Class of 2000 vs Class of 2020: What a Difference 20 Years can Make!

As Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.” This statement holds true as we consider the changes that have taken place since the turn of the new millennium to our recent embrace of a new decade.

The past 20 years have been marked by a digital revolution that transformed our world. As the Class of 2020 prepares to graduate this spring, below are a few fun facts highlighting how different senior year was for the Class of 2000.

First, let it sink in that when the Class of 2000 received their high school diplomas, the Class of 2020 had yet to obtain their birth certificates. Many social platforms weren’t born either. Facebook graced the world with its presence in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010. To stay connected, Y2K grads memorized phone numbers to call family and friends on landlines, and while on the phone, household members couldn’t use the internet! Can you imagine?

At school, Class of 2000 seniors used blackboards instead of interactive white boards, visited school libraries instead of media centers and obtained school information via hard copy newsletters instead of websites. When they met with school counselors to discuss careers, professions such as social media manager, influencer, app developer, podcast producer, cyber security analyst, SEO specialist and more didn’t even exist.

In 2000, APS held commencement ceremonies at the APS Stadium. Afterward, graduates who hopped from one grad party to the next could not depend on navigation or rideshare apps. Printed or written directions were key, as well as their own cars. For carpoolers kind enough to offer gas money, contributions toward the approximately $1.50 per gallon cost were made in cash, not payment apps like Venmo. At the parties, grads enjoyed tunes from radio stations and CD collections, not knowing the joys of having infinite songs at their fingertips through streaming services like Spotify.

When it was time to wind down, watching what they wished on TV was not an option. The graduates browsed TV Guide publications, popped in Blockbuster rentals or checked their mailboxes for Netflix DVD deliveries. To share their special day, they waited for rolls of film to be developed, a stark difference from sharing photos and videos in real-time on social media.

Although they have obvious differences, both classes land on leap years and struggle with whether they are the beginning or end of an era. Either way, we are proud of what the Class of 2000 has accomplished and excited to see what the Class of 2020 has in store!