral challenges like the Harlem Shake and the Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral song "Turn Down For What" also hit clubs in 2013. A year later, the Ice Bucket Challenge would capture the pop culture collective.
12. Celebrities born in 2002 include "Stranger Things" cast members Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo. Other people born in 2002 who are already well-known include "It" actress Sophia Lillis, Disney actor Asher Angel, singer Jacob Sartorious, and rapper Lil Mosey.
13. Invented in 1992, texting is older than the high school class of 2020.
It would take a decade or so for the text message to completely change how people communicated with each other.
Connor Blakley, a 20-year-old Gen Z expert, said texting and digital communication makes his generation realize how important face-to-face communication is and to cherish it.
"We understand how to effectively communicate face to face in this world because we are so synonymous with technology," he said. "We understand the value of person-to-person communication."
14. "Friends" was in its sixth season when the high school class of 2020 was born. The show had its series finale in 2004, when many of the high school class of 2020 was only 2 years old. The show is still insanely popular among millennials and Gen-Z, who binge-watch it on streaming services.
15. As for their futures — the classes of 2020 may get married later in life than generations before them.
Gen-Z members are reportedly likely to get married later in life because they fear divorce, among other factors.
Alexandre Daillance, a Gen-Z expert and fashion designer, said people of his generation will likely get married later because they're more focused on their careers.
"If you get married, you're not going to get married as young," he said. "You're maybe going to get married in your 30's instead of your late 20's."
16. The high school class of 2020 may forgo going to college at all.
College enrollment rates have dropped by 11% since 2011, according to NPR. Students this year are also facing uncertainty over whether or not college will even open for in-person classes in the fall.
Blakely believes people in his generation are less likely to go to college. They are more wary of collecting student debt they can't pay back, he said.
17. There is some confusion over whether the class of 2020 are Gen Z or millennials.
According to the Pew Research Center, members of Gen Z were born in 1997 or later. Previously they were considered post-millennial's. That means members of the high school class of 2020 are Gen Z.
"I think there's that confusion because older people might just assume anyone who is young is a millennial," Blakley said. He said Gen Z's influence is just starting to be recognized.