Tuesday, August 19

The mindset of new college freshmen

It’s that time of year again. Every August, Beloit College publishes the Mindset List. The list provides set of things that are, and often have always been, true for people who are entering college that year. The goal of the Mindset list is to provide a look at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of students who are beginning college. To the rest of us, it also serves as a reminder of the changing frame of reference of the younger generation. Here are some highlights from this year’s list:

· The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are “wired” and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.

· It is a multicultural, politically correct and “green” generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.

· Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.

· Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.

· Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.

· GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.

· Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.

· Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.

· Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.

· WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.

· Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.

· Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.

· Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.

· IBM has never made typewriters.

· Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.

· There has always been Pearl Jam.

· The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.

· They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.

· Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.

· Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.

· Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone.

· Their parents may have watched The American Gladiators on TV the day they were born.

· Caller ID has always been available on phones.

· Soft drink refills have always been free.

· Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.

· Muscovites have always been able to buy Big Macs.

· The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.

· Michael Millken has always been a philanthropist promoting prostate cancer research.

· Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.

You can read the whole list here.

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