My Facebook feed is filled with smiling teens in front of lofty buildings and leafy quads, which means it must be college touring season.
The photos make me nostalgic for my own college years, nervous for the day my kids pack up and head for campus, and bewildered, a bit, by how much has changed in the 21 (gulp) years since I graduated.
There was no Facebook, obviously. There was barely an internet. We took photos, but if we posted them anywhere it was on our fridge, and the audience was mercifully small.
Things were simpler, in some ways, but I won't pretend they were better.
Here's what I mean.
If your college tour winds its way to Hyde Park in Chicago, you might notice a bunch of students in bright teal shirts. The University of Chicago has teamed up with It's On Us, a national organization launched by former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden to engage college students in the fight against sexual violence.
"We have more to do to change the culture that asks the wrong questions, like why were you there? What were you wearing? Were you drinking?" Biden wrote in a 2015 op-ed explaining the campaign. "We have to ask the right questions – What made him think that he could do what he did without my consent? Why on Earth did no one stop him instead of standing by? What can we do to make sure everyone has the courage to speak up, intervene, prevent and end sexual assault once and for all?"
Two track and field athletes at the University of Chicago, John Schultz and Nick Lyon, researched the organization and are working to spread its message around their own campus.
"We've both had friends and family members who've been hurt by sexual assault," Lyon told me. "We're personally invested in the cause, and we think we can change the culture and the conversation around sexual assault."
Particularly as athletes, said Schultz, a junior pole vaulter.
"Athletes have a strong voice on campus, and we're sort of like a family," he said. "We know that trying to change the culture on campus starts with trying to bring together this large, collective group in a way that shows people we care about this cause."
Earlier this month, Schultz and Lyon handed out teal T-shirts with the It's On Us logo and asked students to gather in the main quad wearing them. They've asked student athletes to sport them once a month.
"It was really cool to see this massive conglomerate of blue shirts," said Lyon, who attends U. of C.'s Pritzker School of Medicine. "It was exactly what we wanted to happen – people saw the shirts, saw the logos and asked us about it. That's how we started the conversation."
The conversation helps students recognize what constitutes sexual assault, intervene when consent hasn't been given and create an environment where sexual assault is never accepted. On the It's On Us website, you can sign a pledge to help end sexual assault by engaging in similar conversations in your own community.
"It's On Us is about bringing new allies into the conversation," said Rebecca Kaplan, director of the organization. "We know that this is an issue that's been on the shoulders of survivors alone for too long, and we're asking everyone to play a role in being part of the solution."
Kaplan said her best friend was sexually assaulted during their freshman year at Cornell University.
"People weren't really talking about consent or bystander intervention or survivor support," Kaplan said. "She did get a lot of victim-blaming at the time, and that was brutal to watch."
That was in 2008.
"Many years ago," Kaplan said.
It's telling that less than a decade feels like a long time ago, in terms of sexual assault awareness. Two decades feels like a lifetime.
Kaplan said her group has worked with campuses all over the country, as well as the NCAA, the Big 10, the Pacific-12 and other collegiate athletic conferences.
"Student athletes, because of their leadership role, play a really critical role," she said. "People listen to them. The have a lot of access and carry a lot of weight on campus, so it's great to see them lead by example."
Schultz said he and Lyon have been contacting other schools in their athletic conference to tell them about It's On Us.
"We want to get more people on board, so they can start doing events at their school," Schultz said. "We want people to know it's really easy to get the conversation going."
That ease is a testament to the difficult work and brave conversations that It's On Us has launched and students like Lyon and Schultz have continued.
"It's been nice to share the progress we've made with her," Kaplan said of her friend who was attacked in college. "But we still have a very long way to go."
And they're bringing along a whole bunch of people who previously would have sat this movement out.
We're all stronger for that.