updated 8/18/2009 3:29:06 PM ET 2009-08-18T19:29:06

Every August, Beloit College releases the Mindset List, a look at the cultural milestones that have shaped the lives of students entering their freshman year. Created by Tom McBride, Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities, and Ron Nief, Emeritus Public Affairs Director, the list is a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for each new generation.

Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1991. As the authors note, "for these students, Martha Graham, Pan American Airways, Michael Landon, Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, The Dallas Times Herald, Gene Roddenberry, and Freddie Mercury have always been dead."

Beloit College Mindset List

1. Dan Rostenkowski, Jack Kevorkian, and Mike Tyson have always been felons.

2. The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.

3. They have never used a card catalog to find a book.

4. Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister.

5. Salsa has always outsold ketchup.

6. Earvin "Magic" Johnson has always been HIV-positive.

7. Tattoos have always been very chic and highly visible.

8. They have been preparing for the arrival of HDTV all their lives.

9. Rap music has always been main stream.

10. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has always been a flavor choice.

11. Someone has always been building something taller than the Willis (née Sears) Tower in Chicago.

12. The KGB has never officially existed.

13. Text has always been hyper.

14. They never saw the “Scud Stud” (but there have always been electromagnetic stud finders.)

15. Babies have always had a Social Security Number.

16. They have never had to “shake down” an oral thermometer.

17. Bungee jumping has always been socially acceptable.

18. They have never understood the meaning of R.S.V.P.

19. American students have always lived anxiously with high-stakes educational testing.

20. Except for the present incumbent, the President has never inhaled.

21. State abbreviations in addresses have never had periods.

22. The European Union has always existed.

23. McDonald's has always been serving Happy Meals in China.

24. Condoms have always been advertised on television.

25. Cable television systems have always offered telephone service and vice versa.


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