Beloit College’s Mindset List

Uncategorized Posted Aug 25, 2006 by metropolis

What a brilliant piece of PR. I heard about this on national neww. I think it was CNN.

Every year, tiny Beloit College (1200 students in Beloit, Wisconsin) publishes the Beloit College Mindset List. It has been published every August since 1998, and “it looks at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of today’s first-year students.” Most of the kids who are entering college this Fall were born in 1988, which is just one year before my previously profiled offspring, who was born in 1989. These hit home. And they hit hard, underscoring just how much the fundamentals have shifted in my lifetime.

Distilled from the full list of 75 items, I give you my Favorite Fifteen, because my attention span is, like, sooooo short:

  1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
  2. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
  3. There has always been only one Germany.
  4. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
  5. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.
  6. “Google” has always been a verb.
  7. Text messaging is their email.
  8. Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards to retail items.
  9. Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents’ attics.
  10. “So” as in “Sooooo New York,” has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else.
  11. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.
  12. There have always been live organ donors.
  13. Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.
  14. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
  15. They have always “dissed” what they don’t like.