Beloit College's 2016 Mindset List reveals mind-wobbling generation gap
Since 1998, Beloit College has been taking the pulse of its freshman class with an annual survey of 18-year-olds across the United States. The list for the 2016 class came out this week, and some of the findings are truly terrifying. Well, besides the fact that 18-year-olds entering college this year were born in 1994.
Among some of the more disturbing items:
- Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.
- A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.
- Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.
- Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker's long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.
- They watch television everywhere but on a television.
- They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.”
- They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.
- There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.
But, to be fair, here are some of the mindsets that make this new crop of students kind of cool.
- Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.
- White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited.
- Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.
- Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place.
And the weirdest thing to think about? For these kids, Kurt Cobain's always been dead.
Who else is feeling extremely old today?
Follow the geriatric Miranda Nelson on Twitter at @charenton_.