Entering College Freshman Have Never Licked a Postage Stamp

Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997.

Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau and Mother Teresa. Joining them in the world the year they were born were Dolly the sheep, The McCaughey septuplets and Michael “Prince” Jackson Jr.               

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. For this year’s entering class, there has always been Google, and email, which is seen as informal by older Millennials, has emerged as “the new formal” for them. Teachers have had to work overtime to encourage them to move beyond the Web and consult sources in books and journals. And, to them, Poland has always been a member of NATO.

“The Class of 2019 will enter college with high technology an increasing factor in how and even what they learn,” says Charles Westerberg, director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center and Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology at Beloit College. “They may think of the ‘last century’ as the twentieth, not the nineteenth, so they will need ever wider perspectives about the burgeoning mass of information that will be heading their way.”

NEXT: Interesting points on the list.