The list is out. “Twilight,” the Jackson Family as “American Royalty” and addictions to “electronic narcotics” characterize the Mindset List for the next generation of college students—the Class of 2016. The list, released by Beloit College last month, covers 75 references of how incoming freshmen view the world around them.
Wearing bra straps as a fashion statement, watching television anywhere but on a television and living in an era of celebrities who are famous for being famous are also listed.
“I had mixed feeling with the list,” said Holden Adams, a 21-year-old freshman. “Some of them I agreed with, some of them I felt like I didn’t really agree with that much. I think the Kennedys were more important than Michael Jackson. Kennedy drove the country and helped us to get better than where we were.”
Adams, out of a personal respect for modesty, said he also disagreed with bra straps being considered a trend. In agreement, he said most students, including himself, would try to find out if a textbook could be rented or look for other ways to buy a textbook for less.
Diana Pepper, a 19-year old freshman, agreed that the Class of 2016 seeks out television shows in other places than on TV.
“A lot of the younger generation think, ‘Oh, YouTube’ and go on YouTube all the time. Sometimes some of the younger kids stop watching TV and they’re only on the Internet, and that’s why the Internet is booming,“ Pepper said.
As a freshman planning to declare her major in secondary education, Pepper said she is unsure of the way technology will advance by the time she begins her career as a teacher.
“I’ve heard on the news that some kids have iPads in the classroom while the teacher is teaching, and they use that instead of computers. I find that fascinating, because before it was books, three-ring binders, pencils and pens, and now it’s like, ‘We don’t want to pay that much for an updated modem, we want an iPad.’”
Developmental math professor and adviser Monica Ferreyra shared similar feelings, noting an increase in usage of electronics in her Math 1010 class.
“I do notice the addiction to electronics, that is very prevalent I think. iPhones and iPods, I see a lot of that ‘can’t live without it [mentality].'”
Ferreyra said she has also seen the bra strap fad more and more with incoming students.
“I see a lot of bra straps. It’s not something to hide anymore, I guess. I think it’s more accepted and kind of trendy.”
Senior Kimber Rodeback, 23, related to the Mindset List, but also has a sister who is a freshman at Snow College this year.
“Even being a senior, I feel like a lot of these applied to me. I think I learned about the Kennedys here [at UVU] and exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement. I feel like that’s definitely been something that’s accepted,” Rodeback said.
Speaking from her experience as a sister, Rodeback said that for her younger sister, “The Twilight Zone” is known for its vampires, rather than the famous science-fiction TV show.
“My sister doesn’t listen to the radio, either,” Rodeback said. “It’s her iPod nonstop. That’s been different for me. My only iPod is her old iPod.”
With the list’s mention of self-proclaimed celebrities that seem to represent the younger generation, Kimber said, “You can take a stupid video of yourself, post it on YouTube, and instant stardom. It’s kind of like you get a high from getting comments YouTube and on Facebook with your picture. It’s kind of addicting, I think that it has become, what was it, an ‘electronic narcotic?’ I liked that phrase.”
Also mentioned on the list were a large number of freshmen entering college with hearing loss, a sense of political consciousness in times of doubt about the economy and a knowledge of celebrity voices because of their work in animated films.
The Mindset List is compiled every year by former Beloit College public affairs director Ron Nief and Keefer professor of humanities Tom McBride.