Spartanburg Methodist College’s 2015 incoming freshman class, most of whom were born in 1993 to parents who could always get pregnant – regardless of age, arrived on the scene as the Internet merged into the fast lane of the information highway and electric cars hummed in relative silence on actual roads. Amazon is their “go to source” for everything; music has always been available via free downloads; they share everything publicly – they text to vote for their favorite entertainers or break up with their significant other…they have grown up on websites and cell phones.
The Mindset List* for the Class of 2015 (the SMC condensed version)
- Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over.
- States and Velcro-parents have always required they wear bike helmets.
- Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
- Public schools have always made space available for advertising.
- While they’ve been playing outside, their parents have always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.
- Most have grown up with a faux Christmas Tree in the house at the holidays.
- American tax forms, automated customer service, etc. have always been available in Spanish.
- Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.
- They’ve always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael Who?
- We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.
- “Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short.
- Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.
- No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Day.
- They have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel!
- They won’t go near a retailer that lacks a website – especially if it isn’t mobile friendly.
*Since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college each fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.