Each year, Beloit College publishes their wildly entertaining yet prophetically profound “Mindset List” that profiles the most significant worldview-shaping people, events and cultural trends that have impacted how today’s freshman think about themselves and the world around them.
A few examples from their expansive list:
#1: “They should keep their eyes open for Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning at freshman orientation.”
#8: “Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.”
#10: “On TV and Film, the ditzy, dumb female generally has been replaced by a couple of Dumb and Dumber males.”
#14: “There has always been football in Jacksonville, but not in Los Angeles.”
#35: “Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.”
#71: “Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.”
Here’s how the researchers summarized their findings:
“This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future, and are entering college bombarded by questions about jobs and the value of a college degree. They have never needed an actual airline “ticket,” a set of bound encyclopedias, orRomper Room. Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1994, are probably the most tribal generation in history and they despise being separated from contact with friends. They prefer to watch television everywhere except on a television, have seen a woman lead the U.S. State Department for most of their lives, and can carry school books–those that are not on their e-Readers–in backpacks that roll.
The class of 2016 was born the year of the professional baseball strike and the last year for NFL football in Los Angeles. They have spent much of their lives helping their parents understand that you don’t take pictures on “film” and that CDs and DVDs are not “tapes.” Those parents have been able to review the crime statistics for the colleges their children have applied to and then pop an Aleve as needed. In these students’ lifetimes, with MP3 players and iPods, they seldom listen to the car radio. A quarter of the entering students already have suffered some hearing loss. Since they’ve been born, the United States has measured progress by a 2 percent jump in unemployment and a 16-cent rise in the price of a first class postage stamp.”
You can read the entire list here. Have a favorite? Anything to add? Add your comments below.