It’s late August.
In the coming weeks, fresh-faced youths across America will look up from their phones long enough to wish their crying parents goodbye — for it is the Time Of Moving Into College.
Like every class that has preceded them, the class of 2019 grew up in a unique time.
To help professors (and the rest of us olds) understand these students, liberal arts school Beloit College has released its “Mindset” list to detail the facts about the world these whippersnappers grew up in.
According to the list, since they have been alive:
- Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”
- They have never licked a postage stamp.
- Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.
- They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.
- The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to hold a position has only impressed their parents.
- Their parents have gone from encouraging them to use the Internet to begging them to get off it.
- When they were born, cell phone usage was so expensive that families only used their large phones, usually in cars, for emergencies.
- TV has always been in such high definition that they could see the pores of actors and the grimaces of quarterbacks.
- At least Mum and Dad had their new Nintendo 64 to help them get through long nights sitting up with the baby.
It’s hilarious, humbling, and a reminder of how growing up in any given decade shapes a person’s perspective.
“They text all day, they’re on social media all day, they’re a collaborative, sharing generation,” list co-creator and English professor emeritus Tom McBride said in a video interview.
“Instant availability of information changes not only the way we teach and learn, but the way we live,” he added.
First assembled in 2002, Beloit makes these annual lists not only to make college graduates feel old, but so teachers can better relate to their students. Watergate isn’t going to be a very handy reference when you’re talking with people who were born 25 years after the Washington Post brought down a president.
Students learn from what they already know, McBride and his fellow list creators emphasise, so you’ve got to have an idea of the world that met them — and connect there.
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