Beloit College Mindset List Class of 2011 Edition

Beloit College has published their annual list, ostensibly to clue aging professors into the mindsets of their incoming freshman but, in reality, as Slublog notes, to make us all feel old.

What’s particularly striking about this year’s list is how incredibly lame it is. Indeed, some of the items could have appeared on a list ten years older. Johnny Carson? Or even Jack Nicholson’s Joker, which was a golden oldie by the time these kids were old enough to watch the movies.

These, I suppose, are mildly interesting:

  • Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
  • Rap music has always been mainstream.
  • Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  • High definition television has always been available.

Some that I’ve been using awhile but that don’t appear on the list:

  • They have no idea that there was once another “President Bush.”
  • The phrase “Good night, John Boy” has no meaning to them.

These don’t quite fit the format but are nonetheless in the spirit of the list:

  • Desert Storm is further in the past now than Vietnam was when we were in school.
  • The show “Happy Days” is further in the past now than the 1950s, which it portrayed nostalgically, were then.
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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. just me says:

    My oldest child will be a high school 2011 graduate.

    And in her defense, while she may not remember there was another Bush was president, she knows there was one.

    She has never seen an episode of the Walton’s though.

    She also loaths rap music and listens to classic rock-it is weird to have your kids favorite bands and songs be some of the ones you liked in high school.

  2. just me says:

    And I would also point out that this one

    They never “rolled down” a car window.

    Is a huge assumption.

    We had a mazda 323 that was a late 80’s model with crank windows and no AC. My husband babied the car along until about 3 years ago, but kids all remember having to roll down a window, although the younger boys may not remember by the time they get to college.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Russia has a multi-party system? Not so’s you’d notice. The system there is rigged so that Putin’s party controls things.

  4. All three of my kids have rolled down the windows on my 2003 Toyota Corolla…