The Making of the Millennial Mindset—Beloit College’s New List

Photo by Thomas Huston

This weekend, I plan to take my daughter Grace shopping to trick out here dorm room. Yes, my youngest will be starting college in the fall. It fills me with pride, not to mention a serious hankering to rethink my own living space.

The occasion also put me in mind of one of my favorite psychographic treatments of young people: The Beloit Mindset List. It’s clever and bang-on.

Most members of this year’s freshman class were born in 1993, the same year Mosaic was the dominant Web browser. This is a class that has truly been raised on the Internet.

The following is a sampling of the first 20 items on the list. Read the full list here.

1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
3. States and Velcro parents have always required that they wear their bike helmets.
4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major-league sports.
5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded some U.S. Navy ships.
6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.
7. As the students have grown up on Web sites and cellphones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
8. Their schools’ “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
9. “Don’t touch that dial!” … What dial?
10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.
11. More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.
12. Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
13. Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.
14. All their lives, Whitney Houston has always been declaring, “I Will Always Love You.”
15. O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
16. Women have never been too old to have children.
17. Japan has always been importing rice.
18. Jim Carrey has always been bigger than a pet detective.
19. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.
20. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.