Some aspects of college are evergreen.

Whether it’s a school’s game-day tradition filled with cheers and tailgates or the prewar library that remains a campus mainstay, much of what makes your university feel like home isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

That said, the college experience is constantly evolving, regardless of what school you attend. Cultures, customs and technologies change. Yet many parents still frequently compare their higher-education experiences with those of their kids. In case you thought it only happened to your family, behold these seven stories of parental misconceptions.

From Typewriters to Modern Times

“We didn’t have e-mail when I went to college, and I literally had to ask my daughter if textbooks still existed. She assured me that they did (and they do, in fact, still cost an arm and a leg). However, she also explained that, not so surprisingly, everything is digital these days. They turn in assignments on the computer, e-mail their professors instead of asking things in person during office hours and take notes on their laptops during class. We used typewriters and tape recorders for lectures, which apparently makes me sound completely ancient to my kids.”
Candy, 54, Jupiter, Florida

Her, Her, Her, Her … and Her

“When my mom was in college, she slept in a room with eight beds lined up, meaning she had seven roommates at once. So when I explained that I’d be living in a dorm room with a single roommate, she was shocked — so shocked that she didn’t believe me. In turn, I told her I couldn’t believe having seven roommates was ever a thing. Sounds like my generation lucked out with this luxury.”
Madison, 18, Princeton, New Jersey

Putting a Ring on it

“I met my husband at the very beginning of my freshman year of college (we lived in the same dorm). I always assumed my kids would meet their “soul mates” at college, because that was kind of the norm in my day. While my son met his now-wife while studying abroad, my two daughters weren’t at all interested in settling down at that age. They’ve been focusing on their careers in their 20s, as have pretty much all of their friends. I realize that their single status at graduation might’ve been a little jarring 20 years ago, but today, it’s perfectly acceptable.”
Kathy, 61, Cleveland, Ohio

Flying the Coop

“My parents grew up in Israel and just about lost it when I said I wanted to go to school in Florida. (I grew up in New Jersey.) In Israel, everyone stays pretty close to home, so that’s what they expected of me. But the United States is huge, and my dream school happened to be thousands of miles away. Although they were hesitant and frustrated at first, they eventually gave in and spent lots of air miles visiting me.”
Danielle, 25, New York City, New York

Mom on the Line

“When I went to school, there weren’t cellphones. There was no social media. There wasn’t even cable television until my senior year. I’d have to wait by the phone to talk to my parents. I was nervous about being able to stay in contact when I dropped my kids off at college, so much so that I started talking to them about scheduling phone calls. Of course, I forgot that cellphones are omnipresent now. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to text my kids constantly and check their Instagram pages even more.”
Lori, 57, Indianapolis, Indiana

Taking It Outside the Classroom

“My dad really pressured my siblings and me to maintain straight A’s all through college because that’s what his parents did when he was in school, and he wanted the same for us. Good grades will obviously always be important, but I didn’t graduate with a perfect GPA, and I still ended up landing an amazing job. I think my generation is more encouraged to find a balance between having fun, exploring the world, having cool life experiences and doing well in school.”
– Alex, 23, Austin, Texas

A Pleasant Surprise

“Before I moved into my dorm freshman year, my parents spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince me that the living conditions were going to be shoddy. They said that when they were in college, they had gross communal bathrooms, no air conditioning and just about zero luxuries. But they were shocked (and a tad bitter) on moving day when they saw my recently renovated residence, complete with central AC, individual bathroom pods and a brand-new study lounge, among other unanticipated accommodations. Sorry, Mom and Dad!”
Emma, 22, Athens, Ohio