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. It is always interesting to see where the next generation of students are coming from – especially in contrast to where many of us in college ministry have come from.
Their Mindset List for the class of 2016 has just been released. Below are some of the highlights. You can check out at the complete list here.
What do you find most surprising or interesting on this list?
Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1994. For these students, Kurt Cobain, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.
3. The Biblical sources of terms such as ‘‘forbidden fruit,’’ ‘'the writing on the wall,’’ ‘'good Samaritan,’’ and ‘‘the promised land’’ are unknown to most of them.
4. Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes ‘‘American royalty.’’
7. Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker’s long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.
8. Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.
12. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department.
14. There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
17. Benjamin Braddock, having given up both a career in plastics and a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, could be their grandfather.
18. Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.
21. A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.
30. There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.
40. A bit of the late Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, has always existed in space.
47. Before they buy an assigned textbook, they will check to see whether it’s available for rent or purchase as an e-book.
63. The Twilight Zone involves vampires, not Rod Serling.
70. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.
73. Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.