Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kids These Days

Yesterday, one of my professors mentioned a list that is published every year as thousands of kids make their way from high school to college. Until yesterday, I had no idea that this list existed. It's called the Mindset List and it's put out by Beloit College. They've been making this list each year since the fall of 1998. Coincidentally, that's the year I began college. I look through the list for this year's freshmen and weep for the future. Yet I can't help but wonder, if ten years ago, did people my age look at the list and think the same thing? Here are some selections from this year's list, followed by a few from 1998.


Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.

GPS satellite navigation systems h
ave always been available.

Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.

Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.

Films have never been rated X, only NC-17.

McDonald's and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.

The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.

Caller ID has always been available on phones.

The Green Bay Packers have (almost) always had the same quarterback.

Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.


Black Monday 1987 is about as significant to them as the Great Depression.

There has only been one pope. They can only remember one other president.

They have never feared nuclear war. "The Day After" is a pill to them--not a movie.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle Challenger blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

They have likely never played Pac-Man, and have never heard of "Pong."

Star Wars looks very fake to them, and the special effects are pathetic.

They have always had cable.

They don't know who Mork was, or where he was from.

There has always been MTV, and it has always included non-musical shows.

For the full lists from 1998, 2008, and every year in between, click here. As for my list, I really don't think they gave the class of '98 enough credit. Sure, I'll go along with only one pope in my first 18 years, 'cause that's how it was. But I sure remember more than one president by that time. I actually have seen The Day After. I specifically remember watching the news as the Challenger exploded. I've played Pong, Pac-Man, and more importantly, Ms. Pac-Man. Star Wars is awesome. In fact, I think the prequel special effects look more fake than the original. They relied too much on computers. And Mork was from Ork, thank you very much.

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