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The theme of last year’s list was how wired the incoming class was. This year’s class includes students who might be bitter at the previous generation, Nief said. While their elders went to college in good times and had jobs waiting for them, these students grew up watching their parents worry about unemployment and foreclosures.

That sentiment was captured in item No. 16, which notes unemployment has risen 2 percentage points in their lifetimes.

But they also live in an era of potential. Gene therapy has always been available, and they don’t waste time with outdated technologies like radios and point-and-shoot cameras.

They’re also less likely to identify with a specific religion. As item No. 3 notes, biblical terms such as “forbidden fruit,” ”the writing on the wall” and “good Samaritan” are unknown to most of them.

“When I teach Shakespeare or Milton there are a lot of biblical allusions,” said McBride, an English professor, “and I have to explain them all.”