"This year’s entering college class of 2015 was born just as the Internet took everyone onto the information highway and as Amazon began its relentless flow of books and everything else into their lives. Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1993, are the first generation to grow up taking the word “online” for granted and for whom crossing the digital divide has redefined research, original sources and access to information, changing the central experiences and methods in their lives. They have come of age as women assumed command of U.S. Navy ships, altar girls served routinely at Catholic Mass, and when everything from parents analyzing childhood maladies to their breaking up with boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes quite publicly, have been accomplished on the Internet.
Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. Mindset List websites at Beloit College and at mindsetmoment.com, the media site webcast and their Facebook page receive more than a million hits annually."
Here are a few of my faves from this year's list:
- Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could have been their parents. (Unbelievable! I feel so old!)
- River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, and Andre the Giant have always been dead.
- States (and velcro parents) have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
- The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
- They "swipe" cards, not merchandise.
- Their school's "blackboards" have always been getting smarter.
- "Don't touch that dial!"... what dial?
- Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
- Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you're talking about LeBron James.
- Life has always been like a box of chocolates.
- "Yadda, yadda, yadda" has always come in handy to make long stories short!
- Video games have always had ratings.
- Women have always been kissing women on television.
- Their older siblings have told them about the days when Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera were Mouseketeers.
- Grown-ups have always been arguing about health care policy.
- They're the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.
- They've always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael Who?
- They've often broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook or MySpace.
- Women have never been too old to have children.
- Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.