How This Year's Frosh Will Make You Feel Older

August 21, 2007

The class of 2011 is arriving at campuses all over -- and inspiring plenty of professors to wonder why the new students seem younger every year. For a decade, Beloit College has been helping out with its annual Mindset List of gentle reminders of what new students grew up with and what they never experienced.

The list is the creation of Tom McBride, Beloit's Keefer Professor of the Humanities, and Ron Nief, the public affairs director. The 2007 list is being released today. The complete list, along with past years' lists, may be found here. Some highlights from this year's list follow:

The Mindset for the Class of 2011

  • What Berlin wall?
  • They never “rolled down” a car window.
  • They have grown up with bottled water.
  • Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
  • Pete Rose has never played baseball.
  • Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  • No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of “liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
  • Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM.
  • When all else fails, the Prozac defense has always been a possibility.
  • They grew up in Wayne’s World.
  • U2 has always been more than a spy plane.
  • Fox has always been a major network.
  • Women’s studies majors have always been offered on campus.
  • Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.
  • They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.
  • China has always been more interested in making money than in reeducation.
  • The space program has never really caught their attention except in disasters.
  • They’re always texting 1 n other.
  • They will encounter roughly equal numbers of female and male professors in the classroom.
  • Avatars have nothing to do with Hindu deities.
  • The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.

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