The Perspective of This Year’s New Students

Each fall the humanities department of Beloit College attempts to help academics understand the incoming first year students with its “Mindset List” which reflects what the class of freshmen will have experienced, or don’t know.

It is always interesting and sobering to read this list – and makes lots of us feel older than we wish we were.  Here is their introduction, and a portion of this year’s list:

If the entering college class of 2013 had been more alert back in 1991 when most of them were born, they would now be experiencing a severe case of déjà vu. The headlines that year railed about government interventions, bailouts, bad loans, unemployment and greater regulation of the finance industry. The Tonight Show changed hosts for the first time in decades, and the nation asked “was Iraq worth a war?”

  • They have never used a card catalog to find a book.
  • Dan Rostenkowski and Mike Tyson have always been felons.
  • The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.
  • Salsa has always outsold ketchup.
  • Rap music has always been mainstream.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has always been a flavor choice.
  • The KGB has never officially existed.
  • Babies have always had a Social Security Number.
  • Bungee jumping has always been socially acceptable.
  • The European Union has always existed.
  • There has always been a Cartoon Network.
  • They have always been able to read books on an electronic screen.
  • Women have always outnumbered men in college.
  • There have always been flat screen televisions.
  • Britney Spears has always been heard on classic rock stations.
  • Someone has always been asking: “Was Iraq worth a war?”
  • Most communities have always had a mega-church.
  • There has always been a computer in the Oval Office.
  • Avon has always been “calling” in a catalog.
  • Official racial classifications in South Africa have always been outlawed.

One thought on “The Perspective of This Year’s New Students

  1. This is amazing. I am officially old, since I began my own freshman year at Belhaven exactly 10 years ago… It was a wonderful experience, and I hope this year’s freshmen have a great year, too!

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