Kyle Mitchell was in fourth grade when the planes hit.
Like Mitchell, now a 19-year-old political science major, most students at UF and colleges nationwide were young when the 9/11 attacks happened.
"Our whole lives have been defined by what happened after that time," Mitchell said.
While he thinks most undergraduate students were too young to initially understand the full meaning of Sept. 11, Mitchell said many students were affected to a greater extent by events that occurred afterward, like the Iraq War.
But current students may not have been as impacted by 9/11 as the people who were pursuing undergraduate degrees in 2001, said Ido Oren, an associate professor of political science.
The students Oren worked with during the immediate post-9/11 period showed more patriotic views in class and one-on-one discussions.
Aida Hozic, an associate professor of political science, said current undergraduate students are still facing problems that have developed since 9/11.
"[They're] just saddled with the legacy of these 10 years, and [they] know they're saddled with it," she said.
While students in 2002 were motivated to serve their country after 9/11, today's undergraduates aren't as driven toward the stars and stripes.
"For [this] generation now, there is nothing but the debts accumulated from that period - both economic and political," she said.
Mitchell said the political and economic insecurity of recent years has inspired many students he knows to make a difference through their work.
"I think among students here at UF, there's a great sense of, ‘What can I do to give back?'" he said. "It's [about] looking out for everyone and not just yourself."
Graduate student Jean Morrow places exactly 2,977 miniature flags on the lawn of the Reitz Union lawn to honor each person who died on 9/11, marking the 10th anniversary of the national tragedy. Morrow's display is part of the 9/11: Never Forget Project at UF.