As parents of traditional college age children, we know that our children live in a different world. Intellectually, we know that the world changes – ever faster – and that our children have grown up with many different experiences than we’ve had. Sometimes, however, we forget – or just plain don’t realize – how different that world truly is.
Each year Beloit College releases The Beloit College Mindset List. Since the list was first published in 1998, in addition to providing college professors a chuckle, it has also proved to be an eye-opening look at “the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college” that year. The list was originated by Beloit professor Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief as a reminder to faculty members that many references used in class might be outdated, but it has become a much more comprehensive look at the worldview of current college students.
We include here, for your consideration, amusement and possible consternation, a few of the items that are true for current college students. These are taken from the last four Mindset lists. So if your student was born between 1989 and 1992, consider some of the following. (You may view the entire lists, by year, at www.beloit.edu/mindset.) If you sometimes wonder why you feel as though you don’t know your college-age student, read on.