What the Freshmen Know

What do you need to know about this year's freshmen? Consult the list.

August 20, 2019
 

It seems like it's always been here, but this is only the 22nd edition. The Marist Mind-Set List (formerly the Beloit list, after the college that founded it), is the list that tells you what (traditional-age) freshmen know -- and what they don't. Marist College took over the list this year.

Here's the list for this year:

  1. Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, Sept. 11 is a historical event.
  2. Thumb, jump and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history.
  3. The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures.
  4. The nation’s mantra has always been “If you see something, say something.”
  5. The Tech Big Four -- Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google -- are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents.
  6. Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think.
  7. Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color.
  8. When they pulled themselves up off the floor for the first time, they may have been hanging onto the folks’ brand-new Xbox.
  9. There have always been indecisive quadrennial debates regarding the future of the Electoral College.
  10. Oklahoma City has always had a national memorial at its center.
  11. Self-contained, battery-powered artificial hearts have always been ticking away.
  12. Because of Richard Reid’s explosive footwear at 30,000 feet, passengers have always had to take off their shoes to slide through security on the ground.
  13. They are as nonjudgmental about sexual orientation as their parents were about smoking pot.
  14. They have outlived iTunes.
  15. Heinous, sexually based offenses have always been investigated by the Special Victims Unit on Law & Order.
  16. The Mars Odyssey has always been checking out the water supply for their future visits to the red planet.
  17. Snapchat has become their social media app of choice, thus relieving them of the dilemma of whether or not to friend Mom.
  18. In an unprecedented move, European nations via NATO have always helped to defend the U.S. militarily.
  19. They may well not have a younger sibling, as the birth rate in the U.S. has been dropping since they were in grammar school.
  20. PayPal has always been an online option for purchasers.
  21. They have witnessed two African American secretaries of state, the election of a black president, Disney’s first black princess and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  22. As they crawled on the floor, TV headlines began crawling at the bottom of the TV screen.
  23. “Pink slime” has always been a food additive.
  24. With flyovers, honor guards and “God Bless America,” sporting events have always been marked by emphatic patriotism.
  25. Only two-thirds of this generation identify as exclusively heterosexual.
  26. Segways have always been trying to revolutionize the way people move.
  27. YouTube has become the video version of Wikipedia.
  28. There has always been an International Criminal Court, and the U.S. has never been a signatory.
  29. Newfoundland and Labrador have always been, officially, Newfoundland-and-Labrador.
  30. There has always been an American Taliban.
  31. By their sophomore year, their generation will constitute one-quarter of the U.S. population.
  32. Apple iPods have always been nostalgic.
  33. They have always been able to fly Jet Blue, but never Ted and Song.
  34. Quarterback Troy Aikman has always called the plays live from the press booth.
  35. It has always been illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving in New York State.
  36. Except for when he celebrated Jeopardy’s 35th anniversary, Alex Trebek has never had a mustache.
  37. Face recognition technology has always been used at public events
  38. Skilled DJs have transitioned into turntablists.
  39. The Apple Power Mac Cube has always been in a museum.
  40. The year they were born, the top NBA draft pick came directly out of high school for the first time.
  41. They have always been concerned about catching the West Nile virus.
  42. There has always been a DisneySea in Tokyo.
  43. They have grown up with Big Data and ubiquitous algorithms that know what they want before they do.
  44. Most of them will rent, not buy, their textbooks.
  45. They have probably all been gaslighted or ghosted.
  46. There have always been smartwatches.
  47. Their grandparents’ classic comics have evolved into graphic novels.
  48. They have grown up with a Patriot Act that has dramatically increased state surveillance to prevent terrorism.
  49. Defibrillators have always been so simple to use that they can be installed at home.
  50. Pittsburgh’s Steelers and Pirates have never played at Three Rivers Stadium.
  51. Congress has always banned human cloning completely and threatened arrest for offenders.
  52. At least one of the murderers of the four schoolgirls in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963 has always been in prison.
  53. Monica and Chandler have always been married on Friends.
  54. Blackboards have never been dumb.
  55. A Roman Catholic pope has always visited a mosque.
  56. Cal Ripken Jr. has always been retired.
  57. The U.S. has always been withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  58. Euthanasia has always been legal in the Netherlands.
  59. Teams have always been engaged in an Amazing Race around the world.
  60. Coke and Pepsi have always been competing in the sports hydration science marketplace.

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