Each August since 1998, Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, has released the Beloit College Mindset List, offering a look at the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering their freshman year at colleges and universities.
So this week, the school released the list for the class of 2018 — many in the class were born in 1996, have always had The Daily Show to set them straight, always been able to secure immediate approval and endorsement for their ideas through “likes” on their Facebook page and have rarely heard the term “bi-partisan agreement.”
How old — or how young — is the class of 2018? You can get an idea from this: Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes Ciccone Leon, is a member of the class of 2018 and has enrolled at the University of Michigan, which mom attended.
And the Beloit College Mindset List, assembled by Ron Nief and Tom McBride at Beloit College and posted on the school’s website, includes, in part:
• During their initial weeks of kindergarten, they were upset by endlessly repeated images of planes blasting into the World Trade Center.
• When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon.
• “Press pound” on the phone is now translated as “hit hashtag.”
• Celebrity “selfies” are far cooler than autographs.
• Hard liquor has always been advertised on television.
• Ralph Nader has always been running for President of the U.S.
• The water cooler is no longer the workplace social center; it’s the place to fill your water bottle.
• In their lifetime, a dozen different actors have portrayed Nelson Mandela on the big and small screen.
• Women have always attended the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel.
• Pepsi has always refreshed travelers in outer space.
• Hong Kong has always been part of China.
• Courts have always been overturning bans on same-sex marriages.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina have always been one nation.
• Citizens have always had a constitutional right to a “dignified and humane death.”
• Nicotine has always been recognized as an addictive drug requiring FDA oversight.
• Coning has always been a fact, not science fiction.
• They never tasted the “texturally enhanced alternative beverage” known as Orbitz.
• There has always been “TV” designed to be watched exclusively on the web.
• The Unabomber has always been behind bars.
• Female referees have always officiated NBA games.
• Bill Gates has always been the richest man in the U.S.
• While the number of Americans living with HIV has always been going up, American deaths from AIDS have always been going down.
• They have no memory of George Stephanopoulos as a senior White House advisor.
• The rate of diagnosed diabetes has always been shooting up during their lifetime.
• Affirmative Action has always been outlawed in California.
• Their collection of U.S. quarters has always celebrated the individual states.
The complete list is online at http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2018/.