Every year Beloit College, a private liberal arts in Wisconsin, releases The Mindset List. The goal is for the list to remind instructors that the kids they are teaching (incoming class of 2016) see the world very differently than they do. In a rapidly changing world, it is fun to take a step back and point out some of the major changes from year-to-year and generation to generation.
The intro to the list states: “For this generation of entering college students, born in 1994, Kurt Cobain, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.” Kind of a downer to get started so here are some of my favorite entries from The Mindset List for the Class of 2016…
7. Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker’s long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.
13. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.
14. There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
22. The Real World has always stopped being polite and started getting real on MTV.
25. They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.
35. Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.
41. Good music programmers are rock stars to the women of this generation, just as guitar players were for their mothers.
68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.
73. Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.
It doesn’t feel like things have changed that much but when you put specific things into a list, it really gives you some perspective and you begin to recognize the differences. Suitcases without wheels does seem pretty preposterous and this generation wanting to maintain contact with its peers is a direct result of Facebook and other social media. The music industry has seen a myriad of changes and the sports world continues to evolve. I give credit to Beloit College and their thought-provoking exercise. This annual list will continue to be more and more interesting as I get older and have specific memories of the today’s popular products/records/trends that will inevitably be outdated.