Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's That Time Again

It's that time of year again. Across the country, parents are sending their children off to their first year of college. Taking my firstborn to college was a traumatic experience for me. It turned out okay, but the memory remains fresh in my heart. You can read about my experience here.

Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin has released its annual "mindset list" to help understand the mindset of the incoming freshman class. It's something I look forward to every year even though, every year, it makes me painfully aware of my age.

To start with, realize that most of this year's college freshmen were born in 1994. This is the class of 2016. You can find Beloit College's complete list here.

Here are some of the mindsets that stand out for me this year.

  • They grew up in the age of cyberspace. 
  • They've never seen an actual airline ticket.
  • Most of them have never used a bound set of encyclopedias. 
  • They may rent the books they need for college, or buy ebook versions.
  • A woman hasbeen Secretary of State for almost their entire life. 
  • Bill Clinton has always been an "elder statesman" rather than President.
  • They've never used a camera that required film. 
  • They listen to music on MP3 players and iPods and probably not on the radio.
  • They could run into Dakota Fanning or Justin Beiber at freshman orientation.
  • If you ask them about American royalty, they'll think of Michael Jackson's family and probably not the Kennedys.
  • They think of Robert DeNiro as Jack Byrnes from Meet the Parents not as Vito Corleone from Godfather 2
  • Benjaman Braddock of The Graduate could be their grandfather.
  • Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction.
  • There have always been blue M&Ms, but never tan ones.
  • They grew up without Romper Room.
  • The Twilight Zone involves vampires, not Rod Serling.
  • Selena's fans have always been in mourning.
  • There has always been pro football in Jacksonville, but not in Los Angeles.

While we're on the subject of college freshmen, check out this College Freshman meme. Some of them made me laugh and some are just sad.

I would like to add these items to the list:

  • Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa the year they were born.
  • The Chunnel has always connected Great Britain and France.
  • They don't think it's unreasonable to pay $5 for cup of coffee.
  • Kurt Cobain has always been dead.

What would you add to the list?



  1. I love this one the most ! SO TRUE!! So FUNNY!

    Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction.

  2. What a great list. And I love your idea of reading it annually. Keeps us older folks in the right mindset, too, understanding where they're coming from. I like your addition of Kurt Cobain. :-D

    Thanks for linking up, my friend!

  3. Just had to come back after looking at the official list. I like this one: IBM has never made typewriters. I learned to type on an IBM Selectric II. :D

  4. Oh I feel old! Great list but not sure what I would add...