A few years back, I wrote about how stupid the Beloit College Mindset List is. For those of you not familiar, the mindset list is put together annually by a few professors at Beloit College, and lists a bunch of stuff that supposedly describes the zeitgeist of this fall's newly-entering college first years. It's mostly just a glorified buzzfeed list for old people, and is built on the bizarre assumption that no one understands anything that ever happened before they were born.
I was reminded of my hate-rage for this stupid list when I came across this Salon article detailing pretty much the same complaints I have. As the author of that pointed out, the very first list (of students who would go on to graduate in 2002), claimed they had never heard of the Iran hostage crisis. You know, because it happened a year before they were born. And we all know no one has ever heard of any major world events that happened that far in the past.
But what's even more annoying than that, I've decided, is just how fucking hacky and yet self-satisfied the damn list is. Here's some choice moronic bits from this year's list:
13. PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend on line.
Hah! Get it? Kids today never communicate with anyone, they only buy things using third-party payment apps!
14. Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car.
Here's where I admit I know nothing about kids these days, but I have to assume getting a car is still a pretty big deal.
18. Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline.
I literally do not understand what this means. They only make reference to one dog, while the next sentence references two distinct things. I clearly am out of touch.
29. Java has never been just a cup of coffee
Yup, if there's one thing I hear college kids talking about all the time it's which programming language they prefer.
40. They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena.
I think this one is just empirically not true. Many states still do not have indoor smoking bans, and I can't believe every arena self-imposed those before any of these kids were old enough to go to a concert.
44. Their favorite feature films have always been largely, if not totally, computer generated
Again, that's just...not true at all. The majority of films released every year are neither largely nor totally computer generated.
51. The Canadian Football League Stallions have always sung Alouette in Montreal after bidding adieu to Baltimore.
This is a great example of how fucking lazy the list is, like they just googled things that happened in a particular year. Name me one incoming first-year college student who knows or cares about the existence of the Montreal CFL team. This is not how any American college student identifies themselves or makes sense of the world.
57. Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing.
Ok, admittedly I haven't been car shopping recently, but don't all cars come with CD players? Had they went with tape deck, I could at least see it. But can you even purchase a new car in this magical year of 2013 that doesn't have a CD player? How can it be "ancient and embarrassing" if it's still a standard feature in basically every car made?
So in short, fuck this list, and fuck Beloit College for allowing it to continue to exist.