Beloit College in Wisconsin puts out an annual “Mindset List” to give you an idea of where the newest college students are coming from in regards to what they see as being “the world as it has been”.
The list is very geared towards the US, as it’s from a US college, but I wanted to show a few that I felt were particularly important:
Students heading into their first year of college this year were generally born in 1996.
1. During their initial weeks of kindergarten, they were upset by endlessly repeated images of planes blasting into the World Trade Center.
7. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has always been the only news program that really “gets it right.”
11. The water cooler is no longer the workplace social center; it’s the place to fill your water bottle.
16. Hong Kong has always been part of China.
23. Hello Dolly…cloning has always been a fact, not science fiction.
26. Hell has always been associated less with torment and more with nothingness.
33. There has always been a national database of sex offenders.
37. Bill Gates has always been the richest man in the U.S.
There are 55 of them, so check it out.
I hope that everyone will remember that the new students coming into our institutions may be part of a different generation, but that doesn’t make it good or bad, just different. This is a generation who’s government moved the the line between liberty and security before they even knew there was one. This is a generation for whom talking to someone on the other side of the world is just as easy as talking with a neighbor. This is a generation who wants to be able to access the source material for a statement so that they know it’s properly backed up.
And, like every generation, this is a generation will have to deal with the mistakes of the last generation.