The Mindset List – Putting The Class Of 2016 In Perspective
SINCE 1998 BELOIT COLLEGE (WI) has released an annual list of cultural criteria to help define understand and relate to the incoming freshman class. The concept originated from the college’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride who sought to create a frame of reference for the Beloit faculty to help them avoid dated references. The “Mindset List” quickly became a worldwide phenomenon and even birthed a book on the subject: “The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages What Ten Generations of Americans Think is Normal.”
Here are some of our favorites from The Mindset List for the college graduating class of 2016 (the majority of whom were born in 1994):
1. For this generation of entering college students Kurt Cobain Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.
2. They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”
3. They have always lived in cyberspace addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.”
4. If they miss “The Daily Show” they can always get their news on YouTube.
5. Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.
6. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.
7. There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
8. Their folks have never gazed with pride at a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.
9. Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.
10. A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.
11. While still fans of music on radio they often listen to it on their laptops or replace it with music downloaded onto their MP3s and iPods.
12. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.
13. Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.
14. They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities famous for being famous.
15. There have always been blue M&Ms but no tan ones.
16. Along with online viewbooks parents have always been able to check the crime stats for the colleges their kids have selected.
17. The folks have always been able to grab an Aleve when the kids started giving them a migraine.
18. Before they purchase an assigned textbook they will investigate whether it is available … as an e-book.
19. They have always been able to see Starz on Direct TV.
20. History has always had its own channel.
21. Mr. Burns has replaced J.R. Ewing as the most shot-at man on American television.
22. They know many established film stars by their voices on computer-animated blockbusters.
23. “The Twilight Zone” involves vampires not Rod Serling.
24. They watch television everywhere but on a television.
25. They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes” [or albums].