THE BELOIT COLLEGE MINDSET LIST: Class of 2021!by Tom McBride •
Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for This Year’s Entering Class of First-Year College Students,
The Class of 2021
Beloit, Wis. —This year’s entering college class of 2021 can’t remember when a “phone” wasn’t a video game and research library. Mostly born in 1999, they’ve always been searching for Pokemon. They’ve never read a Peanuts strip that wasn’t a repeat and they never had the privilege of a Montgomery Ward catalogue as a booster seat. They have persevered in a world without Joe Dimaggio and brightened by emojis. If you ask them about the whine of a dial-up modem, expect a blank stare.
These are among the items in this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, the 20th such release since the list was first compiled in 1998. The List’s current subjects are the last class to be born in the 1900s – the last of the Millennials.
The Beloit College Mindset List is created by Ron Nief, Director Emeritus of Beloit College Public Affairs; Tom McBride, Professor Emeritus of English; and Charles Westerberg, Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology.
“Members of this class have generally borrowed a lot of money to go to college, so expect them to think of themselves as consumers and not just as students,” said Westerberg, former director of Beloit’s Liberal Arts in Practice Center. “And they will also be concerned not just with what they need to learn but also who they are and to what group they genuinely belong.”
The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2021
Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1999. Among the iconic figures who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Joe DiMaggio, John F. Kennedy Jr., Walter Payton, and Dusty Springfield.
- Their classmates could include Eddie Murphy’s Zola and Mel Gibson’s Tommy, or Jackie Evancho singing down the hall.
- They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials — enter next year, on cue, Generation Z!
- They are the first generation for whom a “phone” has been primarily a video game, direction finder, electronic telegraph, and research library.
- Electronic signatures have always been as legally binding as the pen-on-paper kind.
- In college, they will often think of themselves as consumers, who’ve borrowed a lot of money to be there.
- eHarmony has always offered an algorithm for happiness.
- Peanuts comic strips have always been repeats.
- They have largely grown up in a floppy-less world.
- They have never found Mutual Broadcasting or Westinghouse Group W on the radio dial, but XM has always offered radio programming for a fee.
- There have always been emojis to cheer us up.
- The Panama Canal has always belonged to Panama and Macau has been part of China.
- It is doubtful that they have ever used or heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.
- They were never able to use a Montgomery Ward catalogue as a booster seat.
- Donald Trump has always been a political figure, as a Democrat, an Independent, and a Republican.
- Zappos has always meant shoes on the Internet.
- They are the first generation to grow up with Watson outperforming Sherlock.
- Amazon has always invited consumers to follow the arrow from A to Z.
- The folks have always been able to get reward points by paying their taxes to the IRS on plastic.
- In their lifetimes, Blackberry has gone from being a wild fruit to being a communications device to becoming a wild fruit again.
- They have always been searching for Pokemon.
- They may choose to submit a listicle in lieu of an admissions essay.
- Dora the Explorer and her pet monkey Boots helped to set them on the course of discovery.
- The seat of Germany’s government has always been back in Berlin.
- Jet Blue has always been a favorite travel option but the Concorde has been permanently grounded.
- By the time they entered school, laptops were outselling desktops.
- There has never been a Coliseum in New York, but there has always been a London Eye on the Thames.
- Once on campus, they will find that college syllabi, replete with policies about disability, non-discrimination, and learning goals, might be longer than some of their reading assignments.
- As toddlers they may have dined on some of that canned food hoarded in case of Y2K.
- An ophthalmologist named Bashar al-Assad has always provided vision for the Syrian military.
- Whatever the subject, there’s always been a blog for it.
- S. Supreme Court decisions have always been available at its website.
- Globalization has always been both a powerful fact of life and a source of incessant protest.
- One out of four major league baseball players has always been born outside the United States.
- Carl Sagan has always had his own crater on Mars.
- A movie scene longer than two minutes has always seemed like an eternity.
- The Latin music industry has always had its own Grammy Awards.
- Ketchup has always come in green.
- They have only seen a Checker Cab in a museum.
- Men have always shared a romantic smooch on television.
- They never got to see Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Stein co-host a quiz show or Dennis Miller provide commentary for the NFL.
- As toddlers, they may have taught their grandparents how to Skype.
- The image of Sacagawea has always adorned the dollar coin, if you can find one.
- Having another child has always been a way to secure matching tissue to heal an older sibling.
- There have always been Latino players on the ice in the NHL.
- Napster has always been evolving.
- Nolan Ryan has always worn his Texas Rangers cap in Cooperstown, while Steve Young and Dan Marino have always been watching football from the sidelines.
- The BBC has always had a network in the U.S. where they speak American.
- There has never been a sanctioned Texas A&M bonfire.
- There has always been a Monster in their corner when looking for a job.
- Wikipedia has steadily gained acceptance by their teachers.
- Justin Timberlake has always been a solo act.
- S. professional baseball teams have always played in Cuba.
- Barbie and American Girl have always been sisters at Mattel.
- Family Guy is the successor to the Father Knows Best they never knew.
- Motorola and Nokia have always been incredibly shrinking giants.
- Melissa has always been too nice a name to be attached to a computer macro virus.
- The Mars Polar Lander has always been lost.
- Women have always scaled both sides of Everest and rowed across the Atlantic.
- Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.
- Paleontologists have always imagined dinosaurs with colorful plumage.
You may find information about our much-praised guide to Millennial education here. Also check out our Speakers’ Program–-we offer custom-made public addresses from coast to coast at a reasonable cost.
Ron Nief (608-770-2625)
Tom McBride (608-312-9508)
Charles Westerberg (608-225-8100)
Copyright© 2017 Beloit College
Mindset List is a registered trademark
Additional material can be found at www.beloit.edu/mindset and www.themindsetlist.com
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