For Class of '16, the Secretary's a Madame
And what's radio? A look at generational quirks of freshmen
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2012 11:54 AM CDT
This photo combo shows, from left, entertainer Justin Bieber, an iPhone, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Does the phrase "Who shot JR?" mean anything to you? Do you remember booklet-style airline tickets, the last baseball strike, or the Clinton presidency? Well, those are things you don't have in common with this year's crop of college freshmen, Beloit College would like to remind you. It has just released its annual "Mindset List," an unscientific set of insights intended to remind college professors how differently their students see the world—and make everyone else feel old. Bear in mind, this year's class was born mostly in 1994.

This year's list can be seen here. Some highlights:

  • Bill Clinton is an elder statesman whose presidency they barely remember.
  • They think of Robert DeNiro as Greg Focker's father-in-law, not Vito Corleone.
  • For them, there has always been an NFL team in Jacksonville, and never one in LA.
  • For most of their lives, a woman has run the State Department, and women have always flown space shuttles and fighter jets.
  • The term "Royale With Cheese" means little to them; Pulp Fiction came out well before they were born.
  • The World Trade Organization has always existed.
  • They tend to watch TV anywhere but an actual TV, and they have pretty much never had any use for radio.
  • Breaking Bad is for them what Lost was to their older siblings.
  • For them, genome sequencing and gene therapy have always existed.
  • The Real World has been on TV their entire lives.
Click for last year's list.