Since 1998, Ron Nief and Tom McBride of Beloit College in Wisconsin have prepared their annual Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones of this year’s class of incoming freshmen to our colleges and universities – the class of 2017. Most of these students were born in 1995, so the list helps us to see is how much the world has changed since then.
I have listed some of the things that I find most interesting below. You can find the entire list here. One of the things that you notice going over the full list is how much of a role technology plays in our lives. What things do you find most interesting? What trends do you notice?
1. Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
2. They are the sharing generation, having shown tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal.
3. GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
14. 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.
16. A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning.
21. Spray paint has never been legally sold in Chicago.
28. With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.
40. They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena.
42. There has never been a national maximum speed on U.S. highways.
44. Their favorite feature films have always been largely, if not totally, computer generated.
52. They have always been able to plug into USB ports
54. Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House.
55. Being selected by Oprah’s Book Club has always read “success.”
57. Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing.
60. They have always known that there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes" in a year.