Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Mindset List - a few surprises

Do you know about the Mindset List, created each year by Beloit College?

It's really interesting, because each year, since 1998, the school has released the "Beloit College Mindset List" to provide a list of touchstones that shape the culture of the college students.

It shows how quickly "outdated" our cultural references can become. For the entering class of 2016, I'll admit, it shows a few surprises. (Well, at least they were things that took me by surprise.....here are a few selections.

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

Um, considering I just had supper with two friends, and we couldn't go the full meal without someone checking their phone, Facebook or email, why should college freshman be any different.

--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.

Really. This makes me think, as a children's minister. The Good Samaritan surprises and saddens me.....

--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.

Well, except for those who want the Disney channel on the mission trip (a younger set) - but this shouldn't surprise anyone.

--Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.

Wow... I still remember sitting at the kitchen table writing a report using the encyclopedias that my parents had. Considering Google and Wikipedia, this shouldn't surprise any of us.

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

I still struggle with this one..... but it's the truth.

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

Considering the iPods and how "plugged in" this generation is - this shouldn't surprise us...it's just a wee bit sad.

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

Paris Hilton anyone?

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

I had to ask a friend tonight when did they get rid of the tan ones? File this under oblivious.

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

Absolutely. I see this in all of the students I work with....college age and down.

--Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book.

Wow.... things have changed since my college or even seminary days. But what happens if the electronic device crashed.... does that work the same as "the dog ate my homework?"

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

This just made me laugh.

--They watch television everywhere but on a television.

Yep. Yep. Yep.

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

Hum..... said the girl with three (or four) cameras (iPhone, pocket point and shoot, big Cannon - and even the iPad) now.....

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

Just sad.

Copyright© 2012 Beloit College
Mindset List is a registered trademark
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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