As the Class of 2015 began their Penn careers four years ago, William and Kate, Adele and Occupy movements were likely on the tongues of many freshmen during New Student Orientation. The Daily Pennsylvanian took a look at some of the hot topics of 2011 and how they’ve changed (or stayed the same).
Are we still talking about Kim Kardashian’s husband?
Then: Life before Kim-ye. Back in 2011, the Kardashians were just as persistently hyped in the media as they are now. But Kim had a different beau on her arm. Who could forget Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries? When accused of following through with the televised wedding all for publicity, sister Kourtney Kardashian piped up and said, “I feel like if she was going to marry someone for publicity, she would pick someone that people knew.”
Now: Kim Kardashian is married to rapper Kanye West, and the duo now has a daughter, North West. And while fans are still keeping up with the Kardashians, no one is really keeping up with Kris Humphries.
Can Apple maintain its top spot in the technology world without Jobs?
Then: In 2011, we said hello to Siri, the intelligent personal assistant on the new iPhone 5. The added bonus was that you could give your phone an accent. The downside: We could never actually get Siri to answer anything useful, but it was fun to ask “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” The answer was always 42.
Now: Today, techies are raving over the Apple watch released earlier this year. The watch comes in different styles from sporty to chic. Time will tell if this newest product will go mainstream.
What are we turning up to now?
Then: We were rolling in the deep and setting fire to the rain as Adele swept the top charts. Her metaphoric song lyrics and unique voice were virtually unavoidable in 2011. That year also marked the beginning of Nicki Minaj’s time in the spotlight with “Super Bass” — a somewhat milder song than her now popular “Anaconda.”
Now: Too hot, hot damn! “Uptown Funk” has brought an old school vibe back, topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 14 consecutive weeks. Many have also been listening to the new Taylor Swift album “1989.” She might not be able to keep a man, but she has kept her songs on the top charts.
Are William and Kate still living a fairy tale?
Then: Sorry ladies, Prince William officially left the market. The royal wedding was seen as an almost modern-day fairy tale. People worldwide watched as Kate Middleton, a formerly unknown bachelorette, married the heartthrob, Prince William.
Now: Kate and William have just celebrated the birth of their second child, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.
How are we fighting for change now?
Then: This might not be the fondest memory for Whartonites headed to investment banking careers, but 2011 was the year of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Americans paraded through the business district of New York City, demanding a more equal share of wealth.
Now: Protesting this year has been focused on drawing attention to racially motivated police brutality. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has dominated the scene, and many Penn students have been involved themselves with campus protests, such as the Ferguson Friday demonstrations — weekly symbolic demonstrations led by Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation highlighting the racial injustices that still exist.
What’s the lastest celeb top story?
Then: Back in 2011, what were Penn students up to? Answer: “Duh, winning.” Oh wait, that was “Two and a Half Men” star, Charlie Sheen. This televised interview meltdown covered the tabloids and made for the punch line of many jokes at the time.
Now: So what’s the deal with Kylie Jenner’s lips? Her mysterious body transformations have sparked conversation over social media, including the #KylieJennerChallenge. One way to waste your study break is to try and copy her fully plumped lips and post your efforts on social media.
So you go to Penn State, right?
Then: 2011 was not the year to joke about Penn State. After a child sex-abuse scandal, the Penn State name was tarnished. This added one more reason to be annoyed when someone confused the school with Penn.
Now: People still slip up and call our school Penn State, but at least it’s not in the headlines for a scandalous crime.
Fling Flang Flung: Who was singing during that night you don’t remember?
Then: Ratatat, Flo Rida, and Lupe Fiasco rocked the stage at Spring Fling 2011.
Now: Kesha and Kygo performed this spring. Which was better? You’ll have to ask the graduating seniors.
What about the economy? Going into the job force looks slightly less intimidating now than it did in 2011.
Unemployment Rates (U.S.)
2011: 8.5% (Source: )
2015: 5.5% (Source: )
Average Starting Salaries for the Class of 2012
Business Majors: $51,541 (Source: )
Engineering Majors: $60,639 (Source: )
Humanities and Social Sciences: $36,824 (Source: )
Average Starting Salaries for the Class of 2014
Business Majors: $49,807 (Source: )
Engineering Majors: $64,891 (Source: )
Liberal Arts and Humanities Majors: $38,604 (Source: )
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.