For the Class of 2023, Phones Are for Taking Pictures

Born in 2001, the incoming class of college students likely to graduate in 2023 include Sasha Obama and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter Simone.

Formerly the Beloit College Mindset List, the Marist College Mindset list for the entering college class of 2023 identifies what has always and never been true for them.

For example, the primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures; nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color; and except for when he celebrated Jeopardy’s 35th anniversary, Alex Trebek has never had a moustache.

Other interesting items on the Mindset List include:

  • Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is an historical event.
  • Thumb, jump, and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history.
  • The Tech Big Four–Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google — are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents.
  • Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think.
  • Self-contained, battery-powered artificial hearts have always been ticking away.
  • Airline passengers have always had to take off their shoes to slide through security on the ground.
  • They are as non-judgmental about sexual orientation as their parents were about smoking pot.
  • The Mars Odyssey has always been checking out the water supply for their future visits to Mars.
  • Snapchat has become their social media app of choice, thus relieving them of the dilemma of whether or not to friend Mom.   
  • They may well not have a younger sibling, as the birth rate in the U.S. has been dropping since they were in grammar school.
  • PayPal has always been an online option for purchasers.
  • They have witnessed two African-American Secretaries of State, the election of a black President, Disney’s first black Princess, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • As they crawled on the floor, TV headlines began crawling at the bottom of the TV screen.
  • With flyovers, honor guards, and “God Bless America,” sporting events have always been marked by emphatic patriotism.
  • Only two-thirds of this generation identify as exclusively heterosexual.
  • By their sophomore year, their generation will constitute one-quarter of the U.S. population.
  • Quarterback Troy Aikman has always called the plays live from the press booth.
  • The Apple Power Mac Cube has always been in a museum.
  • The year they were born, the top NBA draft pick came directly out of high school for the first time.
  • They have grown up with Big Data and ubiquitous algorithms that know what they want before they do.
  • They have grown up with a Patriot Act that has dramatically increased state surveillance to prevent terrorism.
  • Defibrillators have always been so simple to use that they can be installed at home.
  • Pittsburgh’s Steelers and Pirates have never played at Three Rivers Stadium.
  • Coke and Pepsi have always been competing in the sports hydration science marketplace.

The complete list is at