Every year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of that year’s incoming freshmen. Here is this year’s list:
- The people who are starting college this fall were born in 1991.
- They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and do not know he had ever been shot.
- They were prepubescent when the first Persian Gulf War was waged.
- Black Monday, 1987 is as insignificant to them as the Great Depression.
- They can really only remember one president before George W. Bush.
- They were 5 when the Soviet Union broke apart and they don’t remember the Cold War.
- They have never feared a nuclear war.
- They don’t remember the space shuttle blowing up.
- Tiananmen Square means nothing to them.
- Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
- Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
- Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums and the Walkman.
- The expression “you sound like a broken record” means nothing to them because they’ve never seen a record player.
- They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.
- They may have never heard of an 8-track. The compact disc was introduced before they were born.
- As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 36 cents.
- They have always had voice mail.
- Most of them have never seen a television set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV. They have always had cable.
- There have always been DVRs, and they have no idea what Betamax is.
- They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
- Roller-skating has always meant in-line for them.
- Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
- Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
- They don’t remember seeing Michael Jordan play.
- They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
- The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as World War I, World War II or even the Civil War.
- They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.
- They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are.
- They never heard “Where’s the beef,” “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” or “de plane, de plane!”
- The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew where it was.
- There has always been MTV and VH1.
- They don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter, and they certainly never used carbon paper.
In two to four years these will be your new employees and co-workers, as well as many of your customers.
For further information contact Beloit College at http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/