At the Notre Dame of decades past, you arrived on campus with your suitcase teeming with dungarees or flannel shirts or leg warmers, anxiously anticipating the first sweaty handshake and nervous mumbles with the person you would share a 10×12 cell with for the academic year.
Not today. The incoming freshmen no longer walk into a dorm or chem lab full of strangers. They’ve mastered social media, namely Facebook, and use it to meet their classmates and to begin friendships before they ever set foot on campus.
On the site they compare class schedules. They plan pre-arrival gatherings in their hometowns. They color-coordinate décor with roommates. They challenge and question each other.
They’re connected to one another from the moment they mail in their enrollment confirmation. But some things haven’t changed. They’re still bright and ambitious. They still worry about being buried under snow in South Bend. And they still get nervous when they meet their roommates, no matter how many Facebook chats they’ve had.
Here they are, the class of 2016, as seen on Facebook.