The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2017
Each August since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin 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 list (prepared by Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride) was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references. It quickly became an internationally monitored catalog of the changing worldview of each new college generation.
The Mindset List for the Class of 2017
• For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.
• Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
• GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
• As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
• As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.
• As kids they may well have seen Chicken Run but probably never got chicken pox.
• Having a chat has seldom involved talking.
• Gaga has never been baby talk.
• They could always get rid of their outdated toys on eBay.
• They have known only two presidents.
• Their TV screens keep getting smaller as their parents’ screens grow ever larger.
• PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend on line.
• Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car.
• The U.S. has always been trying to figure out which side to back in Middle East conflicts.
• A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning.
• Threatening to shut down the government during Federal budget negotiations has always been an anticipated tactic.
• Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline.
• Plasma has never been just a bodily fluid.
• The Pentagon and Congress have always been shocked, absolutely shocked, by reports of sexual harassment and assault in the military.
• Spray paint has never been legally sold in Chicago.
• Captain Janeway has always taken the USS Voyager where no woman or man has ever gone before.
• While they’ve grown up with a World Trade Organization, they have never known an Interstate Commerce Commission.
• Courts have always been ordering computer network wiretaps.
• Planes have never landed at Stapleton Airport in Denver.
• Jurassic Park has always had rides and snack bars, not free-range triceratops and velociraptors.
• Thanks to Megan’s Law and Amber Alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe.
• With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.
• Java has never been just a cup of coffee.
• Americans and Russians have always cooperated better in orbit than on earth.
And as Nancy mentioned on the air. Here is the video for “The Outboard Brain”
Subscribe to My 107.3 FM on