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College tradition: Beloit releases Mindset List for Class of 2018

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/.

Beloit College’s Mindset List for freshman

Every year, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., releases its Mindset List to give a snapshot of how the incoming freshmen class views the world.

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.

The list for the Class of 2016:

1. They should keep their eyes open for Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning at freshman orientation.

2. They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.”

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.”

5. If they miss “The Daily Show,” they can always get their news on YouTube.

6. Their lives have been measured in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes and bauds.

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.

9. They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”

10. On TV and in films, the ditzy dumb blonde female generally has been replaced by a couple of dumb and dumber males.

11. The paradox “too big to fail” has been for their generation what “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” was for their grandparents.

12. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the United States and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department.

13. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.

14. There has always been football in Jacksonville, Fla., but never in Los Angeles.

15. Having grown up with Mp3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all.

16. Since they’ve been born, the United States has measured progress by a 2 percentage point jump in unemployment and a 16-cent rise in the price of a first-class postage stamp.

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.

19. The Green Bay Packers have always celebrated with the Lambeau Leap.

20. Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.

21. A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.

22. “The Real World” has always “stopped being polite and started getting real” on MTV.

23. Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.

24. White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited.

25. They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.

26. Having made the acquaintance of Furby at an early age, they have expected their toy friends to do ever more unpredictable things.

27. Outdated icons with images of floppy discs for “save,” a telephone for “phone,” and a snail-mail envelope for “mail” have oddly decorated their tablets and smartphone screens.

28. “Star Wars” has always been just a film, not a defense strategy.

29. They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes.”

30. There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.

31. Along with online viewbooks, parents have always been able to check the crime stats for the colleges their kids have selected.

32. Newt Gingrich has always been a key figure in politics, trying to change the way America thinks about everything.

33. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future.

34. Billy Graham is as familiar to them as Otto Graham was to their parents.

35. Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.

36. Stephen Breyer has always been an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

37. Martin Lawrence has always been banned from hosting “Saturday Night Live.”

38. Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place.

39. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has always translated operas on seatback screens.

40. A bit of the late Gene Roddenberry, creator of “Star Trek,” has always existed in space.

41. Good music programmers are rock stars to the women of this generation, just as guitar players were for their mothers.

42. Gene therapy has always been an available treatment.

43. They were too young to enjoy the 1994 World Series, but then no one else got to enjoy it either.

44. The folks have always been able to grab an Aleve when the kids started giving them a migraine.

45. While the iconic TV series for their older siblings was the sci-fi show “Lost,” for them it’s “Breaking Bad,” a gritty crime story motivated by desperate economic circumstances.

46. Simba has always had trouble waiting to be king.

47. Before they buy an assigned textbook, they will check to see whether it’s available for rent or purchase as an e-book.

48. They grew up, somehow, without the benefits of “Romper Room.”

49. There has always been a World Trade Organization.

50. L.L. Bean hunting shoes have always been known as just plain Bean Boots.

51. They have always been able to see Starz on DirecTV.

52. Ice-skating competitions have always been jumping matches.

53. There has always been a Santa Clause.

54. NBC has never shown “It’s a Wonderful Life” more than twice during the holidays.

55. Mr. Burns has replaced J.R. Ewing as the most-shot-at man on American television.

56. They have always enjoyed school and summer camp memories with a digital yearbook.

57. Herr Schindler has always had a List; Mr. Spielberg has always had an Oscar.

58. Selena’s fans have always been in mourning.

59. They know many established film stars by their voices on computer-animated blockbusters.

60. History has always had its own channel.

61. Thousands have always been gathering for “million-man” demonstrations in Washington, D.C.

62. Television and film dramas have always risked being pulled because the story line was too close to the headlines from which they were “ripped.”

63. “The Twilight Zone” involves vampires, not Rod Serling.

64. Robert Osborne has always been introducing Hollywood history on TCM.

65. Little Caesar has always been proclaiming “Pizza Pizza.”

66. They have no recollection of when Arianna Huffington was a conservative.

67. Chronic fatigue syndrome has always been officially recognized with clinical guidelines.

68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.

69. The “Pulp Fiction” meal of a “royale with cheese” and an “Amos and Andy milkshake” has little or no resonance with them.

70. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.

71. Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.

72. Astronauts have always spent well over a year in a single space flight.

73. Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.

74. Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.

75. The Sistine Chapel ceiling has always been brighter and cleaner.

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